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.
I 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…