Generally speaking we don’t plan on spending a Saturday afternoon in the local Emergency Department. However, as parents age, we as their adult children find ourselves more and more in the care-taker role, which often means accompanying them to doctor’s appointments and sometimes to the Emergency Department. As I sat with my mother and father in the Emergency Department on Saturday waiting to hear how many stitches mom would need in the back of her head, and what the CT scan results were, I thought back many years to when I sat in the Emergency Department as a young girl, with my mother at my side, waiting to get stitches in my head (hitting your head on the diving board is not recommended).
I remember worrying about how much hair they would cut, and how much it would hurt. I remember my mother holding my hand, talking to the doctors, and telling me I would be fine. She took care of all of the paperwork (back then I didn’t know there was so much to do), gave them my medical history, and made weird jokes to cheer me up while we waited. On Saturday, I found myself holding my mother’s hand, talking to the doctors, and telling her everything would be fine. I took care of all of her paperwork, gave them her medical history, and made weird jokes to cheer her up while we waited.
Finally, the doctor said the CT was clear, just a bump on the head with a small cut. He gave her two stitches and we were on our way four hours later. As I helped her into the car to head home, I found myself thinking about what I would have been doing had she not fallen earlier and hit her head on the tub… watching basketball on TV, doing a load of laundry, cleaning out the pantry for the millionth time. Sure, I could have done all of that, but it’s going to get done one way or another, and Saturday I got to spend time with my mom, hold her hand, tell her some jokes, and thank her for taking care of my for so many years.