Pining for the Fjords–the Update

More Notes from the Eldercare Underground:

So the Battle of the Poinsettia (not to be confused with The War of the Roses, although this one lasted almost as long) died down some in the last couple of days. 

You’ll recall that my mother informed me she had hidden the “poinsettia that has ceased to be,” and we left it at that.

This afternoon I took her to her oncologist’s office for her three month lab work and visit with the doctor.  She has been treated for almost fifteen years for a blood disorder of the bone marrow that causes it to manufacture too many platelets. 

She’s very lucky in that she can take medication for it at home and not have to undergo chemotherapy in the office like so many other cancer patients.  The downside is that after about fifteen years the bone marrow gets pooped from being suppressed for so long and it starts to cut back on all the blood components, resulting in both anemia and low white cell counts. 

After her last visit, where she seemed headed in that direction, the doctor reduced the amount of her medication in the hope that her blood count would start back up to where it should be.  It seems to be working because she got a good report this time and her doctor recommended cutting back even further to where she only has to have the medication Monday through Friday, instead of every day.

While we were waiting for the doctor, I commented that her birthday was coming up next week.  She said “How old am I going to be–101 or 102?” 

I told her “Not so fast—you’re only going to be 92.  You’re well on your way to 100, but you haven’t hit it quite yet!”

She said she feels better now than she did when she had kids. 

So all of you folks out there with children, you have something to look forward to when you reach the age of 92.

The doctor said his good-byes and directed us out to the front desk where Sandy, the office manager, went about setting up my mother’s next three month appointment.

There was a planter pot sitting in the window across from her desk.  It had one bright orange Gerbera daisy flower (on just a stem with no leaves) poking up out of the dirt.  I could see right off it was a fake, but my mother remarked on how pretty it was and asked if it was real.

Sandy ruefully said no, and went on to explain that there was a real plant she was trying to coax back to life in the pot and the daisy was just in there as kind of a place holder until that happened.

I peered into the pot and saw, behind the bright and cheerful daisy, a short grayish stump attached to a sullen looking tuber protruding from the bare dirt. 

I don’t know what kind of plant it was supposed to be, but I had to stifle a chuckle because it so reminded me of the poinsettia that was “no more.” 

An “ex-plant,” to borrow another phrase from John Cleese.

I’m thinking that if I can find my mother’s hidden poinsettia, maybe I’ll slip it some of her medication. 

Who knows?  Couldn’t hurt.


18 thoughts on “Pining for the Fjords–the Update

  1. I just discovered your blog a few days ago and I am hooked…..perhaps because your adventures with your mother are so similar to mine. My mother is clearly precocious because she is pulling all that passive/agressive shit on me and she is only 82! Oh, and we have a saint in our family, too. My only brother, the first born, who can do no wrong.

    More later. I love your writing.


    • Thanks so much, Sara! It’s always good to hear from a fellow comrade in arms. The stuff my mother does is pretty much the same that she’s done my entire life, just condensed and unfiltered by any self-censoring mechanism. (As if she ever had one!)

      Thanks for stopping by—y’all come back!


      • Oh, I forgot to mention that my mother has a pot on the kitchen counter with the dead stumps of a begonia plant that she will not part with….. maybe we are related through our mothers?


    • I thought of that, but if I gave it to my mother, something will be wrong with it. Now, if it comes from my brother….well! It truly would be a miracle.

      As for Sandy, she’s a pretty busy lady so the lone faux Gerbera daisy is probably okay with her right now. She did have a philodendron that had one long runner growing up the window casing, though.


  2. I love your mom, with all her eccentricities! She’s lively, she’s a character. I want more of these types of posts – they’re treasures! I also want to know when you find the missing poinsettia. If she’s hiding it somewhere in a dark place, it will be a pot of dirt.


    • Yesterday when we came home from the doctor’s, I was trying to surreptitiously peer through the window in her dining room that looks out on the sun porch to see if I could catch a glimpse of the poinsettia. My mother came in just then and asked me if that’s what I was looking for. I told her I was looking to see if I needed to bundle up her newspapers (which isn’t completely a lie since I was doing that too.)

      The poinsettia already is a pot of dirt, so months in solitary confinement won’t make much difference either way! 🙂


      • Gawd, that’s hilarious! I sure would purchase and read your book on adventures with momma! So, do it, girl! You’re hilarious and I love your writing!


  3. i, too, have poinsettas that used to be… three stems in the pot, two are deader than stumps, but the third is LOVELY! so i shall try my hand at cutting out the dead, and planting some fake ones in there – perhaps to inspire the remaining live stem to BLOOM! whee!


  4. Are you sure your mother isn’t “working” you in hopes you will search for the plant because she’s forgotten where she hid it?

    If not – won’t be surprised to hear it’s ended up at the Dr’s office to replace the plastic Gerbera.


    • Well, that’s certainly a possibility. Most of the time when she’s misplaced something she’ll automatically accuse my husband, even when he hasn’t been over to her house. Around our house he’s acquired the nickname of “Satan.” You know, the Devil did it. 🙂


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