Medical Update with Mom


By Cindy Argiento

Conversations with friends and family have changed as I’ve gotten older. It seems all my conversations now include a medical update. The following is a typical conversation with my mother.

Me: Hi, Mom.

Mom: Who is this?

Me: It’s me, Cindy, your daughter.

Mom: Oh, Cindy, you’ll have to speak up, I can’t hear you.

Me: It sounds like you got a party going on. Do you have company?

Mom: No. it’s the television. I keep it loud so I can hear it. Hold on while I lower it… ok, I’m back.

Me: That’s better. Have you worn the perfume I sent you?

Mom: No, not yet, my knee’s been acting up so I put BenGay on it and wouldn’t have been able to smell the perfume. Last night I was a mix of BenGay and Vicks Vapor Rub when I got in bed. Oh, Uncle Tony just had emergency hip surgery.

Me: Oh, no. What happened?

Mom: He was walking to his car to go for the physical therapy he gets for his shoulder on account of the car accident when he slipped and fell. Turns out he needed a new hip. Now the therapist comes to the house. He’s so happy he no longer has to make the drive; the lucky bastard.

Me: I remember after my surgery they told me I needed to eat something before I could go home. They gave me saltine crackers. I was just diagnosed with high blood pressure and they give me salted crackers.

Mom: Did they give you any medications?

Me: Yes.

Mom: How many you on now?

Me: Three.

Mom: Three? Ha! That’s nothing. I’m on eight. A rare side effect of the new medicine my doctor just prescribed is death. Death! Can you believe it? The information packet advised me to contact my doctor in case of a rare side effect. I would think death’s a rare side effect, wouldn’t you?

Me: I most certainly would.

Mom: Well, how can I call my doctor if I’m dead? Death is permanent, not temporary; unless it’s a soap opera. On soap operas people come back from the dead all the time.

Me: True. There’s no coming back from death. Death is a nail in the coffin.

Mom: Coffin?! I don’t want to be buried. I hate coffins. I want to be cremated. Remember that in case I drop dead from this medicine meant to help me. Can’t believe I’m on another drug. When you’re young they tell you “Don’t take drugs.” When you’re old they tell you, “Take drugs.”

Me: I’ll remember – cremation, no burial.

Mom: Have you and Ralph decided to be buried or cremated?

Me: Yes

Mom: And, what does he want?

Me: He said he’ll be dead and for me to surprise him.

Mom: I gotta go, time to take my pill.

Me: Ok. Bye. Talk soon.

Mom: Maybe, maybe not. Depends if I up and die from this pill before then. You know how I hate to complain.

And that concludes our medical update.

Cindy Argiento is a freelance writer. She is a public speaker for her book “Deal With Life’s Stress With ‘A Little Humor.’“
To contact her or to book her for your next event, go to


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