Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bumps in the road

One of my favorite movie lines is from The Big Chill.

"Nobody ever said life was supposed to be fun, at least they never said it to me." Richard from The Big Chill.

Mom has been ill since just after Thanksgiving and the ups and down have been waaayyyy big. She had an allergic reaction to some medication and its been getting worse since then. Her breathing has become more labored and she gets out of breath walking from the living room to the kitchen which is about 15 steps.

Last week she had her chest xrayed and the results aren't good. She could have emphysema or a host of other issues. The interesting thing here is that my mother never smoked, not even a single drag. If it does turn out that this is what she has, then Mom is a victim of second hand smoke.

My grandfather was a heavy smoker and he did smoke around her. He also took her to smoky bars when my grandmother was working. Yes, he was a sorry bastard and he died of emphysema and alcoholism.

My father was a smoker though he smoked pipes most of his life. After he became ill with multiple sclerosis he switched to cigarettes for the last fifteen years of his life. Consequently, I was subjected to second-hand smoke. I smoked for a short while then gave it up. It's just plain smelly. :)

Mom said that when she was in the car with her father she sat in back and all his smoke would hit her in the face. He did this even knowing that as a child, she already had a lung issue called Beck's Disease. BD is rare now and it is called Sarcoidosis - it alone can cause shortness of breath when she has a flare up.

So for those of you who smoke around your kids or others who don't smoke, what are you thinking? Do you want your loved ones to pay the price for your smoking sixty some years later, too?

I'm not one to preach, but I can't help being pissed off that a man who was a lousy father (for many more reasons than the smoking) and a rotten human being is still wrecking havoc with the last remaining members of his family.

Mom goes in Tuesday for a CAT scan. The doctors want to diagnose what is actually going on with her and get her started on some kind of treatment. Please keep her in your thoughts, she's all I have left.