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July 14, 2008 7:49 AM

okay... not gas, wind, gas... but blood gases.

i got a phone call at 730am --- now, usually when someone calls me at 7:30am, it's my dad being a goofball trying to wake me up (in fact he did so last friday)

so, i, being of tired mind and body, answer the phone in my most silly chipper, seinfeld-y stomach voice...


and it's my mother's doctor on the other end.

*hesitant pause* "hello? Erin? this is Doctor *name withheld at the moment*"

so i was all eddie haskell and "hello doctor! how are you?" and feeling like an arse.

anyway... so, as it turns out, --- wait, let me back up to say that this doctor called me once before, during february, but at a reasonable hour and basically to return my call about sending gigglemom to rehab.

anyway... as i was saying, she called me (first time without prodding that a doc has done that) --- she said her ABGs were - let's see, what was the exact quote?

"Your mothers ABGs are very, very, VERY abnormal. I have never seen ABGs this abnormal in quite some time. She is basically filled with Carbon Dioxide."

**Giggle Glossary**

ABGs are Arterial Blood Gases. CLICK HERE for more.

hey!!! guess what Carbon Dioxide is found in!!!!?

WOO HOO!!! If you said "Cigarettes", you're a winner! (Here's a list of the delightful combo of death.)

Okay... so THAT wasn't all the good doctor had to say.

First I asked how long they may keep her. She didn't know. They're still running some tests and she called GM's pulmonary group, so they'll be coming in to tackle her to the ground and slap a nicotine patch on her mouth.

But she DID say:

"Basically her lungs are at 'end stage'."


"This is end stage with exacerbated COPD"

now, dearest friends and readers, i hope i do not come across as sounding cold and callous... it's not intended to be as such... but, i've been ready for this for a while. there's a difference between being "ready" and "looking forward to". I've only been "ready"

I mean, come on, she's been effing smoking her heart out...

wait... and her lungs.

the doc also said:

"The lungs are supposed to expand like a nice elastic balloon. Very easily. Your mother's lungs are like iron and do not expand at all. They are very tight"

When/If gigglemom comes home, that's it. I don't give a flying fark if she beats the hell out of me with her pink floral cane, she's not getting any effing cigarettes.

She is DONE.
I am DONE.

That's it.

So after hearing this news, I just called my dad's and my stepmom answered (she's a woman of 60 years who was a smoker and has had half her lung removed. she no longer smokes. my dad does.)

so she and i were talking and commiserating about the frigging crapola addiction to these things and she said "I'm going to put your father on... tell him about what the doctor said. he needs to stop this too"

Because, Dad has COPD as well... we found this out last summer before his hip surgery.

It's a horrible addiction.

I understand that it's harder to quit smoking than it is to quit heroin (I've tried to shoot gigglemom up with The Horse, but, was sick of going into Asbury Park to get the goods.... *** that. was. a. joke. whattaya want at frigging 7:45am after hearing that gigglemom is effing end stage? It's not gonna be HBO Special Material.***

anyway... as I was saying, I've been prepared to hear this for a while... hell, i thought that she was gonna be gone with the wind back in February.

So, the doctor said that she is putting gigglemom on "major steroids".

FANTASTIC. so... gigglemom - when she is released - will be sans cigarettes, going through withdrawals, and now having MAJOR 'Roid Rage

I am more afraid of THAT than death (if you don't mind me saying. seriously, even though the woman can barely shuffle hither and tither, she's pretty quick at the draw... and even though she has a teeny amount of oxygen still left in her solid oak lungs, she can bellow like a fishmonger.)

Anyway... I'll be heading over there around noon. Gotta do some work, then supposed to see TB™ tonight (hey, visiting hours are over at 8 for GM, and I still need to live my life, right? I've -- and gigglemom -- have gone through this many times throughout the years. Not to sound nonchalant, but, having her in the hospital is old hat. I'll be there throughout the day... probably at noon, probably go again around dinner time.)

that said, i've written a book... i've gotta clean the GiggleChateau... (nothing giggly about this hovel at the moment... yeah. it got worse after GM returned in March. at least I can try to make some headway in here while she's recuperating.)



Welcome to the YapFest (15 yapped)

Milissa yapped on July 14, 2008 8:54 AM

Erin, anyone who has ever been in a situation remotely similar to yours will totally understand the dark humor. At some point, you sort of get past the anger and tears (although not completely, true), and the one thing you have left to count on is humor. Anyone who would accuse you of being cold or nonchalant is clueless. All the best to you and yours.

furiousball yapped on July 14, 2008 9:30 AM

that sense of humor is good for you. good thoughts to you amiga

Stacy yapped on July 14, 2008 10:48 AM

People who smoke dont want to hear it, they think things like this will never happen to THEM...I quit 2 years ago after probably 10yrs of smoking and am scared to death that I have done damage that will cause something like this in the future...
PS....even thru all of this you managed to make me laugh and that is what you have to hold on to :)

SusanB yapped on July 14, 2008 6:12 PM

You know at this point in time.....it's too late for her to quit, I am sorry to say. Probably would do more damage trying to make her. I have heard that when people are past the point of no return, quitting can cause more problems...but I have no scientific proof. Just passing that info. onto you, it's just what I have heard. I am so sorry to hear this, but like you said you have been prepared for it though one can never really be prepared. {{hugs}} Laughter is the best medicine and for all that you have gone through not only emotionally, but physically as well you need to laugh and enjoy your life. I myself smoke the damn monkey on my back and wish I could quit and have tried unsuccessfully and I do have the chantix already purchased waiting for me to take when I am ready to. Ahem....even though I know all the facts and can feel the effects....still I smoke. Sigh. It will be up to your mom to quit, you can't make her and probably trying to do so would cause such a rift between the two of you. I feel for you. Good luck with the TB guy we all need something good in our lives going on.

Kim yapped on July 14, 2008 9:07 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's condition. I lost my dad back in December to COPD....and I have to warn you, even though you think you're ready for "the end"...you're never truly ready for it...it still hits hard.

As for the dark humor, I think we all do that when we're in those kinds of situations. I know that's what got me through the toughest days. My prayers are with you and your family--I hope that GM can go home and enjoy whatever time she has left.

I also might suggest looking at Hospice (they helped us a ton!) when the doctor says it may be the right time for it. Good luck and God Bless,


Michelle13 yapped on July 14, 2008 11:03 PM

I don't know what to say except you and GM are in my thoughts and prayers.

Susan yapped on July 14, 2008 11:18 PM

You are in my thoughts. Give GM a hug for me. When we make terrible jokes - it's our only way to deal with the shock. We are never ready, no matter how much we say we are. {{HUGS}}

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