Friday, March 03, 2006
Oh dear, what a long two weeks since Valentines Day!
First off, our office found out that a dear colleague had suddenly passed away from a heart attack. We will miss you, Guy, and the work will continue. Put in a good word to Ganesh for me!
The afternoon after the funeral, one of our best men from the wedding called to say he and his wife have welcomed Abigal Dee-Ann into the world. Everyone is now home and resting comfortably. Much like the Jewish way of celebrating baby showers, the baby will be able to go to the party next weekend - I have a choir concert that afternoon, so we'll be sending along our gift with an additional bonus.
But then, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, my brother called to say my mom was having chest pains. Mom's a nurse, which means that she tends to ignore a lot of her own symptoms, so something had to be seriously wrong for her to ask to be taken to emergency. This was also the weekend I needed to be at work from 8:00 - 12:00 Saturday and Sunday, so I dressed for work and met them at the urgent care center. You have probably heard a lot of ERs advertising 29 minute or less waits in the lobby - which is true - they just can't guarantee you won't spend 5 hours once you are in one of the beds and waiting for a doctor to come and diagnose the problem. And in this case, mom needed to be admitted so they could make sure nothing was wrong and run a whole lot of tests. She had had a stress test late last year and knew there was a blockage, but I guess she figured it was fairly small and could wait. Now seemed to be as good of a time as any to get that taken care of.
So I spent the weekend bouncing back and forth between work and the hospital. On Sunday, Alex called to say that there was a lot more blockage than expected and mom would require a triple bypass. Yikes. Monday and Tuesday were spent getting paperwork together (mom had recently met with a lawyer to document her estate and draw up a will) and make sure that if anything drastic happened, we would have said what we wanted to say. It was very emotional and heart-wrenching, but I think it was good. To be sure, mom was in very good hands - after all, many of her friends and my brother work there. The cardiologist and heart surgeon both had good reputations amongst everyone who worked there. Mom was pretty popular - with each shift change a new wave of well wishers would pop through the door. One of my cousins came by - she and several other members of our extended family are expecting in the next six months. We're still trying, so keep your fingers crossed!
The surgery went decently well. It took from approximately 10 am - 2:30 pm. Geoff has been calm and supportive and I have received lovely notes and e-mails from friends. Mom spent an extra day on the ventilator, but it's finally out and she can start to talk, though it is very quiet. I didn't like all of the crazy machinery noises, so I brought in a cd player and some quiet music to play continously. Since everything went well (thus far), it's hard to truly grasp the surreality of the situation, even as this portends what it will ultimately look like when we do have to say our final goodbyes. But thankfully, it looks like mom will be around for a good long time and I would be willing to bet she comes out of this feeling better than she has in years. Her heart blockages were at least 80 percent or higher for three of the ventricles - she was essentially a walking time-bomb.
So, I am still bouncing back and forth between work, home and the hospital. It's actually very difficult to concentrate on any one thing, but that's an easy problem to have compared to how tired my mom is at the moment. I'm pretty much ready to sleep at the drop of a hat (more so than usual!!!).
All I can say is, thank God she's ok, and that we have amazing friends and family to show their support and love.