The Best-Laid Plans

My schedule has been very hectic lately, which is why I was really looking forward to Saturday.  Saturday was the first day in over a week when I actually had a big chunk of free time, and I was planning to use it to get caught up on some of the things I still needed to do for Christmas.  I thought I’d get up early, hit a few stores before the crowds came out, and then go home to make a few batches of Christmas cookies and stash them in the freezer.  Afterwards, I planned to go out somewhere casual with my husband for a pizza dinner.   I planned to make Saturday both relaxing and productive, since I could move along at my own pace without having to keep a set schedule.  But things don’t always go according to plan.

My day started early when my mother called to say she was feeling very sick:  extremely dizzy and weak.  I hurried over to her house and ended up taking her to an Urgent Care Center, where they discovered that her heart rate was alarmingly low.  The doctor recommended we go to the Emergency Room of a nearby hospital for further tests and evaluation, and said she would probably be admitted to the hospital.  It’s scary when your elderly mother needs to go to the hospital, but she was putting on a brave face and so I did the same.  I drove her to the ER, where they did a few quick tests before putting her in a wheelchair to wait for the next available doctor.

Luckily, her condition seemed to improve with each passing hour.  When she told me to wheel her over to the receptionist’s desk so she could ask why it was taking so long for her to see a doctor, I knew she was feeling much better.  When she finally did see a doctor and she passed all her tests with flying colors, I became very hopeful, especially when he said she could go home.  And when she started singing along to the radio on the drive home, I knew she was going to be just fine.

The “relaxing and productive” Saturday I had planned turned out to be neither relaxing or productive.  And that meant the already busy schedule I had on Sunday became even busier.  But you know what?  It doesn’t really matter.  Both my mother and I got through a difficult day just fine, and we learned a few lessons along the way.  The most practical lesson was that she needs to remember to keep her Medicare card in her purse, because she needs it to be treated at an Urgent Care or Emergency Room.  But there were other, more important, lessons to be learned as well.

IMG_4369I learned that planning is a good thing, as long as I bear in mind the possibility that things can happen that blow my plans right out of the water.  I learned that my mother can exhibit a great deal of grace under pressure, and that she knows how to be brave when confronted with the possibility of a serious health issue.  I hope that she learned she can count on her family to help her in those times, because that is exactly what family is supposed to do.

Finally, I learned that there is no need to worry about the unexpected problems that pop up in our life, because we can’t predict when the bad stuff will happen or what form it will take.  It’s enough to know that when the hard times come, we will find the strength to cope and to do what we need to do.  Because life doesn’t always go according to plan…

102 thoughts on “The Best-Laid Plans

  1. Wonderful attitude! I’m so relieved your mother is going to be fine. my mother is 85 and although she has had some serious problems (aortic aneurysm, non functional aortic heart valve, cardiac arterial occlusion), they were all repaired and I’m thinking she will outlive us all! The lessons you have shared are most valuable and I have to thank you for sharing. Sometimes we need a little reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for your mother!! She must be a strong woman with a good attitude to survive all that, and I’m so glad for you and your family. And I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Honestly, I write them to remind myself as much as anyone else, because I need a reminder now and then!

      Like

    • I talked to a friend of mine who is a nurse, and she said the same thing. Mom now has a big jug in her refrigerator which she will fill every day with water, and that will be the minimum amount of water she needs to drink each day. Hopefully that will prevent a repeat episode!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for your mom for keeping a good attitude through this major scare. Good for you as well, for being there for her. It’s amazing how many people today simply aren’t. I like what you said and agree with you wholeheartedly: that is what family is supposed to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! She is very good about saying thank you for help, but honestly, I have found that helping others also rewards the person who is doing the helping. I think it is good to care for one another….

