When my mom's blood oxygen level dropped precipitously Thursday, I packed up my two laptops and hopped into my geriatric car.
"Make it so I can get this thing to Chippewa Falls," I told my mechanic.
And just as I started to drive, I started to cry.
I thought about mom dying and how I would have to announce it to Kid, and friends, family, colleagues, you, my dear readers.
Wait, I thought, don't kill her before she's dead. I calmed and listened to crappy car radio. I do not like Hall and Oates in good times let alone in stress.
Mom has had COVID since the beginning of the week and received some anti-virals but before they could kick in, the oxygen level plunged. Two years ago, few civilians knew nothing about the importance of oxygen levels in the blood. Now we cite them like speed limits in the city. I'm at 95. The other guy says he's 100.
My mom was 82.
I stopped crying and stopped some place -- I couldn't tell you -- to get a bottle of Chippewa Springs water to hydrate.
I passed so many of the old familiar sites driving into Chippewa Falls, Bloomer, Tilden, turning off on County Highway S where the sign directed me toward the hospital. I didn't recall S being near the hospital but I trusted the sign. And then got lost. Thanks to some Google app, I pulled into the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital in my old hometown.
My dad died in the St. Joe's ER 38 years ago. I expected a pasting of PTSD but the new ER is built as an addition to the hospital so I didn't have triggering moments.
Immediately, the receptionist said my brother was in the ER room and only one was allowed.
I texted my brother to alert him I was there. He was waiting to talk to a doctor or nurse before he could update me on mom's condition.
Sadly, I thought about how much work I missed during the day because it's pretty overwhelming right now. I could see the emails rolling up on me like a ticker tape stock machine, tic tic tic tic tic tic tic.
Everything stabilized by mid-day so my brother and I bugged out for some beer and hot beef sandwiches. Bonding. It's been some time.
On return, a doctor talked with my brother, appeasing both of us to allow us home returns.
A tiring day called for a couple Manhattans before going home, where I ate leftover ham from my friend's Christmas party. Liquor and smoked meats served as my communion for the day.
I hate writing this but I promised long ago to be painfully truthful.
Mom returns to her dementia care facility Saturday.
I return to work.
Kid arrives this coming Thursday.
Such is life.
Peace unto Ukraine. Peace and life unto all of you my brothers and sisters.