I was recently on a week-long business trip. My schedule was booked solid with meetings both at my online business – Outdoorplay, Inc. – and with my QuietSpacing® clients. Just another week in the modern world … before the call came in …
Me (seeing it’s my mom on caller ID): Hi! How are you doing?
Mom: Not so good.
Me (sitting straight up because (a) this is never the response I get and (b) my father is 86): What’s going on?
Mom (sounding very discombobulated): They’re admitting your father to the hospital because they don’t know what’s wrong with him.
The remainder of the conversation covered the events that led up to my father’s admission to the hospital.
Turns out my father had gall stones and one had become embedded in his digestive tract causing an infection. This is a painful condition but not generally life threatening, unless you’re in your mid-80s.
Over the next 24 hours the doctors stabilized his condition and determined that removing his gall bladder via a minimally invasive procedure was the best course of action. Though not a complicated procedure, it is one requiring full anesthetic. Again, at 86 years of age nothing is simple.
Surgery was scheduled for the next day and Mom was still ping ponging around during every phone conversation I had with her.
Priorities Clarified; Time Management Easy
When your aging parents are in distress, your priorities become very clear quickly. My next steps were to clear my calendar of all meetings and activities. Next, I jumped on the phone with Alaska Airlines and Budget Rental Car and made arrangements to get down to them.
Twenty-four hours later I was with Mom at the hospital waiting for Father to be brought back from Recovery. The procedure had gone well. I stayed overnight talking with Mom about next steps and helping her get a firmer grip on her expanding role as the primary caregiver in their relationship.
The next morning we picked Father up and took him home. After getting him settled in his favorite chair and confirming with Mom that she was feeling “up to it,” I headed back to the airport and flew home. He continues to recover well and my Mom is feeling stronger every day about her new role.
Time management is easy once you’ve prioritized the things you need to get done. Focus on the prioritization process and stop wasting time by trying to manage it.