Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three and a half weeks

Day 145 (145/366): Happy Mom-a-Sun Day!
My Mom and me in happier times

Three and a half weeks ago, I received a phone call from my Dad in the middle of the night. My Mom had gone into cardiac arrest and was being transported to the hospital. In a daze, I dressed myself as Scott got my purse and directions together. We drove to the hospital where I greeted my Dad. The medics had already rushed my Mom into the emergency room where she was having emergency surgery to repair her heart. My brother and sister-in-law arrived shortly after and we all huddled in a small room waiting to hear from the doctor. The doctor successfully repaired her heart but the long road to recovery was anything but over.

It's been a very long three and a half weeks since that long night. Scott and I eventually returned home at 5:30 a.m. to sleep. Mom was in the ICU, hooked up to all sorts of machines and we were very scared.

My Mom is the cornerstone of our family. She's in charge of all worries, all family matters and all of us. In fact, I still taunt my brother with threats of telling our Mom about something he's doing that she won't approve of. And at 36 years old, my Mom still likes to direct me around. We tell her that it annoys us but in reality, we kinda like knowing that someone cares so much for us that they want to take care of everything for us.

Now though, she is unable to take care of us and we have to take care of her. My Dad is lost without his lifelong companion. My parents are true soul mates who do everything together. In fact, I often think it took me so long to find Scott because I wasn't ready to settle for anything less than the great relationship my parents share. I'm blessed that I didn't settle.

Since that night, three and a half weeks ago, we've watched my Mother as she goes through the very slow process of recovery. She's moved from having a million tubes down her throat and nose to having a tracheal tube in her throat and a feeding tube in her stomach. She's had a million x-rays, EEG's, EKG's and various other tests. Her medication list is extensive and I often get them all mixed up. She's been sedated to keep her from being anxious but her new facility is working to wean her off the ventilator and sedation medication. A majority of the time, her eyes are closed and she looks like she's sleeping. Lately though she's been opening her eyes and trying to look around.

Last night, as I was preparing to leave, my Dad was teasing me about Platy. He told my Mom that I was having a Mini-Me and she smiled. She looked so amused by that comment. I then told her that the baby was currently HUGE (6 lbs 1 oz at 33 weeks) which made her smile linger. She turned her head toward me to listen a bit more but I had trouble talking through the tears.

I miss the Mom I had at this time in my pregnancy. The Mom who was so worried about my gestational diabetes that she called every day to hear my blood sugar numbers. The Mom who wanted me to have a natural labor and delivery that she pestered me with questions and books. The Mom who cared so much and listened to my complaints while laughing at them. I pray and hope everyday that I'm given some of that Mom back because as I start progressing toward being a Mom myself, I'm really going to need that Mom's guidance and direction.

Everyday she seems to make a small baby step toward improvement and since no one knows how long her recovery will take, we cheer each step. It's a long road.

Since heart attack symptoms are hard to recognize in women, it is so important that everyone read this link - because you see, my Mom told me that she had suffered a panic attack at the gym earlier the evening of her heart attack and had gotten sick. Turns out it wasn't a panic attack but the start of cardiac arrest. I wish we had gotten her to the hospital sooner but hindsight is 20/20 and all we can do now is be there for her and celebrate all her successes, no matter how small they might be.

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