Mr. Karen and I spent the first part of last week in Idaho, skiing. As usual, I couldn’t resist taking multiple photos of the mountain, but so far I haven’t managed to edit them down to a reasonable photoset for Flickr, because I’m trying to cram too much in now that I’m back, as I’ll be leaving again soon. While we were in Idaho, I got a call that my mom was back in the hospital. I wasn’t too surprised, as she hadn’t sounded great when I’d talked to her the night before we left and my brother was going to ask my niece the nurse to check in on her. What I was surprised by was how long a list of things the doctors were telling us was wrong, starting with possibly another stroke and adding on issues with her heart, lung, and kidneys. I looked at fares for a flight into Chicago, but they were crazy expensive. Mr. K and I decided we’d just start our drive back home earlier than planned (our truck had been out there since we drove out at Christmas). Somewhere in South Dakota, my phone died and I was unable to get it working again. I took the battery out and put back in (several times), tried different chargers, and left it charging all night. No luck. The next morning, I used Mr. K’s phone to call around to find a new battery, thinking that might do the trick. Batteries Plus in Sioux Falls did have a battery that would fit, but that didn’t bring the phone back to life. The guys there were very nice about helping me find the right battery and testing it in the store, and they didn’t make me buy it when it didn’t work. My experience at the Verizon store nearby, where I went next, was much less pleasant. The woman there did initially seem like she was going to help, but once she looked me up in her computer and saw it was a business phone and I wasn’t one of the contact names on the account, her attitude changed and she seemed to think I had driven to South Dakota specifically to scam Verizon out of a replacement phone. She refused to talk to the Account Manager at Purple Systems even though he was perfectly willing to talk to her, and she didn’t seem to consider for one second that her corporate policy might be bent to accommodate a customer who was having a family emergency. I left there very upset and out of energy to try again at another store. At least I’d thought to send an e-mail the night before to all the relatives I’d been texting and talking to so that they had Mr. K’s number, too. When we did finally get to the hospital, my mom followed up her greeting with “did you get my message?” My heart just sank. I guess it’s good that the part of her brain needed to make phone calls still works, even if the one that remembers my name and being told my phone was broken doesn’t work so well. They still haven’t been able to finish all the tests because there were more urgent issues, so we don’t have a clear diagnosis, but Mom was is surprisingly good spirits even though she was very weak and in pain. She’s stable for now, and in a cardiac unit where she’s getting good care from people who know what they’re doing, so I felt okay about coming back to Michigan for a few days. Perhaps by the time I go back she’ll be ready to move to rehab. After that, we’ll have to see. She’s not talking about going home the way she was after her stroke last summer. At least I was finally able to get a new phone today, so she can call me from wherever she is.
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