A Day Like Any Other
I had plans yesteray morning to wake up early, get a run in and take a nap before meeting a good friend for dinner and a play. The universe had different plans.
I did wake up early but my ankle was still tweaked from when I turned it yesterday so I bailed on the run. Rob brought the dogs in and we frolicked for a little while. He fell asleep and I got up to go putter around on the computer.
Around noon Rob woke up and I decided to take a nap. As I was putting myself down for said nap, I picked up my phone to set an alarm and saw that my mother had called. Mom never calls my cell, she ALWAYS calls my house phone, so I didn’t think anything about it. We recently bought her a new phone so I figured she was just playing around with it and accidentally dialed my phone since she didn’t leave a voice mail.
I laid down to take my nap but never really fully got there. I dozed a little bit but for some reason couldn’t quite get into a deep sleep. Around one or so the house phone rang. I checked the caller ID and found a 207 area code but not a number I was familiar with. My first thought was that no one from Maine that would be calling me would know my house phone number other than my mother, but it wasn’t her phone number. With a sense of dread building inside, I answered the phone. On the other end was my sister in law. While Michaela and I communicate, it’s usually facebook or texting. The only time we really speak on the phone is when something bad has happened and I could tell my the sound of her voice she was not happy about having to make this call.
“Your mom had a stroke.”
She quickly followed that up by telling me that she alive and stable and at the hospital being treated, but those five words just kept repeating in my brain.
As far as I am aware, my mothers blood pressure has never been an issue. She has diabetes, fibromyalgia, sarcoidosis, eye problems, and a host of other ailments. She is obviously not the healthiest person I know, but never have I heard blood pressure ever mentioned in her laundry list of health complaints.
While my eyes were leaking tears I tried to hold it together to get all the details. She was at the Augusta ER. She had some facial drooping and impaired speech but the meds they gave her could possibly reverse that within a day or so. She was stable but they were waiting for an ambulance to come up from the Portland hospital to bring her back to Portland because there was no neurologist at the Augusta one. My brother gave me the phone number to the Augusta ER and said if I wanted to talk to mom I should call pretty quickly because they were only waiting on the ambulance and then she’d be on her way to Portland.
I thanked them for all the info and hung up before dissolving into sobs. I quickly reigned that in as I realized my husband was no where to be seen. I deduced from the raw chicken on a platter on the counter that he was probably up getting the BBQ ready. I tried to be as calm as possible as I headed up there to deliver the news but my voice hitched as soon as I said the words: “My mom had a stroke.” He hugged me and I cried a little but I had to get it together to call my mom. That was my top priority at that point.
When I finally got her on the phone I established that it was me and then said: “Some people will do anything for attention.” to which she promptly burst into tears. Not the reaction I was hoping for. She was obviously emotionally distraught, having just had a stroke and being scared and alone in a hospital. I told her that I loved her and she would be fine and I would talk to her soon. She was very hard to understand as there had been some facial paralysis. Once I hung up the phone I cried like I haven’t cried in a very long time. Huge, wracking sobs and I couldn’t stop shaking. Rob hugged me until I had to go blow my nose and then I just kinda went numb.
It occurred to me that my brother and I hadn’t talked about contacting anyone else so I texted Chayla and asked if either of my mothers sisters had been notified and the answer was no. I told her I would call them since she had enough going on her plate at the moment and set out to find their phone numbers. I found Auntie Tee’s number in an old facebook message from the year my mother forgot her phone on our annual trip to Vegas and Auntie Tee had to ship it out to her in Vegas. I knew there was a reason I never got rid of anything!
I had a brief conversation with her and was very relieved when she said she was going to go visit her the next day since she lived in Portland. I knew Mom would feel better just seeing a friendly face. I gave her all the phone info that I had on the hospital and then left messages for Auntie Donna and our cousin Dot. Dot is a cousin but she is more like the touchstone of our family. She is my grandfathers niece and has been the center of all of us grand kids lives. She was the go to person for all babysitting needs. She was the fun place to go as a treat. My brother and I practically lived with her when my parents were separating and then eventually divorcing. She is very much the one constant in our family.
I bailed on my plans for that evening because I would have been the absolute worst date ever for Jourdain, sobbing into my dinner and disrupting the play with my sniffles and just sort of waited for updates.
There weren’t many because they wouldn’t be able to do any extensive testing until the next day.
I spent the rest of the day in a state of numbness or emotional wreck. I would be fine and then all of a sudden sobs would start coming. I played the blame game that we should have gone out to visit her this year and I never should have moved 3000 miles away. It wasn’t a very good day.
This morning I woke to a text from Chayla and she and my brother would be driving out from Maryland today and should arrive in Maine by ten tonight. That made me feel a lot better knowing at least one of her kids would be there for her. I knew it would make her feel safer.
The last update I got was from Auntie Tee about an hour ago. She had just come back from visiting mom and said that according to the MRI it was a blood clot. She said mom will be moved to a new room and probably have to be there for three or four more days before moving onto rehab.
Dot called while I was on the phone with Auntie Tee so I was able to tell her what was happening. She will go visit mom tomorrow.
I’m kind of at a loss here. You see, my mother is supposed to be indestructible. I don’t do well with any evidence to they contrary.
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