Category Archives: Mom

Yet another birdshit story

Yesterday, I borrowed my mom’s car to take DD to Ikea. Using her car instead of mine or DD’s was necessary for two reasons:

One: My beloved BMW is a fabulous car for many reasons, but trunk space is not one of them. Every one of my previous cars had a hatch, so this car’s trunk is frequently a major pain in my butt. I can’t seem to fit anything into it, except for things like groceries. A box? Dicey at best. Two boxes? Not even close. Ikea stuff? No effing way, so don’t even think about it, however briefly.

Two: DD’s beloved car is a hatchback, and can fit many, many boxes of many, many shapes and sizes inside it. The thing seems to stretch the more you try to put in it. We’ve had an entire loveseat tucked in there – with room to spare! But DD’s car lives in my garage for the moment, as it’s uninsured. DD has no parking spot at her basement apartment, and doesn’t really need a car in her neighbourhood anyway. She doesn’t need it to get to university either, as there’s a direct bus maybe a short block away and she has a student bus pass that’s included with the price of tuition. She doesn’t mind insuring her car for a day or so if necessary, and was, in fact, planning to do that when we planned this Ikea expedition. But then my mom suggested that we take her car and give it a good run on the freeway, since she only drives close to home and maybe only once a week at the most.

So, as I said, I borrowed my mom’s car to take DD to Ikea yesterday.

We were in and out in just short of two hours, which is truly amazing, as both of us love Ikea and could easily spend the day there, sightseeing. But she was on a mission to find a small shelf unit for kitchen storage, a coffee table for her living room, and a bathmat. She was armed with measurements and her debit card. And she found a shelf unit, coffee table, and bathmat that suited her needs very quickly. We found the shelf unit and coffee table boxes in the self-serve furniture section equally quickly. There was, miracle of miracles, no lineup at the self-serve cash, so she scanned the items, paid for them, and we loaded them into the car quickly, too.

Back at DD’s place, we unloaded everything, then I put together the coffee table while she put together the wicker baskets that would be stored in the shelf unit, then she filled them with kitchen stuff like tupperware. I started to assemble the shelf unit, and it didn’t go nearly as well as the coffee table had. Holes weren’t aligning properly, and those dinky little wooden dowels that Ikea insists upon using to hold together shelves and partitions kept snapping off. I got frustrated, so we decided to go out for frozen yogourt, then I could tackle the project again with a full tummy.

As we walked past my mom’s car on the street, I remarked how convenient it was that I’d been able to find a parking spot right in front of DD’s house, and also under a tall leafy tree that was providing shade on such a hot day. Then I saw the giant plop of birdshit on the back window. Uh, maybe parking under that tree wasn’t such a good thing after all? “I’m going to have to wash that off before I return Grandma’s car,” I told DD. “But a bird crapping on a person is supposed to be good luck, so maybe that’s true for a car, too. Maybe I’ll be able to finish that shelf unit with no further problems when we get back?”

That’s not how it turned out, however. We actually had to make another trip out, to a hardware store to purchase more wooden dowels. Every single one of the ones that came with the shelf unit broke! What are they made out of these days, balsa wood?!? But eventually, I got the thing together, we put it where she wanted it, she put the baskets in their places, and it looked great! “Just don’t climb on it,” I warned her, “because I don’t think those shelves will hold too well!”

I went home, washed the birdshit off Mom’s car’s back window, then brought it back to her. I told her all about our day, including the trouble I’d had assembling the shelf unit and also about the birdshit on her window. I assured her that I’d cleaned it off, and anyway, that was supposed to bring good luck.

“Oh good,” she smiled. “I’m thinking of going to the casino tomorrow morning. Maybe I’ll win big!”

Mom phoned me this morning. She’d just come home from the casino. She won a thousand dollars on one pull on a slot machine.

I’m glad that birdshit luck went to somebody in the family!


Round and round

Sunday night, I ended up in the emergency ward with my mom again.

At least, this time when I heard her quavery voice on the phone, I said,”Call 911 right now. I’m on my way!”

She did, and I arrived at her condo right behind the ambulance.

Mom had almost fallen because she was so dizzy and hot. She felt generally crappy, but somehow made it to her bed, then was able to make those two phonecalls. She said her head felt full, and every time she moved, the dizziness overwhelmed her.

The paramedics were calm and reassuring, as paramedics are. They didn’t seem to be in full emergency mode, and as long as Mom didn’t move too much, she seemed okay. She looked fine, at least. They had her raise her arms, smile, and asked her a few questions. She could do all that, so they said it didn’t seem to be a stroke. They checked her heartbeat, and even though she has atrial fibrillation, it seemed fine. Her blood pressure was high, despite her pills, but the paramedics said that this was quite likely due to the stress of her current situation. She had taken all her meds properly that day (this all happened at 9 pm), she assured them. They assured her that they were taking her into the hospital. I followed in my car.

