Thursday, November 4, 2010

ring around the heart valve.

I just got home from a place I have gotten intensely acclimated to- the intensive care unit. Only this time I was not the one with tubes coming out of every hole I was born with (and some I wasn't); my mama was there. Today my mom successfully made open heart surgery her bitch. Although she was a doped up and fell into snoring every few minutes of the half hour visiting allotment, she was still mama- which was all I needed to see. She  only said a few words, "I'm not dead."; "I'm thirsty."; "Beer."; and oddly enough, "How's Newman?" Yep. That's mom.

About a month ago, an unprecedented event occurred in the Jones house. Without it being a holiday, all six of us were gathered around the table to eat dinner where no one rushed away after stuffing their face, no one argued, no one was even overly curt. [Tangent: Despite being extremely tight, we all possess a tinge of abrasiveness in our genetics, so as with sandpaper- sometimes, we rub each other raw with too much interaction.] My brother, Mikey, whipped up some ridiculous stuffed flank steak and kabob situation, that he no doubt picked up from his new Armenian family. [Tangent: As you may know, my brother's fiance is Armenian, and I noticed today he has more and more of a choppy yet deliberately accented Armenian twang every time I talk to him. I wonder if Kristine will start talking fast and with a slight Southern mumble. I hope not] All was delightful, painfully delightful and going way too smoothly.

Towards the end of the meal, dad said that he had a little announcement to make. He had a couple beers in his belly so he seemed eerily lighthearted when he announced, "Your mom and I have decided to get a divorce." I looked at Chris. Chris looked at Kelly. Kelly looked at Mikey. We all looked at mom, whilst Mikey raised his hand to high five a confused-looking mom telling her, "It's about damn time." We all laughed that weird uneasy laugh that takes place when a doctor tells a corny joke or an old person says something laced with racism. My parents have been married for nearly 40 years, and it seemed like a weird time to hit the splits.
*My dad is going to get so pissed when he finds out I posted this picture, because I don't think he wants people to know he isn't serious all the time, but its my absolute favorite picture. 
This is my blog after all.
As all eyes looked to a clearly delirious father, who then began laughing his ridiculous North Carolina laugh and quickly rushed out the words, "No, I'm just kidding. But your mom is having open heart surgery next month." This bait and switch may seem like a terrible way to break news to your children, adult or otherwise, but it seemed very appropriate for my family. [Tangent: If you don't know them or haven't gotten the impression from my blogs or stories, the Joneses are dysfunctionally delicious. We are all fairly ridiculous and have a very weird sense of humor...I mean divorce is something most families totally joke about....right?] Although it took us aback to hear that this major thing was going to occur, and in less than 30 days,  it was not a completely out of the question. I have known mama had a fragile heart.

Several years ago she was diagnosed with a mitral valve defect, or what my mama bug always refers to as "a heart woosh." [Tangent: It basically means one side of the valve is lazy and isn't holding up its end of the bargain. As unfortunate as it is that her blood is not processing oxygen as needed, it sounds really neat through a stethoscope.] Her cardio woes are something I always forget about because she has downplayed it so much over the years,  as is her way, never feeling the need to make a fuss over herself. She got the news about the heart nip & tuck while I was still in the ICU from my body's summer practical joke, and didn't want to make it an issue , wanting to focus on getting me better. [Tangent: In fact, she told me later that while I was in medical rehab, Barbara Walters returned to The View after she had her heart surgery. She sat in my room and cried while I was in Physical Therapy.] If there is one thing mom has taught me it is to take one thing at a time and one day at a time.

As the 30 minute visiting time wound down today, I could not stop the tears from completely making my eyeglasses translucent [Tangent: They started rolling as soon as I saw the words "Cardio-Vascular Intensive Care" and saw my mom in a big aquarium-like room by herself.] I was so happy she was doing so well, but I was also sad that I couldn't stay with her, sleeping on an uncomfortable pullout and just hold her hand when she woke up all druggy every few hours having that momentary lapse of "what the hell happened" panic. So badly, I want to give her back what she has given me, because I don't make it a secret how completely enamored I am with my mother. Who wouldn't be? She's a badass. Who else has a ring through their heart valve? They completely stopped her heart for several minutes. That's pretty extreme. 


  1. I am so glad your mom is doing good!! :)

    Side note:none of your pics are visible on this blog, or is this a blogette because it is merely an entry into a larger blog, or is the larger blog a forum and this is a blog? I have so much to learn.

  2. Strike earlier comments, pictures now visible :p


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