Wednesday, December 2, 2009

No Clowning Around

My mother is sick, but just like everything else with her, this illness is unique, it can only be handled in her own way.

First she refuses to go on antibiotics.  This goes on for days and days.  Then she suddenly decides she needs antibiotics but rather than go to the doctor, she treats her house as a pharmacy of first choice.  She searches the house from top to bottom and finds one old, moldy bottle of pills left over from who-knows-when that's laying in the bottom of a drawer somewhere with a label on it that's barely legible.

She calls me up.  "Linda!" Coughing and hacking right into the phone.


"What are these pills I found?"

She reads me the name.  I'm not sure, but I think it's a bottle of pimple medicine one of us took.  From the 1970s.

I try to tell her this but I'm interrupted by more coughing and hacking.

I say, "Ma.  Are you there?"  I remind myself never to touch her phone when I come to visit.

She gets back on the line.  "Can I take the pills?"

"No.  Do I have to call poison control to get them away from you?  They're forty years old."

"Okay.  I'll look for something else."

I'm about to tell her to stop clowning around and go to the doctor to get some medicine from this millenium but I'm drowned out by the coughing and hacking. I hang up. New mental note:  stop by mom's.


  1. Linda, I'm starting to feel a book in the making. All of these anecdotes about your mom are ripe material!

  2. Thanks Kristen. My mom turns out to be a cornucopia of material for me. All I do is call her every day!

  3. oh man, I hate to say this but i'm the same way. My husband is all, why don't you go see a doctor...and I'm all, I'll just drink some russian tea.
    Your mom is a hoot.

  4. Thanks cm, BLW, and Jack. Who needs fiction when I have a mother like this?