wide-eyed at 4am

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What If I Had Lost My Mom That Day?

I knew that my phone ringing in the wee hours of the morning couldn’t be a good thing. When I saw that it was my brother, I knew that for sure.

I answered to hear that my mom had been taken to the ER because she couldn’t breathe. She would be admitted but right now they were trying to help her breathe and stabilize her…and find out what had caused this problem. The options weren’t good either: stroke, heart failure or at the least pneumonia.

Quick shower and in the car with a cup of coffee….we’re off to Greenville.

My mind was everywhere as we made the 2 hour drive. (well I think we made it in less than 2) What if they couldn’t stabilize her and I got there too late? I didn’t even know if she was conscious. If she’s had a stroke, will she need care? What could change about her life and our lives by the end of the day?

Mom is 87 but by no means acts or really looks her age. I knew she wasn’t ready to “go,” but she was. If you’re a person faith, you know what I mean. She doesn’t think she’s done everything she wants to do before moving on to heaven. But if her maker calls her home, she would be at peace with His plan.

That doesn’t mean anyone on this side would be good with it. I’m not ready for that yet. But I know it’s not likely that I will ever be “ready.” When are you ever ready to lose your mama?

There’s so much she’s given me. Besides being lots like her, she’s showed me what strong faith can do for you and how integrity and values can mold your life. I hope I can reflect a small portion of Janie-like strength and steadfastness during my lifetime.

Thankfully, the day ended with my Mom being stabilized and feeling and looking much better. I spent the night in the windowsill pallet in her hospital room. She slept some. I watched her and listened to her breath – hoping that it wouldn’t start sounding labored again.

We had learned earlier that her diagnosis is heart failure. It’s a condition that will be with her for the rest of her life – not a health event that you just recover from. She had a heart cath that revealed no valve or blockage issues. But that also means that there is no surgical fix. Her condition will have to be closely managed and monitored with medication, exercise and diet. Hopefully that will help her heart to regain some strength and gradually pump more than the 25% it was working at  – at the time of the heart cath.

After a second night in the windowsill, I finally learned Mom could go home to rest for 3-4 days and then slowly (yes slowly) get start becoming active again. Her life will need to change to increase her probability of longevity. Throw away the salt shaker, change from higher sodium choices to lower sodium replacements and totally eliminate some favorites from her diet. Exercise 30 minutes every day – EVERY day. And (probably the biggest challenge) reduce the amazingly high amount of stress in her life.

Hearing my phone spooks me now – after hearing the cardiologist’s comments about how things can transpire after heart failure episodes. I just keep praying for her improvement, her comfort and for God’s strength to live out His will.