Thursday, November 12, 2009

What would you say?

I do love my mother. Really I do. She was the first feminist I knew. Always told me to stand up for myself, never to depend on anyone etc. I just don't really like my mother. She is selfish, unforgiving and unempathetic. She can only see things through her lens and I don't know if I should just give up on her, or keep trying to see things from other perspectives.

Or maybe I get upset for no reason.

Imagine, if you will, an isosceles triangle. A three sided shape, with all points an equal distant from one another. Now imagine that my parents, myself and my inlaws all live on one of the points, all of which are a 45 minutes from each other.

The other night I was supposed to go with Mr.SM to my parents house for dinner. I was under the impression it was just my siblings and I going.

Mr. SM's grandfather has been in the hospital for X number of days due to illness P a consequence of event B. Mr.SM had recently gone to see his grandfather and we were under the impression that everything was OK. Illness P was mild and expected, grandpapa should be going home shortly. The day of the dinner, Mr.SM received a call from his dad, whose was worried because according to him, grandpa had taken a turn for the worse . My FIL did not understand what the doctors were doing and was confused as to why the family doctor wasn't going to the hospital. Mr.SM told me what the symptoms were that led my FIL to believe that Grandpa was getting worse. With the limited information I had, I couldn't determine whether it was serious or not.

Words can not describe what Grandpa means to my husband and his brothers. This man raised them, taught them about compassion, forgiveness, charity, love, respect. Every good trait that my husband has, can be traced back to the influence of his grandfather.

One look at my husband after that phone call and I knew I had to go to the hospital, located at the other point on triangle. I refused to leave the hospital until I spoke to specialist that had been called, as the nurses could not/were not able to answer any of my questions. It took >3 hours for the dr to arrive. 1.5 hours in and my husband thought I was being pig headed. I probably was. To be fair his grandfather was looking a lot better, but I was getting all sorts of different assessments from the family. No one could answer basic questions about his treatment, I wanted to know what was really going onMr. SM worried about whether my parents would be upset about missing dinner, he thought we should just leave as the dr wasn't coming and it wasn't worth upsetting my parents. I. Did. Not. Care. This was his grandfather. The most important person in his life until he met me.

I spoke to the specialist, I got the answers. Grandpa has some complications due to illness P caused be event B. The turn for the worse was most likely due to a blood clot as he has been sedentary in the hospital bead. The Dr. is putting Grandpa on blood thinner and thinks as long as they are able to keep complications to a mininum, there is a good probability that they can, Grandpapa will be OK. It will take time. He will be in the hospital for awhile, but he should be OK. Mr.SM came to pick me up after I had spent >3 hours at the hospital, then we went to his parents house, gathered to the family and gave the laymans summary. I answered all their questions and the look of relief on everyones's face at understanding what was happening was evident. We were all very happy and relieved to know this was not the beginning of the end, as was feared. At the end of this, I was tired and did not feel like driving to the other point on the triangle. I just wanted to go home.

I should point out that only Mr.SM and one of his brothers have a post-secondary education. No one is familar with anything medical related. I am the only in that family who would know, for example, that cold feet could indicate a circulatory issue, therefore lets confirm the other treatments are not going to adversely affect our grandfathers blood pressure. The rest of the family would just listen to the Dr and would not be able to connect the dots to ask the follow-up questions. The would not be aware of the alternative procedures to ask about the pro/cons of the treatment route being taken. The only reason I can, is because I have studied physiology for so long. It is the same in my family (the difference being my inlaws recognize and respect me for this ability).

I had called my brother prior to leaving the hospital to say I'm going to straight home. This morning my mother called "to ask about my grandfather". Right after she asked about him, her next question was to ask when I got home. She then commented "We did not start eating until after time X, had you called after you left the hospital you would've known to come over"

Now I don't know about you, but since she knows how much my husbands grandfather means to him, maybe she would ask how he was doing. Or perhaps she would think I am TIRED after being at the hospital. She knew that I was at the hospital as I had texted both siblings to say I was going to be late. She knew I was waiting to speak to a specialist, which is why she called this morning. All she cared about was that I missed her fucking ass dinner. If I was being so fucking ass stubborn as to NOT leave the hospital until I spoke to someone, that would be a pretty high indication that I am concerned about something???

I don't really care anymore. I care that I know Grandpa is going to be OK. I care that my husband is able to be relaxed and isn't freaking out that his grandfather might die. Mr. SM was so happy that I was pig-headed and stayed. Annoyed as he was at the time, he was grateful for knowing what was really going on. If my mom doesn't understand that, its her loss.


Mrs. Spit said...

I'm sorry. Negotiating between the inlaws and your family is always a challenge. You totally did the right thing, and I'm sorry you got punished for it.

nontrad undergrad said...

oh, our mothers. all we can do is hope that we don't become them when our children are grown.

Maggie May said...

I really, really get it.

Mimi said...

I'm with you on this, too. I really understand. You are NOT alone.

The bean-mom said...

Mr. SM is very very lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

Also, there is a certain dynamic that no one can really explain. Sometimes we feel closer connection to people with whom we share no blood than to our own biological relations, and maybe there is a little jealousy on your mom's part about you showering all this attention on your grandfather-in-law.

momphdstudent said...

Have experienced bouts of this. I just wish we(parents, inlaws, neighbours,friends and ourselves included) didnt complicate things unnecessarily. I sometimes feel relationships can get very conditional. In the mood that I currently am in, I feel like wailing!

ScientistMother said...

Mrs.Spit - yeah negotiating btwn them is hard. Especially since I don't think I should have to.

NontradUG - welcome to the blog! Sometimes I see myself becoming her, all I can do is try not too.

MM - thanks for getting it.

Mimi - thanks for understanding

Bean-mom - he is lucky isn't he? I tell him that on a regular basis :)

Anon1 - my mom is totally jealous of my inlaws, my friends. Anyone she perceives as taking me away from her.

MomPhD - Yes, relationship totally get conditional. But not with my friends. I think it is with my family because they just don't get me or the life choices I've made.

Anonymous said...

I get your point completely. I often have lived through similar scenarios myself... And a math-pedantic note: you probably meant an equilateral triangle, not just an isosceles one.


Samia said...

It's really weird to consider that our parents (of all people) can get jealous of other people in our lives. *big hugs* Here's hoping Mr. SM's grandfather is good as new in no time at all. <3

microbiologist xx said...

I've experienced some similar issues with family and I feel your pain. Eventually, I just decided FUCK IT. I am an adult, I am going to do what I think is right and if people don't like it then that is their problem. I am not going to feed into it and I am not going to make it worse. If they want to waste time and energy getting upset over things that aren't important, then that is their choice. I don't have to spend my time and energy that way. This works for me most of the time, but unfortunately, I still get upset from time to time and it's taken me years to get to this point. Hang in there lady, you'll find a way to balance.