Today started like any other day. I was prepping stuff to bring to the Pooley's New Year's Eve party that evening and was just about to run an errand when the phone rang at ruffly 9:30am. Mike answered--it was my sister Joanne. She was upset--my father just called her saying that he believes Mom just had a massive stroke and he called 911 for an ambulance. Joanne said she was on her way to the hospital. My life just went into ciaos. I had to pack up 2 kids, me and Mike and leave ASAP. What to bring? How many days will we be gone? Do I bring funeral clothes? So many horrible thoughts run through your head. It was the worst phone call I have ever received. Needlesstosay I forgot to pack numerous things and I left my house in a shambles. Thank goodness for my neighbor, Connie--she came over to check in on the cats while we were gone and actually cleaned up the place too. Our sincere gratitude.
We rushed up to Poughkeepsie-St. Francis Hospital/Trauma Center. I spoke to my Dad on the phone as I was driving up and come to find out that when the paramedics arrived and evaluated her--they found out that she didn't have a stroke because she was moving her hands and legs--they predicted a seizure. It never happened before and scared my father to death as he witnessed my mother going through it. He really thought he was witnessing her final moments. I won't go into details about what happened but he is having nightmares still about it.
Just a little background--my mother suffers from dementia and Alzheimer's. She has had Alzheimer's for ruffly 7 yrs. It has gotten significantly worse this past year. My father says it best, "My mother is not living--she is existing." Tough concept to grasp considering it is my mother! I am not supposed to go through this at 33. My mother is supposed to help me raise my girls, answer questions on how long to cook things for and at what temp., go shopping with, gossip with, chit chat, etc. etc. The hardest part about it is the fact that my girls will never really know my true mom. She looks like my mom--but isn't really my mom. It is so true that this disease is worse for the people around it rather than for the person affected by it. My father and sister Nancy are true hero's for having the patience to deal with the disease on a daily basis. I honestly don't think I could do it.
Okay back to Monday--The girls spent the day with their cousins playing and having fun at my sister Joanne's house. I just told them MeMe wasn't feeling well. Amanda knows that Meme is sick and we have to tell her over and over again to do things. Amanda actually enjoys helping Meme. She likes to "boss" her around! ie: "Meme you have to put your shoe on now." Amanda is her little helper when we visit and the girls bring such joy to both my parents. Mike and I spent the day at the hospital along with my Dad, and two sisters: Nancy and Joanne. My mother was awake and can speak but really didn't say much. She didn't know our names and was kinda blank for most of the day. Most of the day was spent in the ER and then finally around 7:45pm she was admitted. They did some tests and they were all coming back good. They wanted to run more--that is why they kept her. Also to observe and make sure she didn't have a repeat of this mornings event. She shared a room with another woman and they had a sitter to keep an eye on them and help them if needed. The sitter is actually a nurse just for the two women. It made us feel better leaving her alone there that she had someone to watch and help her if needed. Nancy, Mike and I left the hospital around 9:45pm after they gave her a sleeping pill to ensure she was able to sleep despite the strange environment. We then took Nancy home and went to Joanne's house to be greeted by Amanda and Abbey who were extremely tired. Joanne surprised us by having some goodies and drinks to ring in the new year! Amanda fell asleep at 11:50pm and Abbey fell asleep at 12:05am. I think I fell asleep at 12:10am totally exhausted from STRESS! I think my tear ducts actually hurt if that is possible.
Happy New Years! What is to come in 2008 for my mom? We just need to take it day by day rather than think long term. It is a horrible feeling knowing the disease will only get worse. God-I hope they find a cure. I know it is too late to "cure" my mom--but for my future and for my children. Although--my mother is the first person on my side of the family to have this disease. No one else on my mom or dads side had this. Crazy-huh! Scary too! You just never know.