a mother's heart

We flew into New York on Sunday evening. On Wednesday, we were scheduled to fly out to Dallas. Tuesday morning, we finalized our decision to cancel the Texas trip and spent the day making all the necessary phone calls and "cancellation arrangements". Thus, we found ourselves still at home in Wading River with my mom on Wednesday. (My dad had left on Monday morning for a business trip.)

I am so glad we didn't go to Texas!

Wednesday afternoon my mom was gripping her chest because of severe pains. A 911 call, ambulance ride, and thirty minutes later, we were in the Emergency Room of a local hospital. My mom was admitted and has been in the hospital until today. After a myriad of tests, they determined that she did not have a heart attack. We're going to be following up with a cardiologist to figure out the cause of the chest pains, but in the meantime we are grateful for mom's health and her discharge from the hospital.

My mom and I always have a good time together, resulting in lots of laughs. This is true even of our time in the hospital. A few hours in, something funny happened--to which my mom remarked, "That's blog material right there!" She also said that we should have brought the camera so we could have a picture to go along with the blog post. I laughed because I figure if I had made that suggestion, she'd have whacked me one! Anyway, don't worry, this blog post is mother-approved!

One funny moment (amidst the un-funny situation taking place) occurred while we were still in the ER. The worst was over and we found ourselves just waiting. Mom was hooked up to all sorts of monitors as well as an IV drip, but she was feeling okay. She was in good spirits and cracking jokes, so I knew she was really feeling much better than just an hour before. To pass the time as we just sat there waiting, I started to read the poster on the wall. It was full of medical jargon--long, unpronounceable words that I had no idea the meaning of.

I commented to mom, "I can't read half the words on this thing!" To which she answered, "That's because it's in Spanish, Alece!" When she looked again and realized it was in fact English, we laughed really hard. So hard in fact, that the nice, evenly-flowing-up-and-down line on mom's heart monitor started racing wildly all over the screen. Inevitably, that led to even more laughter.

There is much I am thankful for about the past few days. I am grateful that we canceled our Texas trip and were home when this all began. I won't even think about what may have happened if no one had been home with mom at the time...

I am also thankful that I am in America, where a 911 phone call had an ambulance at our house within 5 minutes (a luxury I am not granted in South Africa). There are numbers that can be dialed to reach medical services, but they are not as simple as "9-1-1" and, at least where I live, it would take MUCH more than 5 minutes to get a response.

Which reminds me, months ago Niel, Dave, and I were up in Johannesburg and had some time to go watch a movie. About halfway in, the guy next to me started having some type of seizure. He began shaking violently, with his eyes rolled back, and was completely unresponsive. His girlfriend/wife started shouting for someone to do something. As Niel ran out to get help and I joined the lady in shaking the guy's arms, the people in the row behind us starting telling us to "Shush!". I guess they didn't realize the situation and thought we were just being chit-chatty.

I looked back at them and, in my panic, shouted loudly, "It's an emergency! Someone call nine-one-o...Nevermind, we don't even have that here!" As I shook my head in frustration, not knowing what to shout when my instinctive "Call 911" was wrong, the guy came to and was totally fine.

Anyway, I am just grateful that on Wednesday, when I told Niel, "Call 911", we actually "had that here".

And I am very grateful my mom is okay!

Please Note: This picture was not taken in or near the hospital.
It was taken on our Alaskan vacation. I did not give in to mom's request to bring a camera into the hospital. I knew she'd regret having asked me once she saw the picture on my blog!