Yes Mammy I Am Your Daughter

I am have debated about whether or not I ever wanted to write this post but my mom's birthday is fast approaching and I feel like I can share this story. Please forgive me now if this gets too long but I promise its worth reading. Its two weeks away from the anniversary of my mother's stroke.

Almost a year ago I was out with my husband and I get a call from my sister telling me that she was taking our mother to the hospital. She and my mom were out looking at wedding dresses for her upcoming wedding when my mom started to complain about chest pains. They left the store and got in her car and then my mom told my sister she couldn't feel her left arm. My sister started to get scared and decided to take our mom to the hospital. Our mother begged her not to take her but my sister ignored her and took her anyway.

When I arrived at the hospital I got the information for her room and went straight back. I pulled back the curtain and I could see the tears building in my sister's eyes. I knew she was struggling to stay strong in front of my mom, I couldn't even look at her in her eyes because I knew I would burst out crying. I started to ask her questions about what was happening and then the doctor came in and started questing us. My mom was in and out of consciousness at this point and she couldn't answer any of the questions. When the doctor left she opened her eyes and I was holding her hands. She gently squeezed them and I asked her if she knew where she was and she said the hospital. I asked her if she knew what may be wrong and she said she had a bad headache, her entire left side was numb and her chest was hurting. I don't know why I asked her this question and even writing the post now I still don't know why I ask but I asked her if she knew who I was and she replied yes you are my nurse.

I could feel the tear drop starting to roll down my cheeks, I started to blink to hold back the major water works and then I said no I am not your nurse. She looked at me, her daughter and blinked and said "I'm sorry I don't recall you". I looked at my sister and asked her if she knew who she was and she told me she didn't ask so we asked her about my sister and she didn't know who she was either. In that instant our lives changed forever. My sister got my mother to the hospital in 25 minutes of her complaining of her symptoms and here were were not even 45 minutes since they were in the store and she didn't know either of us. Before we could even digest her not recognizing us the doctor returned to inform us that she was having a stroke and unfortunately they could not give her the medicine to stop the stroke because she had a bleeding ulcer and the blood thinner they give to stroke patients could end up making her bleed to death. So we just had to sit and watch and wait. My father and other siblings arrived and we filled them in on what was happening and then the doctor told us that they were going to move her to ICU where she would be on constant watch.

My daughter was with my mom and sister when she started to have the stroke symptoms and she was so scared. Once I knew they were moving my mom to ICU I asked my husband to take our daughter home. I know she really didn't want to stay and since it was going to be a while before we were going to leave my mom. I hugged my daughter and tried my best to assure her that Nana was doing fine and that she should go home and get rest. At four she didn't know much of what was happening but I could see the fear in her eyes, she was worried and so was I but I didn't want her to sense anything major was wrong. Even today almost a year later she still remembers taking her nana to the hospital when she was sick.

While we were watching my mom in ICU just waiting to see what would happen the doctor returned and informed us that they found a blood clot in her brain and they couldn't determine if she had an actual active brain bleed. They decided to transfer her to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital Neurology ICU because they were better equipped to handle the situation with my mom. She was asleep for almost two days and when she finally was awake we were able to get a better assessment of her affects of the stroke. She had no use of her entire left side. She needed to be fed through a tube, her mouth was slightly crocked on her left side, she lost almost all her vision in her left eye. When we were finally able to talk to her I asked her again if she knew who I was and she said "You told me that you were my daughter" All I could say was "Yes Mammy I am Your Daughter".

We never taught that stroke would affect my mom, we didn't know we would be faced with any of the challenges we were facing but I am always going to be happy that my sister took my mom in early when she said she had chest pains and numbness. Do you know the signs of stroke?

Use FAST to remember the warning signs:

Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Stroke symptoms include:

  • SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body.
  • SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause.

 

Be sure to keep reading for my next post about my mom's stroke and memory loss.

This post first appeared on my blog Nicki's Random Musings.

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