Last Wednesday at 3am, I awoke to my cell phone ringing. I instantly felt dread in the pit of my stomach. Good news rarely arrives in a 3am phonecall. I had a feeling it would be bad news.
Unfortunately, I was right. My sister was calling to tell me that Mom was in an ambulance on her way to the hospital. She had been experiencing pain in her chest, left arm, and jaw.
What worried us the most, however, was that Mom said she felt scared.
Let me talk about my Mom for a second. Three months ago, Mom retired from 48 years of nursing (she’s been a nurse since 1966!). She retired as the Administrator of a nursing home and assisted living center (Administrator=boss lady by the way). She’d seen it all in her career, having worked in hospitals and doctor’s offices. She had even been a school nurse. She’s easily seen as one of the top nurses and Administrators in her area.
So, for Mom to say she was scared and nervous about her chest pain was a big deal.
Mom has Type II diabetes, and so does her sister (my aunt). My aunt also has had multiple heart procedures in the past, including stints and bypasses. Therefore, we were all scared that Mom was having heart trouble.
Later that morning, I drove the two hours to the hospital near Mom’s house. I was greeting by a room full of friends and family. I got there to see Mom before her scheduled cardiac catheterization. A cardiac cath is where a catheter is inserted into an artery and threaded through blood vessels to the heart. In this case, it was inserted into Mom’s thigh.
About 45 minutes into Mom’s procedure, the doctor came out to the waiting room to talk to me. He said that she had no blockages in her heart. In fact, her heart looked fine.
I exhaled an immediate sigh of relief. Which was followed instantly by me asking, “If it wasn’t her heart, then what was it?” The doctor answered that it could be acid reflux, stress, or even some form of arthritis that you can get in the chest. At any rate, it wasn’t her heart, which was great news.
About an hour later, I was signing the paperwork to get Mom released from the hospital. She had to take it easy for the next day or two: no driving, no lifting anything over ten pounds, etc. The doctor also told Mom that she needs to lose weight, and to try to get rid of her diabetes.
I stayed with my mom and aunt until yesterday. We had several long talks while I was there. Mom told me she saw this experience as a wake-up call. Her second chance. She said she wants to live a heathier lifestyle and try to lose weight.
We went food shopping and prepared healthy meals (easy steamed corn in the microwave, delicious lemony cauliflower, and an eggplant parmigiana recipe found on theglutenfreevegan.com — which they loved!). Mom and I watched a documentary on Netflix called, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” Mom is now researching the best way to incorporate juicing into her diet.
Since I left, Mom has continued to eat well. In fact, Mom told me today that she has lost six pounds in the past week; she was very excited and surprised about that!
My vision for this blog is to be a source of inspiration for people like my mom, those striving to live a healthier lifestyle. I hope others can benefit from what I’ve learned.