A Mother’s Day that Almost Wasn’t

Yesterday I picked up my mother for our church’s Mother/Daughter Banquet. She was in fine form.

“Are we performing?” she asked eagerly.

“Nope, we weren’t asked this year,” I replied. “Guess our fans will just have to be disappointed.”

You see, the last few such banquets, Mom and I have come up with some silly little routines that we’ve performed to the general delight of the crowd. Mom can be quite a trooper. Like a horse that smells the hay in the barn and takes off at a gallop, when Mom gets a crowd laughing, she’s like that horse with the bit between its teeth. There’s no stopping her and she hates to sit down.

We joked together on our way in to church and sang old songs. I’d sing some of the stanzas and then Mom would finish them. “I’m sharp today!” she shouted and I couldn’t have agreed more.

We had a great time at the banquet and Mom even got a lovely big pot of geraniums for being the oldest mother in attendance.

This morning, Mother’s Day, I drove over to her assisted living facility to pick her up for church. My daughter, Laura, had arrived the evening before so we had decided to surprise Mom and just show up with Laura. Indeed Mom was surprised and delighted to see both her daughter and her grandaughter there to greet her. So off we all drove to church.

The service was flowing along smoothly but as we got to the closing hymn, I noticed that my mother was standing up and rocking slightly back and forth but not singing at all, despite the fact that it was a hymn that she would have known. Plus she just didn’t look right. I leaned over and asked her if she felt OK. She looked at me strangely and made a gesture with her hand to her lips similar to what we used to do when we’d tell our kids to “zip their lips.” I don’t know if she was trying to tell me that her mouth felt strange or that she couldn’t talk. At that point the hymn was over and we sat down but I noticed that her mouth was slack and hanging open. I leaned over again and asked if she felt ok. She just looked at me. I asked her to smile at me. Again, she just looked at me. I asked her to try to make her mouth into a smile at me. Again, nothing. Her eyes were just vacant. It was then I decided to go out into the foyer and call 911. I figured she was having a stroke. Laura stayed with her and another member in the pew in front of us who is a nurse came to sit next to Mom while I was out. As I called, Laura said she tried to get my mom to squeeze her hand but there was no response and spit just ran down Mom’s chin. However, by the time the first responders arrived, the service was dismissing and she was already starting to snap out of it and quite confused as to why people were making such a fuss.

The paramedics decided that she should go to the ER to be checked out for what they thought might be a mini-stroke. By the time she arrived at the hospital, she was pretty much back to her old self. She was confused as to why she had to be at the hospital but kidding around with us and making faces at the doctor behind his back. I told her that most folks just nap through a service if they get bored. There was really no need for her to have tried to go out in a blaze of glory (or the back of an ambulance).

She has no recollection of anything that happened while this “attack” was happening. The ER doctor ordered an EKG, Catscan, and bloodwork, all of which came back perfect. He has concluded that she had a TIA, or mini-stroke. She was released to go back to the Woods and I am to call her doctor tomorrow to see if there are any additional tests she wants done. The ER doctor said that Mom is already on the right meds to try to preclude these episodes as best as one can. I’d appreciate your prayers for her. It certainly illustrates how quickly things can change in a period of 24 hours. And as always, it just goes to show that none of us know when we shall be called into the presence of our Maker. Keep the faith and give your mothers (those who still have them living) an extra hug or call tonight.


One Response

  1. Oh my goodness! What an adventure. So glad your Mom is doing well! She’ll be in my prayers for continued good health.


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