My Weakly Medicated Mom

Aug 17

My Weakly Medicated Mom

My mom is notoriously wimpy when it comes to medication. (And why wouldn’t she be? The woman is five foot nothing, one hundred and nothing pounds. A Flintstones vitamin would provide her with a week’s worth of dietary supplements.) We make a lot of jokes about Mom’s inability to handle adult doses of medicine. The running joke among my siblings is that a dose of Children’s Tylenol can wipe her out for a couple days. (I’m exaggerating, of course. It’s probably more like a half a dose.)

One time my mom had to go in for surgery to fix an injury she sustained in a car accident. She was prepped for surgery and was waiting to be taken in. My brother John was allowed to go back and sit with her until it was time for her operation.

Mom, in a hushed, feeble tone, eyes closed: “John…you a good boy.”

John: “Thanks, Mom. Don’t worry — this is going to be okay.”

Long pause.

Mom, drifting in and out of consciousness: “If anything happen…….”

John’s brow instantly furrows…

Mom: “……..you……take care……..of……….my babies…..okay?” (“babies” referring to my brother Gene and me, who are both younger than John.)

John, eyes starting to water: “Of course, but don’t worry about that…this is a routine surgery — you’ll be fine.”

Mom falls silent. Her eyes close and her mouth drops open. She has seemingly lost consciousness. At this point, the doctor (who is also Korean) comes in. John shakes his hand. The doctor grabs her chart and looks it over.

John: “Wow…that is some pretty strong stuff you gave her. She was really struggling to talk and now she’s out.”

The doctor flips through the pages of her chart and studies it before saying, “Actually, she hasn’t been given anything.”

John: “What?! She can barely talk!”

The doctor then starts asking her questions in Korean, and my not-unconscious mother responds as if she’s totally fine.

Doctor: “She was given an antacid to settle her stomach. She must have thought it was the anesthesia.”

John: “MOM!!!!”

Mom, eyes opening wide: “What?!?!?”

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