Mom got a bed in emergency within fifteen minutes – but in a back hallway of the ward, not in the regular beds that loop around the nurses’ station in the centre. Somehow, that reassured me. I reasoned that if things were dire, she would have been placed in full view of all the medical staff, and hooked up to all kinds of monitors.

She and I had a few conversations with nurses. Her blood drawn pretty quickly, she gave a urine sample, and she had an ECG. Later, she was taken away for an x-ray of her chest. She was exhausted (so was I, quite honestly), but a doctor didn’t come by to see her for almost five hours. I guess it took that long to have all that analyzing done and some sort of diagnosis made.

And what was that diagnosis finally? Well, I wasn’t very impressed with the doctor’s bedside manner, but the upshot was that they had done 15 tests on her and there was “no emergent situation”. We asked what that meant, and he explained that there was no heart attack, no stroke, no real reason for her to be admitted. He said that yes, there was “something”, but that “something” could better be dealt with by her physician, as it wasn’t a life-or-death situation.

“But what’s wrong with me? Why do I feel so dizzy?” Mom almost whined.

The doctor told us that his best guess, based on her symptoms, was vertigo.

I quickly googled it on my phone. Yep, sure sounded like Mom had vertigo. In fact, it sounded like Mom had vertigo last year when she threw up at the casino and PG and I had had to go and get her and take her into emergency. Mom then mused that she thought that she’d tripped and almost fallen a day or so previously, but now she thought that perhaps she’d been briefly dizzy, not clumsy.

And what medical treatment is there for vertigo? The doctor said it was actually fairly common, particularly in older folks, but that it wasn’t usually long-lasting or totally debilitating. He assured us that it would very likely pass on its own, in a day or so. If it became chronic or longer-lasting or more severe, there were meds, but he suggested that I just take Mom home and that she try to relax.

So that’s what we did.

I stayed with her that night – or what was left of it – because even though she was already feeling much, much better, she was a little nervous that it would happen again. The next night, DD stayed overnight with her. And then she pronounced herself “just fine!” and said she didn’t need any more babysitting. She’s continued to be “just fine!” ever since.images-1

But I do think I prefer the movie “Vertigo” to the version Mom experienced – and so does she, I’m sure!

Lottery – NOTtery

My mom doesn’t buy a lot of lottery tickets, but she does buy them when the total weekly jackpot is over 50 million dollars. Not a bad rule of thumb, I suppose, except that probably ninety-nine percent of the Canadian population does the exact same thing. So, because there are so many tickets sold for those giant jackpots, the probability of winning anything is dramatically decreased.

However, my mom is an exceptionally lucky woman. She loves the slot machines and frequently wins big at some of the local casinos. I wish this was genetic, but so far, unfortunately, there is no evidence of this. None. It’s sad, really.

Anyway, my mom bought herself a ticket for the provincial lottery a couple of weeks ago. And lo and behold, she had six out of the seven numbers correct!

We were all SO excited! PG was sure she’d won at least 10,000$, since the total jackpot was so high. DD couldn’t find any information on the lottery’s website, other than something about six out of seven numbers winning 4% – but it didn’t say of what. I checked into it a little further and found out that no one had won with all seven numbers and the bonus, but one person from Qu├ębec had won with six out of seven plus the bonus number. Then, 105 people from various provinces had won with six out of seven with no bonus – one of whom had to be my mother! The payout to each winner appeared to be close to 5000$, from what I could tell. (The lottery people really need to revamp their website! It’s really hard to find pertinent information that you can actually comprehend.)

Mom was over the moon! Sure, she’s won that kind of money on the slots, but never on the lottery. This was new and exciting! She had no idea what she would do with the money (I almost suggested that she gift it to her loving daughter, but I refrained. I mean, DD was right there, and she might not have liked that idea much.)

Earlier this week, Mom went over to the lottery counter at the local mall, winning ticket clutched in her hot little hand. They checked it out for her and informed her that she had won …


… two free tickets to the next lottery.

That was it. Two tickets. For having six out of seven numbers drawn.

And why did she not win any money at all, you ask? Apparently because the six numbers on her ticket were not in the same order as that in which they had been drawn.


I don’t even know what to say to that.

However, my mom is quite pissed off and she has declared that she will no longer purchase any lottery tickets at all, even if the total jackpot is over fifty million dollars.

She will, however, first use those two free tickets she won.