I’ve been a bit hung up on this post so I guess it is what it is. I will take one more stab at it before posting and moving on. I am torn between too much detail and not enough.
So there we were cruising through our holiday season and boom. Everything changed. On Wednesday, December 18 my mother suffered a severe stroke. Her husband Jack found her collapsed in the bedroom and called an ambulance. She was brought to her local hospital in Indiana and calls were made.
I didn’t quite understand how bad it was. Or maybe I wasn’t ready to understand yet. But I waited for more info and made plans to drive to Indiana on Thursday after Canyon’s school day was done.
My sister needed to drive to Northfield, MN to pick up my niece and her boyfriend for holiday break so I went alone.
This was the first time I have really been away by myself in years. I know it sounds crazy, but I have never spent a night away from River and Raven only brief hospital stays kept me from Canyon-and even then I would see him during the day.
The weather was warm and wet for December but the roads were clear. I listened to music and tried not to panic. But the closer I got to Plymouth the more anxious I became. I stopped at a Burger King to use the bathroom and fill up my water bottle. I took a paper crown to wear as inspiration.
A few miles from Plymouth and things started to take an ominious turn. Cruising along the divided highway, a pickup truck travelling the opposite direction lost control and came barreling down through the sloped grass median, kicking up snow and finally regained control just before crashing into traffic. I watched this all happening in what felt like slow motion, the sad news story already playing in my head-“Mother of three dies while trying to visit her own mother in hospital”.
A mile later a large, black wolf-like dog was eating a dead deer in the median. What the hell Universe???
And then I was at the hospital.
I took photos of my mother when I arrived. I know she would not appreciate my sharing them so I won’t. But I will post a photo of her lovely holiday nails.
The first few hours I was just happy to be there with her. She could recognize me and nod to acknowledge that she knew who I was. But she was unable to speak and her right side was paralyzed. It was scary.
The rest of the story is long and exhausting so I will fast forward.
We were not happy with the quality of the care we were receiving in Indiana and I made that clear. They also were not happy with the assertive, intelligent and demanding me so Mom was transferred to Loyola Medical Center in Chicago. This was great for everyone.
She spent a few weeks at Loyola-first in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit and then on a step down floor. Because she can not swallow she can not eat so she had surgery to implant a Gastronomy Tube (G-tube or Feeding Tube). Jenny and I had to then find a suitable care facility for her more long term care. I researched on the internet for a great Rehabilitation Center in my zip code. Lucky for us we found a great place near my sister and I with great ratings and a wonderful facility. And that’s where Mom is now.
While she is getting stronger and we are encouraged by her progress, there is still a long way to go. She is still paralyzed on her right side, can not eat or speak. But she is mentally aware and we get laughs, smiles and some vocalizations. She works hard in her therapy sessions. Recovery from a severe stroke is hard work with no guarantees. We hope for the best.
If you would like to follow along with her recovery please come over to her Caring Bridge site under Gloria Cummins. I post photos and updates.
And we welcome your prayers, mojo, blessings, thoughts, intentions, etc.