Well, in an unfortunate turn of events, my mom was released from the hospital yesterday morning only to be back, via a 9-1-1 call and ambulance by 5:30 p.m. Still no word on what it is, but something happened that wasn’t normal.
She was fine all day — well as fine as one could be after what she went through. She was complaining a bit about some hip pain on her left side. And knowing what we know about her — she is the original minimizer when it comes to pain. And complaining — well it’s just not in her nature. So we kept a close eye on it.
She sat on the couch and we didn’t let her get up. I had picked my daughter up from pre-school and shot down to my mom’s because Gramma wanted to see her granddaughter and I needed my sister to sign something. Plus I could help get my mom settled in. I figured it would be a quick trip. I did some cleaning and moving things around so that she could get around on a walker temporarily. She played with my daughter for a good time and then got tired and sat back for a while.
My sister ran around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to find this medicine my mother was prescribed. From pharmacy to pharmacy, she struck out. This injectable form of her stroke prevention medicine — something that she needed to have the same time each day — was not something places like Walgreens or CVS had on hand. (You think the prescribing MD or hospital staff might know this prior to sending my mom home?) My sister finally found a place that had it, secured it, then nearly fainted from its price tag, called my mom’s cardiologist and explained the situation and scored my mom some good old fashioned free samples. Woot Woot!
I stayed behind and puttered. Really just secretly tossing away some of the items my pack-rat mother has kept over the years. Things like bags of bags and tissue boxes she wanted to turn into “toys” for my kids when they were younger. I think some people deal with getting older by holding on to everything. Perhaps not throwing an old item out lessens the blow of aging. Who knows. For another day to figure out.
In any case, we got mom some cottage cheese and pears around 5 p.m. then walked her to the bathroom and back, and that is when she said she started feeling weak on one side. We sat her down. Then something happened. Without any words to explain it, it was as if she just went away for a few minutes. Her face changed. Her body changed. She changed. We couldn’t fool around trying to decipher what it was, so we called 9-1-1.
A few minutes later, a police officer showed up, followed by a paramedic and the rest of the EMTs. By then, mom was more like herself, but still had no strength when they tried to get her to stand. (Can I just say I love EMTs? They were so great with my mom. They joked with her and talked and laughed with her. One even called her sweetheart. I think she blushed.)
In any case, I made sure my daughter did not know what was going on and didn’t see them take Gramma out on a stretcher. She didn’t hear the sirens, but she did see the policeman and asked who he was. I told her he was a very nice man who came to make sure Gramma was feeling better. She said “Oh”, shrugged and went back to Nick Jr. in the bedroom.
It was one of those things where I was unsure what to do. Or maybe my mind went blank and I couldn’t figure it out. I knew I had no choice but to take my daughter with me, as there was no one down at my mom’s that could watch her. I had secured care for my son back home from my friend. But I was momentarily at a loss. I needed to go be with my mom, but I surely didn’t want my 5-year-old anywhere near the ER and all that goes with it.
And then it dawned on me. The hospital cafeteria!
My mom’s hospital is a beautiful place a la a renovation a few years back. It’s like a hotel. Fountains, pianos, etc… And my siblings and I could tag team with my daughter in the cafe while we went in to see my mom. So I explained to my daughter that her Gramma left in a really cool car called a GEM (Greenwich EMS — pretty clever, no?) that went fast and had lots of pretty lights that flashed and that we would go have dinner in an awesome cafeteria and she could have anything she wanted for dinner.
So off we went. That’s where the Froot Loops came into play. Out of all the things she could choose from — cheeseburger, fries, chicken nuggets, deli sandwiches, etc.. — she chose Froot Loops, an ice cream bar and a Gatorade. (I know, but what?) I chose fried fish and mashed potatoes. My sister came into the cafe while my brother was with our mom. I ate. My daughter tried my fish and declared she’d like some for dessert. All good.
So back to mom.
She seemed better as the time ticked on in the ER. And believe me, it ticked on and on. By 9:15, they still hadn’t admitted her. The ER was crazy busy. I had at that point run out of tricks to keep my daughter entertained and it was time for us to go. My oldest sister, who apparently is part Bull Dog (in a really good way), finally told the ER docs they needed to decide because we needed news. And within 15 minutes, she came back out of the ER with news they were admitting her.
I kissed mom goodbye, drove my sister back to my mom’s so she could get her car and go home and we left my mom, who was with my brother, to be admitted to her room.
Here’s the real kicker. One could not have known that she would sit in the ER until, wait for it… 4 o’clock in the flipping morning! Apparently there was some sort of lock down situation there and they could not move patients. Anywhere. I think if my mom weren’t so tired and this wasn’t her second go around there, she would have gotten up and kicked some ER asses.
So today she rests, and after a night like that, she’s probably happy to rest in a nice hospital room where people don’t bother her too much. She gets more tests. CT Scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and x-rays.
And we wait.