This is my mom:
She’s 57. Last weekend she performed in a burlesque number with some of her favorite drag queens and kings.
At damned near 60, she has more of a social life than I do. Hell, she has more of a social life now than I did when I was a third of her age.
Case in point: right now she’s on her computer searching for female pimp costumes for an event she’s going to next month.
For the past 30 years on her birthday, she primly says, “This is the year when I’m finally going to start acting my age.”
Yeah, right. Her version of a rocking chair is a float at a Pride parade, and the only thing you’ll ever see her knit are her eyebrows right before she knocks your ass out with a sweeping roundhouse kick to the grill.
So for a woman who can sometimes be found spending her weekends road tripping on the back of someone’s Harley, it seems rather ridiculous that tomorrow she will be admitted to the hospital for major kidney surgery.
“Kidney surgery” sounds like such an elderly thing, and my Mommy Lady is anything but. Still, her battle with kidney stones has grown progressively more intense over the past 25ish years.
About a month ago, she had yet another lithotripsy to break a huge stone down into smaller, more passable bits. As seems to be the routine for her, a couple of small stones passed, a big one got lodged, and then several smaller ones lined up behind it. What this means for Mom is sweat popping, teeth gnashing PAIN.
A few days later, after downing gallons of water (in effort to flush the stones out) and lots of praying to sweet baby Jesus to JUST. GET. IT. OUT. ALREADY, the lead stone finally plopped out. Unobstructed, several smaller stones clinked out within the following week.
She has to keep her stones in case the doctor wants to run tests on them to check their composition. She affectionately gave the lead stone a moniker of cartoon nemesis proportions:
You’d think that pissing a toilet full of rocks would have solved the overall problem. Not so. What you see above is only part of the original stone. The bigger chunk seemed to be unfazed by the lithotripsy. That sucker (and his backup posse) is still claiming turf Mom’s kidney, like, “What now, pimpin’? Come at me, bro.”
The doctor said, “Bet. Meet me in the OR. December 19. 9 AM. Bitch.” He’s going in to manually remove the stones. That means sharp things and glinty steel and a long recovery.
Today I made the three-hour drive south to Florida to be with Mom while she’s in the hospital, and I’ll stay until Saturday. This should prove to be interesting, because anesthesia and heavy drugs are known to have humorous effects on her. More than 20 years ago after a procedure on her thyroid gland which required a serial killer-like incision across her neck, she woke up she asked if her head was going to roll off. She kept holding the sides of her face like she was afraid it might. A few years ago after one of her first few lithotripsies, she woke up and asked if she was still blue.
“Blue?” my sister, who was with her, asked.
“Yesssh, bluuuuee. Like my Avataaaarrrrrr.”
I, Kymberli, do hereby solemnly swear to record anything worthy of post-surgery after-the-fact laughter. That’s what any good daughter would do when her mom is in the hospital with tubes snaking out of her back.
Prayers and good thoughts are welcome.