      Like

  3. Glad all is well with your mom! We are going through the same kind of thing with my dad-and you are so right plans. Gosh, the things I worried about, never happened- It was other things that caught me off guard. It is enough to know we aren’t alone and will get by someway. Best wishes for peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the things we worry about are rarely the things we actually have to deal with. It’s the unexpected troubles that tend to throw us for a loop, at least temporarily. But as you say, we aren’t alone and we will handle whatever comes. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are exactly right. We make our plans, and sometimes things go exactly that way. But we aren’t in charge of the universe, so all our plans really are are ideas of how we hope, or think, things will go. In the real world, we just have to roll with the punches!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad she’s OK, but keep after that Ann. Low HR can be indicative of underlying cardiac issues. Sometimes I fear that ER’s are such busy places that they don’t pay enough attention. I would follow up with her primary and maybe a cardiologist just to be sure. That’s my two cents….xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the advice! They did tell her to see her primary doctor as soon as possible for a follow-up and she’s going this afternoon. Once the ER doctor saw her records, he realized that her natural heart rate is a bit low, although not as low as it was on Saturday morning. By they time she was released, it was almost back to normal. We will keep an eye on it, and the cardiologist isn’t a bad idea at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is a sign of great wisdom on your part to accept the changes that appear to go against our plans. I see things the same way, dear Ann. I am also by nature a big planner. It gives me a feeling of control in a chaotic world. When I was young, I would be very annoyed at anything that would bring unexpected changes. Now I see them as golden opportunities to face the challenges of an unpredictable life. I am sure that you found that helping your mother in distress was quite rewarding, especially now in the Christmas season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Peter! It was gratifying to help her in that situation, not just because that’s what she needed but also because it helped me realize that as she continues to age and possibly develops other health issues, we will be able to cope with it. Sometimes what seems like a problem ends up to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad your mo. Was ok. Life has a way of putting things in perspective at times. But yeah, it’s frustrating when you have your entire day planned and it blows up before you even get started. I do the same thing and set myself up for failure or frustration often. In other words, I feel your pain! 😶 But again, glad mom is ok and it looks like she ended up enjoying a glass of wine to celebrate the good outcome. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, when I first got the call, I did have a moment of mourning that I was losing my day of “rest.” But then I got over it and just did what needed to be done. And ultimately, it was a good thing because it clarified some issues and made me realize that we can cope when she has a health crisis just fine! Thanks, Michael!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh no, your poor mother. Glad to hear she recovered and hope she continues to feel better. I’ve been to hospital with my mum a couple of times recently, and even though they were planned appointments it’s still a stressful experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can sympathize! Hospitals are stressful places, especially for the elderly. The worst was that she was both hungry and thirsty, but I couldn’t give her anything until they got the test results back and knew for sure she didn’t need surgery or another test that required a totally empty stomach. But they were nice when I expressed concern about that, and said that if the wait was too long they could give her an IV to keep her hydrated. And right after that, she was called back to see the doctor. They even gave her a sandwich and a drink before she went home!

      Like

    • I like that phrase! It allows us to plan, but reminds us that those plans need to be very flexible. I’m sorry to hear about your father, and I hope all the best for you both. Often the most important things we do are also the most challenging….

      Like

  8. I’m so sorry you and your mom had to go through this! And I’m so glad that everything was fine in the end and that she felt much better at the end of the day.
    I have long since given up making plans or at least to expect that the ones I’m making will work out. I’m happy if they do but know that there can always be something that keeps you from doing whatever you planned in the morning.
    Hope you will find some quality time for yourself in between those hectic days!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So glad your mother is ok – she appears to be a tough lady under pressure! The shopping and cooking can always wait while we take care of those we love. Luckily you were able to be there for her and you both learned somethings and perhaps bonded in the ER!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! She was tough under pressure, and I think it was good for both of us to learn that we can handle these health issues when they come up. And I’ll get around to the Christmas prep soon enough…because you’re right, taking care of the ones we love is so much more important!

      Like

    • Thanks, Jodi! I’m sure you are all too familiar with having to keep a flexible schedule. But if we don’t take care of each other, then what is life really all about? I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!!

      Like

  10. Glad to know that she’s feeling ok now.. And you were absolutely right about life not going the way we planned. It brings unexpected challenges for us and we have no other choice rather then facing them no matter how difficult they are. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! That’s the point I was trying to make, and I’m so glad you let me know that it came through. I wrote this post in a bit of a hurry, and probably included too many details of the actual event. But what I wanted to say is that we just have to take life as it comes, and trust in our ability to cope. Thanks for saying that so succinctly in a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s ok that you included the details. Cause that’s how you had an experience of a difficult situation and which also helped me as a reader to feel more closely how to cope whenever such situation arise. So it’s me who should thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Ann. Glad to hear everything turned out well in the end and your Mum is okay now. It was really good how you used that experience to remind yourself- and us- that there’s not much point in worrying because challenging events usually take us by surprise anyway, but rather just to have faith that we will cope at the time with whatever arises.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very true that life doesn’t go according to plan… but hopefully the occasional emergencies that happen can be coped with well, as you have done here. I hope your mother is better now and that you and your family will be able to have a good and enjoyable Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so glad you and your mother dodged the serious health issue bullet. It’s so easy to focus on the lost time, etc. and it says a great deal about you (and probably your mother) that you can step back and see that the day was a blessing overall. Hope you two (and the rest of your family) have a great holiday together. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Been there. Done that. You also handled the situation with grace. Unfortunately, I can recall times I blew it. But, in the end, when it really, really mattered every minute, every moment worked out just right. Blessings sent.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s