Thursday, August 17, 2006

Parental Protection Rights

I love my parents. I really do. But one of these days I will smack them both upside the head with something hard.

They have a bad habit of not telling me when something medical is happening with my dad. He has high blood pressure and a history of clogged arteries in and around his heart. Two angioplasties (I'm too lazy to look up the proper spelling) in the past seven years, plus a handful of operations to relieve numbness in his leg. Nine times out of ten, I find out about these surgeries AFTER they have taken place. I hated it when I was in college, and I hate it now.

I've lived on my own (as on my own as I can be with a roomie and two cats) for the last three and a half years. I'm twenty-six years old. I'm not a child, and I don't want them to continue to protect me from my dad's medical problems. They've worried about me my entire life. I think I have earned the right to worry about them once in a while.

I called my dad last Friday night to tell him I'd be visiting for two days. Here's the conversation...

Dad: When will you be here?
Me: I'll drive in Sunday morning, and leave early Tuesday, because I have to work that night.
Dad: I--hold on.....{muffled sounds, speaking to my mom}...going {more muttering and mumbling} Okay, never mind.
Me: What about the hospital?
Dad: Oh, she heard me. I'm going in Wednesday for some test.
Me: For the thing that was wrong with your foot?
Dad: No, I've just been having some backpain.

Okay, so I accepted that. Sunday night, it's dinner with the 'rents, plus my older sister. She hadn't a clue about the hospital tests until I told her, so we both attacked after dinner was over.

Turns out that the backpain is a lump, situated between his kidney, liver and pancreas. The Docs are doing a biopsy on Wednesday (TESTS???? Gee, thanks for downplaying it, Dad). So far blood tests are normal, and he doesn't have any other symptoms, so the Docs are pretty sure it's not malignant.

So I throw the whammy question: If I hadn't overheard you on the phone the other night, when would you have told us about this biopsy? The day after, or when you got the results back?

Mom and Dad share a look. "When we got the results back."

I almost threw my corncob at his head. I know they want to protect us, but I want to know these things! I don't want to find out that not only did he have the biopsy without telling us, but that it's cancer (but pray it's not). I've told them, but it never sinks in. Ever since, I have had two lines from The Patriot stuck in my head.

Heath Ledger: I'm not a child!
Mel Gibson: You're my child!

But Mom called last night, and the biopsy went well. Dad will be home tonight or tomorrow, I think. Now it's just waiting until his appointment next Thursday....

And now to end this rant on the immortal words of Inego Montoya: I hate waiting.


Dama Negra said...

That must come in somewhere in the parents manual, becuase mine are the exact same way. Sometimes, I've learned about the bad medical problems up to weeks after they happened.

"Oh yeah, your father had to go to the hospital three weeks ago but everything's fine now."

"Ah, that's right. I forgot to mention, there's this small tumor-like thingies inside me, but nothing to worry about. I already took a gazillion tests and will go to surgery in a week."

Makes me want to kill them too.

Kelly Meding/Kelly Meade said...

Thanks, Dama. No matter our age, I suppose we'll always be "children" to our parents.