In short, the show's about an average guy. Married, a few kids, a nice house. And a mother who's a pushy, nosy, meddling, annoying pain-in-the-ass busybody. Said character was perfectly played by the late Doris Roberts. We all knew Marie Barone. And we all LOVED Marie Barone because - well - let's admit it. She made us laugh. She was that mother we were all glad we didn't have. Some of us might have wanted some of Marie's attentiveness but have to agree - it was over-the-top and for someone (like, oh, let's see.....me?) who likes their personal space, cringe-worthy.
I was unloading a bag the Oompa gave me when I went into Jersey to see my family last weekend. She had given me a shopping bag with 'things she picked up for me' and this bag remained in the trunk of my car until last night.
(Why this bag remained in the trunk for a full week will be explained shortly.)
There were a few things she'd told me she was sending over. A bag clip, a pair of pants that didn't fit her anymore that I could probably squeeze into (it's going into the donation bin on account of pure ugliness) and a box that she probably didn't have time to wrap. I open it up and unravel a coffee mug.
Remembering that she gave me a coffee mug back in July when she came to visit for the kids' birthdays. I went into the cabinet where I'd put the other one. I set up both mugs side-by-side and took a picture:
Okay. She's trying to tell me something, and clearly, it's not that I don't drink enough coffee. Whether I do or don't is debatable these days, but I'm PRETTY sure this isn't her message. I stared at these cups for a good while and thought to myself, this ain't normal. Even for Italian moms, this CAN'T be viewed as an acceptable means of trying to communicate with your child. I mean, I'm a mother too; but I'd NEVER give my kid one of these. Maybe as a joke, I'd give the yellow one to the daughter as a reminder that I'm here to listen to her. But this is not the Oompa's intent. No, she is clearly trying to guilt and manipulate me into being closer to her. As stated in previous blogs, this isn't something I want. I love my mother dearly, but I do NOT see myself sharing anything of a personal nature with her. I never was able to, and don't think I ever will be. Small doses is my speed. Unfortunately it is not hers. Because she lives two hours away, she has HAD to deal with the small doses, but now this has motivated her gift-giving - and quite honestly all I can offer her is an eye-roll in thanks. I refuse to feed into this.
Okay, so - I promised an explanation on why it took me so long to unpack these things from the car....
I had a bad week. I spent yesterday evening/night in the hospital.
Before I continue - let me assure you all - I'm okay. Aside from a few bruises and pokes and needle marks, I'm fine.
I was hit with a bout of food poisoning over something I ingested on Monday night - I'm not sure what PART of my dinner was bad, but it had me up at 5am on Tuesday morning. It was my third trip to the toilet when it happened. I was sitting and all of a sudden was hit with a hot flash, dizziness and sweats. I remember feeling overwhelmingly nauseous. Then - nothing.
I was on the floor. My face was against the cool tile. I slowly got up and realized what had happened. This had happened before so I knew...I'd passed out. This has happened a few times in my lifetime, though the incidents were never close enough together that they were to be considered a problem.
I got back to bed and crawled in. J's alarm was set to go off in fifteen minutes from that moment, and I realized that I'd been passed out for the last four to five minutes. I laid silently until J got up. When she moved to turn off her alarm, I told her to turn on the light, and then told her what happened.
We found a bump on the side of my head, close to the top. And though there was nothing visible, yet, there was some tenderness in my chin and lower jaw. J asked if I wanted to go to the doctor. Stubborn me says, 'no. I'm okay, I just want to go back to bed.' I promised her I'd text when I got up. I did. And for MOST of Tuesday, I was okay. I ate some eggs, and I had some toast, I did my classwork, attended all of my meetings. All was as okay as could be.
I'd had a headache all day. Possibly from having hit my head earlier that morning but I'd taken Tylenol a few times and it'd helped. Was preparing to have dinner when the nausea peaked and I'd JUST made it to the bathroom. EVERYTHING I had eaten in the last 24+ hours had come up. This will sound gross but this is how I knew that it was Monday night's dinner that was the problem...
"Are you sure you don't want to go to the doctor, dear?" J was asking again, "You could have a concussion."
"Nope," I told her, "I'm good. I feel better now that all of that is out of my system."
Wednesday...a little bit better. Another day of feeling dazed, foggy and overall crappy. Still had a rumbly tummy. Made myself dinner, regardless. I was hungry and on empty. It wasn't too heavy, though, it was crockpot chicken. Went to bed still feeling rumbly. Woke up at 4am this time, needed several trips to the bathroom before trying some Immodium. Not sure if it was the sheer nastiness of the Immodium or anything else, but I'd barely made it back to the bed before feeling a LOT like I had before passing out on Tuesday. Hot. Sweaty. Dizzy. J was awake this time. I told her I was feeling hot and sweaty again and that I was going to puke.
