Over the past few weeks my mother has been experiencing a popping in one ear. On Monday, May 17, she was rushed to the emergency room as she experienced some of these pops, felt dizzy and then fainted. As soon as I was notified, I rushed to the emergency room.
As I walked into her room, she looked well. She had good color in her face and was talking but said she felt weak and shaky. The hospital had run some tests, and was going to run a lot more to determine what the problem was. Her blood pressure had risen high, but she’s never been on any blood pressure medications.
No matter how good she looked, seeing your mother in a hospital bed is a very disconcerting and vulnerable feeling. However, now was not the time to show that to her. Now was the time to show strength, to give her confidence.
Within minutes of my arrival to the emergency room she was moved to a room on the main hospital floor. She was uncomfortable but still very aware and looking fairly well, considering the circumstances. I stayed with her well into the evening until the hospital kicked me out. She said she would call me the next morning as soon as she woke.
Waiting for calls like this sucks. No two ways about it.
She did call the next morning and said she felt much better and that her appetite was excellent. She also said the hospital would run extensive tests all day. At that point, I was feeling a little better.
The hospital ran lots of tests, and late in the day, told her she could go home and would just need some blood pressure meds. They said the issue related to the ear popping would require her seeing an ear, nose and throat specialist.
On Wednesday morning I visited my mother and she looked very good and I was feeling much better about things.
When I got home from visiting her, I started writing this article. That was Wednesday, May 18. Unfortunately I would have to wait to continue writing.
On Wednesday afternoon I received a call that my mother had fainted and was once again rushed to the emergency room. This experience was painful. When I went to the emergency room my mother did not look well. She was pale, barely conscious and very uncomfortable.
Nurses told me they were running tests, and everything was fine so far. Here we go again. Same tests all over again. She might not be moved out of emergency for 24 hours due to lack of available beds. And that’s exactly what happened. It was an extremely uncomfortable night for her, and it was hard to see her like that.
Later the next day she started to improve. Again, the hospital was stumped. Just could not find a thing wrong with her. Test after test after test…
She was sent home two days later, on Friday, May 20, with a minimal dosage of blood pressure medication.
The saga doesn’t end here. On Sunday, I was lying on a beach and felt good in the fact that she was feeling better and resting at home. Then at 1:30 p.m., I got a call from her, asking me to call paramedics because things weren’t good. She was just feeling awful. My mother is not the type to request to go to a hospital. I called for paramedics and requested that she be sent to another hospital (not the same one she had been to twice).
More tests…but a doctor came in and said that he did not believe extensive tests were necessary again.
My mother is still in the hospital, but they are very confident she will be released today because they have some things pinpointed and under control now – finally. However, the need to see a specialist after she’s released is important.
During quiet moments, this experience made me think about people who keep making excuses about their health. People who keep making excuses and who keep saying things like, “I’m not ready to diet yet,” “I love food too much to lose weight,” “I don’t like to exercise,” “I don’t have any discipline.”
It’s a very good thing no one said any of these things to me last week. My answer would not have been pretty, and it would not have been soft. My mother’s situation and the excuses people make are not exactly the same. She’s always taken care of herself, kept her weight down and exercised. I believe a lot of that helped her. But as I looked around the hospital each time I could not help but think of some people who put themselves there based on their lifestyle and their excuses.
Life is short, vulnerable and you never know what can happen on any given day or at any given moment. Take care of yourself; start treating your body with respect. You’ll feel better, your energy will increase and you’ll enjoy life. Stop the excuses.
Is it a guarantee? No. There are no guarantees. Start your road to health today – don’t wait until tomorrow.
May 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm -
RC, I really hope the doctors are able to zero in on her dizziness issues. Will keep your family in our prayers. I read another article recently that said, in essence, “Do something – do anything.” If all you can swing right now is a daily walk, then do it. If all you have time for is a few laps in the pool, go for it. Curl your weights during commercial breaks. It all helps and it all counts! Hugs to you, RC. 🙂
May 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm -
I am so sorry you and your mom are going through all this! Still, you amaze me by being so strong for all, even your clients. Please just take care of your mom, although she’s obviously been doing it for herself, like a good strong woman I would admire. Hugs and prayers for finding out what is at the root of this!
BTW, I agree with taking care of yourself NOW and doing it for those you love, as well as for yourself. You said it!
May 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm -
Prayers for you mother, RC.
May 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm -
Keeping you and your Mom in my prayers. I hope she recovers quickly and easily 🙂
KCLAnderson (Karen) says:
May 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm -
Thank you for sharing what is obviously a scary and painful situation for you and your family, RC…it’s important for the rest of us and you show a lot of grace in deciding to share it with us. Your Mom is in my thoughts!
May 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm -
Hope your mother gets better real soon. You’re both in my prayers. People ask me all the time why I insist upon two things before doing what a doctor says. The first thing is a second opinion from a doctor who is not affiliated with the first. The second is confirmation from my consultant doctor (used to be my primary doctor but retired to write and lecture and still consults with patients). Sure things can still be missed, but my confidence level is better.
May 24, 2011 at 6:12 am -
Raphael – you know how I feel…I am sending up lots of prayers for you and your sweet Momma. Your strength inspires me.
May 24, 2011 at 6:53 am -
Saying some prayers for your Mom. It’s hard to watch our parents get into this place in life. I’m glad your mom has taken responsibility for the areas that she can do something about!
Totally agree that it makes it harder to be sympathetic for those who say “but it makes me sore” or “it takes too much time.” Watching my mom lose ALL functionality because she wouldn’t let herself be sore was very hard. Just do it now and reap the benefits for life!
May 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm -
I will add my prayers as well, for your mom’s speedy recovery and for you. May you have the strength to be strong for your mom and most of all for yourself.
May 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm -
What a great group. Thanks for all the support. She’s home and feeling much better.
Cathy W says:
May 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm -
As usual, RC, you whap us right between the eyes … hope she is safely at home FOR GOOD now.
May 25, 2011 at 2:56 am -
CathyW, thanks as always. She’s doing much better.
June 17, 2011 at 5:17 am -
I am sorry your mom had to go through all of that. How has she been since the last hospital stay?
June 17, 2011 at 7:26 am -
Thanks, Shantay. She’s home and back to full energy!