When Mom finally decided she didn’t just have a stomach bug, but needed to see a doctor, our #3 daughter, who was helping poor sprained Mar decorate for Christmas, took her. #1 daughter joined her in the ER. #2 daughter was at work and husband said he’d call her. When #4 daughter got wind of what was going on, she drove over from Louisville. We got word that Mom had appendicitis and was going to be operated on that night. Husband went to Mom’s and brought me some crutches out of the basement (between our attic and our and her basements, we have a surprising amount of randomness), I put on my elastic brace, my boot brace and tucked my crutches under my armpits and #4 daughter drove me to the hospital. #2 daughter finally got called and she rallied round, too. She and daughter #1 racked up major points by making Mom gingersnaps after she got her appetite back.

For the Traditionally BuiltThey moved Mom to a room to await surgery prep. The hospital staff offered me a wheelchair, but I was like, No, I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m…pooped. So they got me aRacing Model wheelchair.

During Mom’s recovery, #4 daughter or husband took me to spend the days with her. I ditched the crutches and just used the wheelchair. There were two styles. One is for…um…the…um…”traditionally built”, as Alexander McCall-Smith’s Mma Ramotswe puts it. One would think I would love these, but I am, apparently, not quite as traditionally built as I thought I was. I preferred the racing model. I could really buzz down the corridors in this baby.

Mom’s surgery was laparoscopic, meaning they poked three little holes instead of making a big incision. When they gave me the picture of the surgical procedure, I thought, “This sure looks familiar.” Ah, the jewels of Art and Catholicism, how they stay with one and inform one’s entire life. Here is the picture of Mom’s surgical procedure and an accompanying picture of Mantegna’s The Laparoscopic Appendectomy of St. Sebastian.

Here is a picture of the lovely view out of the window of Mom’s hospital room or, as she put it when she was on morphine and fennergen (sp?) after surgery, the hotel window.

To the left were stacks which blew out clouds of white vapor. When the wind was right, the clouds roiled past the window and she would tell me what the zombies were doing to keep from freezing in the cold.

At one point, she asked me if the cats were in their little houses. “Oh, yes,” I said. “Are you sure? Maybe you’d better check.” I said, “No, I checked. They’re in there, all right.” Then she sez, she sez, “Don’t patronize me. There aren’t any cats here, are there?” Okey-dokey, den.

Every afternoon, just at naptime, housekeeping came through the halls buffing the floor. Time was, this would have gone on for an hour or so, but now it only takes about fifteen minutes, tops. The reason is that they use vehicles, rather than pushing a big thing like a vacuum cleaner on steroids. This is the COOLEST. MACHINE. EVAR! I called them Zambonis, like the machines they use to smooth ice for skating rinks. Is this cool, or what? I would TOTALLY work for minimum wage and no benefits if I could drive one of these bad boys!

This Sunday was a good one–Colts won, Vikings won, Saints won, Bills won! Sweeeeeeeeet!

MA

writing prompt: How do YOU think zombies cope with the cold?

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