Monday, October 03, 2005

My Mother

My mother is in the hospital. For the fourth time in the past six or eight years. The first time was a heart attack. She had angioplasty. The second time was another heart attack. She got a stent. The third time was a reaction to too much aspirin. That time she didn't even have to stay overnight.

This is the fourth time. Saturday night she couldn't breathe. She'd been unable to breathe properly for five days, but ignored it because it would go away. As those things always do, right?

My father called me on Sunday, wait, no. My father didn't call me on Sunday. I was working out and the phone rang. I couldn't get to it in time so my roommate answered. He said it was my mom, and she wanted me to call her back. I grabbed the phone and looked at the caller id, which said "Medical Center." I said "Did she leave a number?" and he said no.

I called my parents' house. My dad answered, and I said good morning and where's Mom? He told me about the shortness of breath, and that he hadn't wanted to wake us up last night. I got a bit irate at that. He said, "It's not like she had another heart attack."

I called my mom at the Medical Center. She almost started to cry when she told me how scared she was. She said that they'd told her she has fluid in her lungs, but don't know why.

We went to visit later, dad was in her room when we got there after navigating the maze. We spent a while, she ordered lunch, and we went home. I called her again and she said she felt better, but didn't like it and wanted to go home.

This morning my brother Brad and I are going to visit. She told me on the phone that the physician's assistant told her she's got congestive heart failure, and they're going to do a catheterization tomorrow. She doesn't want to call my dad because she thinks she'll start to cry, and he won't be able to do anything.

I have found out that people can live for years with congestive heart failure, if they take care of themselves. Too bad my mother won't do that.


Dean said...

Oh, man. I'm so sorry.

You never know, though: maybe it will scare her enough to get her to make some changes. That happened with my ex-father-in-law, which is kind of a shame because he's a colossal prick, but he got a scare and has turned onto the straight and narrow. He's been ekeing along for ten years now.

Diva said...

I am so sorry to hear that. It's true that people do live many years with congestive heart failure. My sister-in-law has for 4 years and is in pretty good shape now.

Kate said...

Thanks to both of you. She seems to be doing better now, and they're doing a procedure tomorrow morning to check things out. After that they might insert a stent or do angioplasty, but we don't know yet.

I was freaking out this morning, but I'm doing much better now.

I'm really hoping the desire to change sticks this time. She gets so defensive when we tell her to quit smoking, she's started to identify with it so much.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

My Dad has been in congestive heart failure for over five years. He's in his 80s. People can and do live with this. I promise. I will pray and meditate for you.

And now he says, after a gazillion years making us all suffer, that he can't stand cigarette smoke!

sxKitten said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your mom, and hope she decides to take care of herself. It's so hard to sit on the sidelines and not really be able to do anything.