Friday, March 6, 2009


As reported by Dad and confirmed by Mom, there was an emergency the other day at the house. It started the other evening when my aunt was visiting them and spent the night. My aunt sometimes has a difficult time getting to bed, and repeatedly asked Mom for snacks, warm milk and other comforts before going to sleep. Mom generously complied with these requests, but fulfilling them caused her to retire at a later hour than is usual for her. This was the genesis of the crisis.

The next morning, Dad was in the kitchen preparing the morning coffee when he heard a scream. The piercing sound barely had time to register when Mom came running from the master bedroom.

"Get dressed!" she shouted, "It's an emergency!"

Dad didn't know quite how to respond to this, but did manage to ask calmly the nature of the emergency.

"You've got to go to the drug store right now and get me some special cream. My face is gone! Look at it, I may never get it back! My eyes are all puffy, I look terrible, and it's all her fault, keeping me up so late, I need my rest. Oh, I've lost my face and I'll never get it back!"

Thankfully, after applying the cream Dad had made a run to the store to purchase, and after also taking a good long nap, Mom got her face back.


  1. I can't tell you how many times patients have told me "I cut my finger off!", only to learn they had sliced off a bit of the tip, usually distal to the nail.

    Oh, the drama!

  2. As my mom has gotten older her obsession with her looks has become more intense, so unfortunately, when I wrote this I didn't exaggerate at all.

    I once sliced off the tip of my left index finger in a cooking class while preparing stuffed pork chops. People reacted as if I'd severed my entire hand, and after much hysterics, I was sent to the nurse on duty by means of golf cart.

    Another incident occurred when I tripped on a curb at a friends place while holding two grocery bags, one in each hand. I fell headfirst and my nose landed against a wall. Sure, there was a quite a bit of blood, but then, when you hit your nose, that's what happens. Nevertheless, before I knew it was happening, one of them called 911 and in a few minutes sirens approached, and moments later an ambulance and fire truck were on the scene. I would have been quite happy to go to the nearby urgent care clinic, but the paramedics were already putting me on a stretcher and off we went to the hospital emergency room, where, after taking my blood pressure, and allowing me to wash my face, I sat in the waiting room for several hours before finally leaving in disgust. My nose had not even been broken, and the only damage was a small laceration that healed with a nearly invisible scar.

    From the screaming and wailing of my friend, her daughter and their guests at the scene of the accident, however, a bystander would have assumed my injuries were life threatening.


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