Archive for 2020|Yearly archive page

an edible thanksgiving

In Health and Wellness on April 28, 2020 at 6:57 am

In my defense, it wasn’t the first time my parents and I had done edibles together. It would, however, be the last.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love food, I love football, I love naps. My mom’s stuffing was something to write home about – every time she made it, she had to make me my own pan to take home and feast on for the next week or so. For years, we had spent it with my sister and brother-in-law, my niece and nephew, and eventually their spouses and children. Then, my sister and brother-in-law started going south for Thanksgiving, and my niece and nephew went to the homes of their spouses’ families. Starting in about 2016, Thanksgiving was just me, my parents, and our dogs.

Thanksgiving 2017 started out rough. I had loaded up the car with my dog and a special treat before discovering my battery was dead. On a holiday. I called my parents, who lived almost an hour away. As he had done may times before, Daddy came to my rescue with a new battery that we managed to install with a minimum of swearing, bickering, and injury. We were on the road and would barely miss any of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The special treat seemed like an even better idea after all that. One small candy that I ate half of, and gave a quarter to each of my adorable, elderly parents (at this point, they were in their late 70s/early 80s). I started the broth for the stuffing, Mom settled into her chair with both dogs on her lap, and Daddy got into his solitaire groove for the day. Daddy proclaimed that “he didn’t feel anything” but Mom got quiet.

“I don’t feel good,” she said. Oh dear. Okay. I’ve been here before. This is not, by any means, my first rodeo. Mom needed food, water, maybe some coffee. You’ll be fine, Mom, I said. Just relax and we’ll get you feeling better. I went into the other room.

When I came back out, what felt like 30 seconds later, they were gone. Their car was gone. The dogs were still there, looking at me expectantly, knowing something was going on but not sure how to react to my panic. I started calling their cell phones. No answer. Hours go by.

Finally, my phone rings. “Hi, Daddy! Where are you?!” I say, a little too loud. We’re at the emergency room, he replies.

Oh. Shit.

Mom felt like her heart was racing, and with a history of cardiovascular issues, when she told Daddy she wanted to go to the hospital, Daddy was going to take her to the hospital. He tells me that she felt like her heart was racing, so they are going to do some tests.

Oh. Shit.

I tell Daddy that I have a very important question, as he is distracted by my mom, the hospital, and his own brain. Daddy, I said, did you tell the nurses that Mom had edible marijuana prior to these symptoms. Of course not, he says. He whispers, “I don’t want us to get in trouble.”

I beg him to tell them immediately that she has had an edible and that it’s vital to their diagnosis. He assures me he will tell them and that he will call me back as soon as they talk to the doctor. An hour passes. Another hour. I call and text with no response. I’m ready to drive to the hospital when I finally hear from him. After inconclusive results from blood tests, a CT scan, and whatever else got billed over the course of those hours, they fear she has had a stroke.


Nope. I tell Daddy that it’s absolutely required that he tell them she had what I’m starting to realize was one hell of an edible. “I’m coming there. Do NOT do anything else or go anywhere until I get there” I say, turning off the oven (goodbye, turkey).

As I approach the hospital’s emergency room entrance, I see an ambulance pulling away. You know how sometimes you get a psychic feeling and just know that you’re right? I knew my mom was in that ambulance before the nurse in the ER told me she was, being brought to another hospital so she could get an MRI. They thought she might have had a stroke, she tells me. Yeah. I heard.

But where’s my father? Their car was outside. Did he go with her? No. Daddy had taken a tumble in the ER and attributed it to low blood sugar from his type II diabetes. They had set him up in a room and once they checked his blood sugar and found it normal, decided to run some tests of their own. Did my dad have dementia, they asked.

Oh. Shit.

Daddy didn’t have dementia. I found him in a little room, sitting in a chair next to the bed that had until recently held my mom. “Am I wearing a seat belt?” he said. No, Daddy. You’re not currently wearing a seat belt.

After nearly an hour of no one talking to us, finally a nurse comes in. I ask her if either of them had shared the incredibly important fact that they had each taken a marijuana edible. Her reaction indicates that they had not. Daddy adds that he takes it for medicinal purposes.

Another couple hours of waiting (an ER is not going to just release an elderly person who fell in front of the nurses’ desk without covering their ass), and we’re released at last, around 11:30PM. I tell Daddy that we are going to have to go get Mom in the morning at this point. He replies, “This will make a really great chapter in your book.”

Early on Black Friday, we show up at the hospital to which my mom was transferred. As we enter her room, they are doing an ultrasound. “Hi!” I say to the doctor, once again too loudly. “Has anyone told you that she had edible marijuana?” His reaction indicates that they had not.

The MRI is cancelled, and mom is discharged with paperwork about responsible cannabis use (the same paperwork my dad received the night before).

“I’m done with edibles,” Mom says. “Me too,” adds Daddy. This goes without saying. I’m a bit off my feed as well. The hospital bills get paid, eventually. The turkey is thrown away. We have an amended holiday dinner of stuffing and pie. And, with that, the chapter is closed. For now.