Monday, November 6, 2006

Pick me up at the ER

Not exactly a call any parent wants to hear.   On the way to pick up M on Friday from my mother's/stepfather's, where she'd spent her day without school, M called me on my cell phone.   "Mom, BampBob says to tell you not to meet us here, but to meet us (distracted pause) at the hospital."   I pondered this briefly, that's further away, not closer, why meeting there?   My mother does volunteer work there, so I wasn't alarmed yet, even if I wondered why she hadn't remembered she needed to stop in there until now.  "At the Emergency Room."  WHAT?!   "Bob is talking with the ambulance people."   M was using her cell phone to call me.  I knew me getting further information meant holding up medical attention, and that this involved my mother.   My mother who has had all sorts of heart troubles, whose brother died at age 45 from a heart attack and oldest sister somehow still alive with all of her heart troubles.  

M told me later that she could tell in my voice that I'd beat them to the hospital.  Amazingly, 35 minutes later and further away, I HAD.   The EMT's, et al, had spent a fair bit of time there at the house caring for my mother.   They are so well trained in heart-related emergency care, one of their primary reasons for 911 calls, that the delay in hospital arrival didn't upset me.   Took a while to get an iv it seems, heart monitoring, etc.   Some sort of fluttering going on her neck.   It's making me ill to even write this.   She was shaking, and could not control the shakes, nor were they from the cold.   Her normally low blood pressure up about 50 points higher, or, at least later that night it got that high.   Bob and M arrived behind the ambulance, so I knew which one was "hers," and walked in with them.   She was so very pale, and the guy let her know I was there, later escorting me to the spot where I sign in officially to visit with her.

Aspirin, the supposedly plain and simple pain reliever, aspirin was one thing they gave her, along with an Rx/ other medicine, etc.   She wasn't fully calm yet, almost seeming to get more anxious that M would miss her dance class, even if it was an extra practice session.   Bob was there, she was "okay" albeit still in the ER.   It'd make her worse if we stayed it seemed, so off M and I went, returning later to relieve Bob to go home for a bit, walk their dog and take his medicines (which he'd taken beforehand, but I didn't know that).   He wouldn't have left her if we weren't there, reluctant as it was.   Mom sometimes had up to 3 "irregularities' fluctuations on her monitor screen at once, and yes, up to 50 points higher in her blood pressure than her normal, then another Rx.  The first one had her seeing double-vision, so a CAT scan..... normal.   Her color was back and yet she was not well.  

Mom is home.   M and I both slept a lot on Saturday.   Mom insisted on seeing M at the feis on Sunday, anyway, and nicely another parent with good seats not way up in bleachers, understood, and let Mom AND Bob, sit down for a spell.   Both of them so worried about each other.   They couldn't stay long, but they tried their damndest.   If M helps give her a reason to live, and she has no interest in dying that I'm even remotely aware of, then good.   M is old enough to understand if they didn't come, but they always do for the ones held in this spot, near their former home.   (Si's first feis, also, and M did well!, but that's another entry.)   No birthday dinner out at "the" restaurant, which is fine by me.   No saying how long a feis will run, when her dances are complete.   Bob fixed dinner, chosen by my mother, and my mother made a apple spice cake with apples in it.  M had chosen the recipe on Friday, but no time to get it made with my mother.   Ah, and fresh good vanilla ice cream, very very good I must say.   And presents.   I won't see them all this coming week, well, unless another emergency we sure hope won't happen.

We didn't stay real long, all of us tired, really.   Bob took photos, and my mother did say softly to him that she wants to at least put on lipstick in case it's her last photo, so she doesn't look half-dead.   She's really wanting it to appear to M to just be a medicine problem, not alarm M, not get her upset.   I told her that she looked just fine, and she did, that she'd looked bad when she went IN to the hospital......

Her cardiologist visit today ended with a 24-hour heart monitor, not clear if differing medicines, and a revisit later in the week.   She got two shifts covered, and either Bob or I will do the carpooling of M later this week, not Mom.  

It's really scary.   Oh, I do hope she's fine now, even if the symptons have still not yet fully dissipated and all, I *think* she'll be able to get them straightened out, find the real problem, with her actual doctor.   She could have just gone, though.   We don't view the world in the same way, but I do love her.   I don't want her to die.

And, um, yeah, this was 14 minutes after M and I WERE to meet up with the other Girl Scouts to go camping.  I knew not to go.  I thought that was because of the weather, I'd gotten hypothermia twice and hadn't adjusted to this particular colder weather yet, and I LOVE cold weather once I've adjusted.   Ah, maybe the cold was God telling me to stay home, all of that.   I don't know, but I"m glad I didn't go there.

I think of Dougie, gone from this earth, my late Gram.   I'm very grateful for every day, every year, that I can stay with others whom I love still here in my life, and that was really the celebration we had.   Mom, you're not going anywhere yet, you'll get to your  next birthday, also (late December).


  1. Wow, I sympathize, and I mean I really sympathize since dad's on a pacemaker. Nope, not gonna let my mind go there. Gonna go haome, call mom and dad make sure I give them lots of hugs when I see them again in two weeks. Good place to be doing volunteer work with that condition. I would definitely be doing a shots of something after a call like that.


  2. I did allow myself a Harp at the beginning of the ceili on Saturday night! :)  Thanks, Frank.  -- Robin

  3. Scary stuff indeed!  I hope that was the worst of it for her.  :-/


  4. Never fun having to deal with the health of your parents.  Hang in there.  ~ Mike