She moved fast but not quite fast enough. Although she got the bathroom trash can over to me quickly, I still managed to soil the blankets with puke.
"Okay. You're going to the doctor later this evening when I get home from work," said the wifey, and the one who...cleaned it all up. "No ifs, ands or buts!"
I didn't have the energy to argue, and deep down, I knew she was right. I was now showing delayed signs of a concussion. They were all there. The lethargy, the restlessness, the headaches, feeling hazy, foggy, nausea, vomiting. I nodded. Yes. Might be time to cast aside my overall dislike of doctors and hospitals and anything medical-related and go. I'd fought it from the start, but I couldn't fight it, anymore. I agreed to be ready to go when she got home from work. By now, the son had 'slipped' during a call from his grandfather (the Oompa's husband/my stepfather) and had told the Oompa that I was asleep because I wasn't feeling well.
Yes, the son is very lucky I didn't kill him. I didn't have the strength to get angry at him, either, but I DID tell him I'd wished he'd not told her that because she had sent me texts saying, 'are you sure it's not COVID?' and 'shouldn't you go get checked to make sure, so that J could have some peace of mind???' Already, the drama was starting. I told her it was food poisoning, and that I was fine - all a doctor was going to tell me was that it was going to have to run its course. I prayed that the Son hadn't told her about my passing out....so far, it looks unlikely.
Thank GOD, too, because I had said to the wife from the very beginning: "We do not speak of this to the Oompa."
"What, that you passed out?"
"That is correct. We don't say a word about that." (My kids were also told that the Oompa was to hear nothing further of it.)
I stuck by this even when we were there and they'd started me on an IV (which in itself caused me to go into a full-on panic - needles are NOT my thing) in preparation for a CAT scan. J leaned in and asked, "Are you sure you don't want me to call your mother and let her know what's going on?"
I just can't deal with the drama. I can't. I don't want to hear it, I don't want to hear HER, I don't want the fuss. My reasoning is - we do not call the Oompa unless it's one million percent necessary. We do not give the Oompa any reason to think that we need her to meddle or to micromanage any situation. I know that she has this immeasurable desire to feel as if she's needed but her 'helping' approach is...too much. If you give her too much, she will seize control and run with it. I'm not up for that, right now. I told the wife that if the tests came back showing any problems, THEN she could call the Oompa. Not before.
So - everything came back fine. My levels - fine. They did labs, they did the CAT scan, they hooked me up to IV fluids for several hours. They set me up with the football game while I waited on results.
"So, what the hell happened?" I asked the discharging nurse.
He said, "we'll probably never know for sure but I'm thinking it was vasovagal syncope."
Here it is as defined by Google (and because I'd never heard of it before, I couldn't possibly explain it any better):
Vasovagal syncope (vay-zoh-VAY-gul SING-kuh-pee) occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. It may also be called neurocardiogenic syncope. The vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly.
According to the nurse, triggers include dehydration and 'pushing' when going to the bathroom, so at least this was a partial explanation for the passing out.
I don't know if I believe this diagnosis completely - telling me my body is overreacting? What's that supposed to mean? I'M overreacting? I don't currently have diarrhea anymore - so, why do I STILL feel like I am going to pass out every time I stand, walk around? The sweating? It was still happening earlier today. I dunno if it's because I've only just now started to eat more food and am rehydrating, but ugh. I'm just not sure they found ANYTHING to explain what happened. Not one nurse or doctor checked my eyes, my head, or my chin where there's clearly bruises visible, now. From what I understand, a CT scan does not show a concussion. I just feel that yes, they checked the important things, but there were things seemingly more of a focus that they didn't check...and then when they didn't see any reason to keep me there, they discharged me. And, so, on the concussion, I don't have a definite answer - only suspicion. They did give me anti-nausea pills that I'm instructed to take 30 minutes prior to eating - as explained, these would block the nausea signal from the brain to the stomach, and I'll be able to keep food down. They told me to take it easy and slow, which isn't too much a challenge for me when I'm feeling normal.
I just took my papers and prescriptions and thanked them and was glad to go home. After being there for several hours and getting the "you're good, everything's fine," I didn't want to sit there any longer. I wanted that godawful IV out of my arm and I wanted to take one of two percocets they gave me and crash.....and that's exactly what I did. I slept HARD last night.
But....I'm okay. I've been home a little less than 24 hours at this point and actually feel a LOT better. I've got some food in me, and I've got a lot more energy than I've had all last week. Thinking tomorrow is going to be a 'catch up' day and I will be focusing on the schoolwork I've missed and on upcoming assignments.
As this has been a late night for me, I'm thinking tomorrow I'll need some serious caffeine.
Anyone up for a cup of coffee? I promise, I've got different mugs. These are going all the way in the back of the cabinet! 😄