When my mom indicated she knew what had happened, the nurses removed her breathing tube. We circled her bed as she told us she’d gotten thirsty and got up from the couch for water. She started feeling dizzy. Because she didn’t want to fall, she slid down the refrigerator to the floor. Whatever happened, struck, and she couldn’t move any part of her body or speak. She said her eyes stopped moving, and she couldn’t swallow. But she was conscious, aware, the entire time. She could hear the television in the background. She could feel her dog licking her face. She started thinking no one would ever find her.
She knew David had arrived, heard him call 911 and me. Remembered the trip on the ambulance to the hospital. Knew they had sedated her for the intubation, but had woken up in the middle of that.
The doctors couldn’t figure it out; her CAT scan was clear. The best they could come up with was that she had a TIA (mini-stroke), and they wanted to keep her in the ICU for observation.
We agreed, and I went out to the waiting room. David and his two kids were there along with Hubs and my two children. I updated them, and David said they still couldn’t find our sister.
David, ever the humorist, said, “Isn’t it interesting? Mom’s on the floor, half-dead, and Sarah’s nowhere to be found. Maybe I should have checked the silver.”
After sending Hubs and the kids back to my mother’s house in case Sarah should show up there, David and I stayed at the hospital until Mom was settled.
Mom was already in her usual feisty spirits. She asked David why he allowed her to be sent to Portsmouth Hospital. I gladly let him field that one. She’s made it well-known how much she despises PRH. I mean, this is the kind of opinion she shares with the mailman. David tried to explain to her that it had been the EMTs call as they claimed PRH had a better neuro facility than York. My mother snorted, which sent the breathing apparatus into some funky levels. The nurse gently reminded her to breathe.
Then Mom fixed her eyes on me. “And you didn’t believe David when he told you what had happened.”
Oh boy. I felt David push me forward, and I kind of elbowed him in return. But I stood alongside her bed and explained. “Well, that’s because he told me you were foaming at the mouth. I thought it was a joke.” I smiled brightly. “You know what kidders we all are.”
While the nurse took down her medical history, Mom gave me directions about Thanksgiving dinner. She insisted we still have it. She’d bought a 24-pound turkey and had made the stuffing and squash and polished the silver and didn’t want it to go to waste.
A doctor appeared. He introduced himself and asked some questions about her medications. The subject of warfarin (blood thinner) came up, and Mom sat up as straight as she could (which wasn’t very straight considering she was fixed to a bunch of machines).
Her eyes blazed. “I know all about warfarin. It’s rat poison. I mean it’s really rat poison. You people aren’t getting me back on that, I can promise you.”
David and I looked at each other. I had a feeling it was going to be a long weekend.
* * * * *
This is my Thanksgiving tale. If you missed the first post, you can read it here.