Cry Wolf

I’m still sick, but not as sick as my mom. 

Remember Aesop’s fable “Crying Wolf”? It’s about a little boy whose father sent him out to guard the sheep. Well, the first night, the little boy thought he saw and heard a wolf in the bushes. He started to cry “Wolf! Wolf!” All the villagers ran to save him. No wolf. The second night, again thinking a wolf was in the bushes, he started yelling “Wolf! Wolf!” Again the villagers came to help him and again no wolf. On the third night, there was a wolf when the little boy started to yell; no one came to his aid and, you guessed it, the wolf ate him. 

My mom is always crying wolf. She will complain, cry, and describe horrible pains, but won’t go to the doctor’s. In the past, when I have gotten her to go, just minutes before we see the doctor, a little angel on the car headrest would tap her on her shoulder with a magical wand and make her well. 

This time seemed no different. For three days she has complained her back and under her ribs hurt. I told her we can go the doctor’s, urgent care, or call the paramedics; she would say there’s nothing the doctor can do, it’s only arthritis and she just wants to be left alone. For three days this went on. 

On the fourth day, she got up at 11am to get her Ensure, but went back to bed. It was now 2:45pm. I had enough.

“Mom, the day is almost gone. I’m going to pick up Mac at preschool. When I get home in twenty minutes you will be going to the doctor’s.”
“I’m not sick, I just don’t want to get up. I’m cold and the electric blanket is sooo warm.”
“I’ll put a warming blanket on your chair, but you need to get up.”

I returned home at 3:15pm. Mom was up and getting ready for her shower.

Mom, how are you feeling?”
“Fine.”
“Does your back or ribs hurt?”
“No, not since yesterday, so we don’t have to go to the doctor’s.”
“Mom, for the last three days you have complained so much about your back and ribs I thought I was going to have to call the paramedics. Now that I’m going to make you go to the doctor’s, the pain is gone?”
“Complaining makes me feel better?”
“Well, it doesn’t make me feel better. You always cry wolf. One day you’re going to be really sick and no one is going to believe you.”

She went into the bathroom. Mac and I settled in the den to watch Haunted Mansion for the zillionth time. Mom walks into the dining room with only a towel around her.

“Nancy, what’s on my back?”
“I don’t know, it looks like your back is all scratched.”
“OMG, SHINGLES!” (She has had shingles years ago).

From the middle part of her back to under her breast, shingles. It was too late in the day to get a same day doctor’s appointment and I didn’t want to take her as a walk-in, so I made an appointment for the next day at ten. 

My mother has a bad case of shingles. She’s telling the doctor she’s not sure why she’s there. No pain, just a blistery rash. He talks to her about the pain and on a scale of one to ten, she said she’s at a four. He then asked her if she needed any pain medication, her answer was no. So he prescribed Acyclovir, which will help her heal faster and will relieve some pain. It has to be taken five times a day for seven days. 

It’s been three days. I know she’s already feeling better. I changed her nightgown, no pain. And left her eating a Drumstick. 

Everything was fine until fifteen minutes later when Dana, Chris, and Mac came over. They pulled up and saw mom at the window moving the blinds to see who just arrived. It was less than five minutes for Dana to check on my mom. She opens the door and my mom was (pretending to be) in a sound sleep. We (pretended to) wake her and I told her I wanted to show Dana what shingles looked like. Oh, you should have heard her racked with pain. She could hardly move. (Remember cry wolf?)

I fell to my knees to look under the bed to fine the imposter who I had just dressed and left eating ice cream. 

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. 

Sixty two years ago my father proposed to my mother. She said yes and well the rest is history. 

I have been with my husband, The Saint, for forty years and he’s never forgotten an Anniversary or Valentine’s Day. My record is not so good. I forgot it was Valentine’s Day. I have been so busy with my mom, but it’s no excuse. Paul, you have always made me feel special. Whether you write me a love letter or love note, you always speak from your heart.

I know you know how much I LOVE YOU and today, February 15th I LOVE YOU one more day than yesterday.

Happy 16th Valentine’s Day, Chris and Dana.
Happy 4th Valentine’s Day, Paul and Muriel.

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1 Response to “Cry Wolf”


  1. 1 Muriel February 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I believe the fable is entitled, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, or The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf. Or, Grandma is a Shepherd Boy.

    And did you know that your son had no idea who Aesop was or what his fables were?!


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