The phone rang at 7 a.m.; I knew it couldn’t be good news. “Kathy? I’m calling from Bickford, and we found your mother unresponsive. There was a fire alarm, and when we checked on her, she wouldn’t respond. She just flops over. Her heart rate is 54, and her pupils are pin-point. What do you want to do?”
Honestly? I have no idea. My first thought was “Maybe Mom won’t have to go on any longer.” I felt glad for her. But back to what I wanted to do. Um. Do I go out there and see how she is? She is “do not resuscitate,” and we were going to avoid any more trips to the ER. But what if she’s had a stroke? Or will need nursing care? I dithered, asked my husband, and finally told them to call an ambulance. I quickly dressed, and drove in the dark to Bickford. The fire truck and the ambulance were there already. When I entered Mom’s room, she was still unresponsive; the EMTs asked me to talk to her to see if she would respond to me, but she did not, though her eyes were moving rapidly under closed lids. The EMTs reported that she made eye contact, and also said, “Coco,” which tells you who she’s closest to these days!
My sister arrived just before the ambulance left, and we headed to the hospital. Upon entering the room, we found Mom awake, alert, and doing fine! Haha! Made you look! Stole your mother’s pocketbook!
Ahem. Excuse that little trip back to childhood nyah-nyahs.
Mom was doing fine. In fact, she seemed better than she’d been for a long time. She was finishing sentences with ease, and she understood everything we were saying. That’s not to say that she was entirely her old self, but all three of us–my sister, my husband and I–noticed a dramatic change, however temporary it would be. Meanwhile, Mom’s bladder was no better, and she was soon soaked. Some aides came and got her fixed up and dry quickly, for which we were grateful. About that time, my sister and I decided to forgo any treatment or tests, and get Mom back to Coco. I asked my husband to go get clothes for her so we could dress her and go.
The doctor came in, told us what he would do–cardiac workup, CT scan of her head, blood tests–if she stayed, but understood and did not disagree with our decision. Joe returned, we got Mom dressed–though she was wet almost immediately after we dressed her and we had to start over–signed the “Against Medical Advice” departure papers, and headed back to Bickford. She went straight to breakfast, and so did I. I had an appointment at 10, and was very glad to be able to make it. I called to see how Mom was at 11:00, and found she had just been out with the wonderful companion she spends time with twice a week. They get coffee and drive down to river to enjoy it and their coffees. Mom’s companion said that Mom was sharper than she had been for a long time, even responding correctly: “You said that on Tuesday.” Uh…what?! You know what day you were last out AND remember what was said? Will wonders never cease?
I should mention, just to give you the full picture of my morning, that when I backed out of the car for my appointment, I ripped the left-side mirror off the car Dad just gave me. Sorry, Dad! Things haven’t changed all that much, have they, from when I creased the front fender of another Buick in 1968? I will say that I wondered if I should be allowed on the streets, but have bucked up and plan to have a better afternoon. I have also tripped and fallen TWICE in the last week. What next?