Monday, May 31, 2010

And then.........

So, in my last post of May 12th, I was whinning about not having enough time to post. The next day was May 13th, went to SGrandson's Spring concert, had a bit of trouble with what I was told was "easy handicap access" to the auditorium in the High School where it was being held. It seems that yes, there are two lifts for wheelchairs, one was gotten to by walking down three school length corridors-SHusband could not do that distance pushing his walker on wheels-and even though it has a seat for him, it does not have foot rests, and since he is not strong enough to lift his legs while I am pushing it, that could not work. We did not bring the wheelchair because we were told by school officials that it was a short distance from the front door-we learned never to trust that statement from anyone again-to them maybe not far.....
The second lift was a closer walk for him, we opted for that one, but it was not working properly, so could only be controlled by someone at the upper level pushing the controls there. The interior controls were not working-so if he or another handicapped person were by themselves-they could not work it-is this what handicapped accessible means? What if there was an emergency???
All of this effort for him was worth it though, he got to see his beloved SGS play the violin and sing in the chorus. It may never happen again, but that night it worked. SDaughter and her SSigother were very helpful and kind.
The next day, May 14th was SGS's 11th birthday. I started the day by showing up to get my hair done the wrong day, and a very sweet woman let me be done before her. I really wanted my hair to look nice for SD's college graduation the next day. Then, I went home, picked up SSon and some stuff to deliver to his father's house for the next day, then took him to his Doc appt. Went home at 2:15, then.............received a frantic phone call from my dear, brave SSister#1-my mother was having another stroke while with her, and she was at the hospital. I left immediately, making pleas with God on the way, please, don't let her suffer, please let me be there in time, please don't let me get stopped for speeding. God is good. All three requests were answered. By the time I got there, she had a brain CT which confirmed the stroke. And my SS#1 who claims to not be the medical daughter, when symptoms started had given her an aspirin and a piece of candy, and immediately gave the hosp staff her meds list which she faithfully carried with her. She saved her life, I have no question in my mind. I am just so in awe of my brave sister, she is so amazing to handle things like that. We called others when I got there, and started process of transferring her to another hospital where she has a relationship with a neuro department.
The most heart wrenching phone call was to SSister#2 out of state-she always answers the phone like she is expecting the worse, and this time I could not tamper her fears immediately. She was crying so hard, and words from me just did not help.
The care which Mom received at the first hospital-St. Joseph's was without fault. They have come a long way since the short time 35 years ago when I worked there and told former husband that if I was in an accident in their parking lot, do not take me inside! I have heard others talk recently about the great care they got there, but until now, I did not believe it. Thank God they improved and excelled.
She had more tests in the ER at the 2nd hospital: Millard Fillmore Gates, and she started to come out of her episode-TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack), mini stroke. This means that while she had severe weakness in her limbs, speech and swallowing-it would all be temporary. By 11pm, she was able to talk, not clearly, not completely cognitive, but talking, she was sitting up eating a sandwich!
More calls and texting were made, and being able to use cell phones in the ER was truly a blessing-I put speaker phone on so SM could say a few words to SS#2, that really helped. And I took a picture with my camera to send to SD so she could see that her SGradma was OK. Texting was also helpful to keep SM's sister up to date on changes-it must have been invented for just this purpose: SCousin texted me, I text her back and she passes it on to her Mom.
SS#1 and I left at about 11:45, assured that she would be watched carefully, and that the worse was over. They were right. The next morning, SBrother #1 from out of town was going to be there with her, along with, SBrother#2 from in town, but he had left the day before for whatever big horse race there was (Preakness, Belmont?), when he received his first phone call from us the day before, he had just landed, so he turned around and came right back-or so he thought, due to weather problems and lack of plane staffing, he did not leave for home until midnight. My SS#1 was also there, and I did not go to the hosp that day-I picked up my SGS and went to SD's graduation. SD's graduation was such a life-affirming moment for me, while 100% of my heart was feeling so blessed with the outcome of my Mom's medical situation, the other 100% was so proud of my daughter. OK, so I am crying while I am typing most of this post. Let me take a quick break here.

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