Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day and Ambien

I am late for everything. Sometimes, I am late just for the sake of being late, there is no other real reason. I had intended to dedicate a blog entry to my lovely mother for Mother's Day, but alas, I didn't get around to doing it. For those of you who are now reading this in disgust at my lack of attention to my mom, let me assure you she can take care of herself. Once, when I was in college, I did not come home for Mother's Day, and I also forgot to mail a gift, let alone a card. Mom never said anything at all about it. She did, however, go to the local Dawhares department store, pick herself up a nice bottle of perfume, and charge it to me. I found out about it when the bill arrived in a few weeks. At that point, I learned not mess around with Mother's Day. So, instead of writing a blog entry, I spent the weekend with my best gal here in Lexington.
My mother and I have always been extremely close. I am most certainly a mama's boy, as God intended for good southern men. I look a lot like her, and there was a period of time, when I was around 12, that we were exactly the same height. People would often mistaken me for my mother, which if you are a 12-year-old boy is about the worst thing that can ever happen to you. As the years have gone by, though, our relationship has evolved into a close friendship. I am sure at some point, as she inevitably ages, and I, through the magic of science, botox, and extra money from not having children, will remain young. She will, perhaps, need more help, and I will be there to offer it.
I thought the beginning of this "need to help period" was happening a couple of summer's ago, which was much sooner than I had anticipated. I mean, I haven't even had my first shot of botox for heaven's sake! My parents had gone on vacation with my sister and her family. They were staying in a condo in Florida, and I would get daily pictures, texts, and phone calls telling me what a great time they were having. Both of my parent's are on several different daily medications, and to keep up with their schedule, they both have those daily pill organizers labeled with each day of the week and slots for your morning, afternoon, and evening pills. These are very handy, and it comforts me to see them using them, ensuring me that neither will forget a crucial dose. My sister and I both suspect, hope really, that they both have a pill in their organizers that help them hold on to the bits of sanity that they have left. So we both watch to make sure that they take the medication as prescribed.
One evening while I was busily working in my windowless office in Lexington, my mom called and asked me to get online and look up symptoms of different types of strokes. She said that she was numb, a little blind, disoriented, and something just wasn't "right." She was sure it was a stroke. I told her that I thought she should probably just go to the emergency room at Fish Memorial Hospital. She didn't want to ruin everyone's vacation, so she decided the best thing to do would be for me to confirm her stroke via the internet. Knowing that once my mother made her mind up about something there was no turning back, I went ahead and spent the rest of the afternoon reading about strokes and taking notes. I called Mom later that night to go over her symptoms, and none matched any of the stroke symptoms, so she decided that all's well that ends well, and went to bed.
I called my sister to tell her what had been going on with mom, since apparently staying in the same condo was not conducive to actually talking or spending time with each other. She said to ignore it, that mom was just overreacting. She had probably just been in the sun too long that day.
The next evening we went through the exact same scenario. This time my parents and my sister and her family had all gone out to dinner at Blackbeard's Seafood (Aye, matey). My mother started having her daily stroke and had to excuse herself and go to the car to lie down. Now, in most families, when mom is so sick she has to get up from the restaurant table and go to the car, the rest of the family would probably say something like "Hey, we had better go." Or, "Gee, let's order our food to go, and take mom to the hospital." Not my family. They just let mom go to the car to continue having her stroke while they ordered clam strips and the pirate's combo. Mom called me from the car to tell me she was having another stroke and that I really needed to get online and find out what was wrong with her. I said ok, and immediately hung up and called my sister, then my father. They agreed they would see how she was after dinner. At least that is what I thought they said, their mouths were full of oysters and grouper.
As I am now in complete panic mode, and looking for the cheapest last minute flight to Daytona Beach, I get another call from my mother. She sounds much more relieved than before, so I am hoping the stroke has passed. She then explains that she had somehow gotten her afternoon pills and night pills confused, and had been taking her bedtime pills at 4:00. This included Ambien. So for two days now, she had popped her Ambien sleeping pill and then headed out to dinner and shopping with the family. She hadn't had a stroke at all, but was just jacked up on the Ambien. My sister called to tell me that she told me so, and I just shook my head. Thankfully, I had not yet purchased my ticket to Florida for the sole purpose of taking mom the hospital.
Earlier this year when the Tiger Woods scandal broke, there was talk about Ambien having an effect on people that would allow for a more fun adulterous experience. I am hoping that it isn't the same effect that my mom had, because having a stroke is not what I picture as having a good time, but that may just be the difference in Tiger Woods and Ronnie Carol Stewart.
Mom has since started paying closer attention to her daily pill allotment, and we have had no issues since. I am grateful that she is not in need of any help just yet, other than help from doing crazy things, and we all know that I can not help prevent that in any way. So, Happy Mother's Day, Mom, you lovable nut!!


  1. ROFL.... does Ronnie Carol know you are doing this to her? I think I must remember the "daily stroke" routine, Malia may need that jolt now and again.

    Thanks Keith for a great belly laugh!!!

  2. Must be genetic to be anti-hospital and use the internet as a valid place to self-diagnose.