Monday 7 November 2022

There is only one reason why you do it

Last Saturday I was supposed to visit my mother at the hospital in Red Deer. I woke up early Saturday morning not feeling all that well. It might have been something I ate the night before. No matter, my sister was going to visit her that day so she would have some company.

Previously I bought a cheap cell phone, a very simple flip phone, added it to my account, and gave it to mom so she could contact people. On my last visit mom was convinced she was being transferred and insisted I take the cell phone back so she would not lose it and I could give it back to her when got settled in to her new spot. She still has not been transferred.

An explanation. She is supposed to go back to Drayton Valley Hospital. The Drayton Valley Hospital is not accepting patients. Red Deer is experiencing a bed shortage. Mom is not an emergency case. She is supposed to go back to Drayton Valley but may be transferred to a hospital that has an available bed. The system works albeit imperfectly.

This being Alberta we just had to experience a snowstorm. My sister got about halfway to Red Deer and called it quits and headed back home. She called the hospital and left word that she would not be able to make it. I certainly did not feel well enough to make the trip, especially in a snowstorm. Mom apparently was upset no one was coming to see her.

Sunday I was marginally better. I pulled myself together. Got in my SUV and drove in the aftermath of a snowstorm. Got to see mom, gave her a bag of mini Kit-Kats and a book and gave her the cell phone back and told her to keep it. If the cell phone gets lost I can buy another one. I am reasonably sure she was happy to see me. Or maybe it was the chocolate she was excited about. It was a short visit. I really was not feeling all that great and apologized for not staying longer. I had not eaten all weekend and when I got home I went to bed. 

So why does one drive over an hour in the cold after a snowstorm when you feel like garbage? You do it for your mom.


  1. That's right. It's payback for all those times she changed your diaper, toilet trained you and cleaned up barf. Plus what you no doubt put her through as a teenager. LOL!

  2. Fellow Albertan here (again) with another suggestion. You might consider getting your mum into Seasons Retirement in DV for a month or 2 of 'respite care'. Depending on availability, level of care available, your (or your mum's) state of finances, possibility of rehab (might have to find and pay for therapist yourself but such expense should be a valid medical expense for income tax purposes). I looked into something for my brother after he had surgery. He didn't do it, preferring to 'tough it out' at home which was a bad idea, as it turns out. He didn't recover on his own very well and had a stroke within a year. If I had known of these options for my own mum, I would have tried them.

    1. Already trying to navigate the bureaucracy on this. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. You are a good son and an example to the rest of us.

  4. Nice of you to make the trip. Also the roads in Red Deer are the worst...still, after all that snow.

  5. Yes, you do it for your Mom because you know she looked after you when you were small, no matter how she felt.
    Fighting with the system isn't easy and I know it's gotten even harder since we went through it with my mom.