The other night, on commenting that I’d switched from beer to bourbon, I promised “more detail tomorrow.” I didn’t do that on Saturday as promised, but I’ll now do it late on Sunday night.
The phone rang early on Friday morning. I rolled over and saw that it was my sister. I mentioned it to my wife before answering. We both figured that she was calling to say that something had happened to my father, who has has Parkinson’s for around 17 years, and is nearer to the end than the beginning. But that wasn’t it.
She was calling to tell us that sometime during the night on Thursday, my mother had a stroke in her sleep.
My mother woke up on Friday morning for work and realized that her left side was numb. She called my sister while she was on her own way to work, which is their normal routine (my mother works from home and my sister, a middle school vice principal, goes in very early) and they realized her voice was slurred. My mother commented to my sister that she thought she may have had a stroke.
The funny part is that my mother wasn’t alone. Her husband, my stepfather, was asleep next to her. My sister had her hand the phone to him, and she told him to get her to the hospital.
A little while later, the ER doctors confirmed the stroke, albeit minor one. After admitting her and running more tests, they determined that she had a small, untreatable blood clot in her brain.
My mother, who is 66, has beaten breast cancer, as well as a scare with a possible recurrence last year. It’s all been feeling like a pile-on these past few years. It’s been stressful for everyone, and for me it’s exacerbated by the fact that we live 1,500 miles away (her choice, not mine, but it’s still shitty when life threatening things happen). I very nearly got on a plane Friday evening or Saturday morning, but after more testing and much discussion all around, we all collectively decided that going down next weekend was the better choice.
After two days of monitoring, they determined that her risk of recurrence is low, and she was sent home earlier today. It all seems, so far, to be going about as well as something like this can go. I’m very thankful for all of that, but I’d also like for this shit to stop. It’s been a rough five years for my mother, and she could use the break.