Christmas eve: We finished our shopping, picked up the house a bit, and brought my mom over for the night. She likes to spend the night so she's here to watch the kids open their presents in the morning. It was shaping up to be a pretty quiet Christmas. My sister stopped by with her husband and their son for a little while. Another nephew and his female friend came by. Very nice to be with family. We had a late dinner of homemade pizza, lit some candles, and had a little settle-down time before putting the kids to bed.
I wrapped presents, and made Christmas come. I fell asleep sometime after midnight.
Sometime after 1, I woke up. I heard a yowling. I heard a yelping.
"Amy! Oh, Amy! Come!"
Eric and I jumped out of bed and up the stairs. My mom was shuffling frantically back to bed, gasping and asking for an aspirin. She flopped down onto my bed, holding her chest, saying, "I think this is what it feels like to have a heart attack." Gasp, pant, howl.
Eric is very good at settling people down. He speaks so calmly and nicely.
I called 911, hoping that the ambulance wouldn't arrive before we got our pants on. We did get our pants on. Well, not my mom. She doesn't care, especially while clutching her chest and making use of a bucket.
It made for a bit of excitement in the night. Our neighbor Millie came down to check on us and offered to stay with the kids while we went to the hospital.
Kelsey got up, but Kayleigh slept through the sirens, the EMT's radio going off repeatedly at about 200 decibels, the howling, the three strange men in the house.
I sent Millie home, put Kelsey to bed with Eric, and followed my mom to the hospital. The security guy at the hospital wondered if I knew what I was talking about when I said my mom had just been brought in by ambulance. Apparently they're not accustomed to women being taken to the VA.
Anyway, they're not sure if it was a heart attack or not. It may have been the congestive heart failure having a big holiday fart. We'll know more today. Since it was Christmas and the VA is a government facility, it was a skeleton crew and not much diagnosis went on. They worked to get her blood pressure down and the fluid out of her legs, feet, and lungs. She's had a hard time getting doctors to do anything about the fluid in her legs, but this experience seems to have gotten their attention.
I was a little dismayed to hear my mom say she didn't want to be resuscitated should the need arise. I already knew that, but in a moment of a possible heart attack, it really sucks to hear it aloud. "I just want to die," she said.
So, it made for a tired Christmas somewhat less full of cheer and peace than I was anticipating. My mom was in pretty good spirits considering what she'd been through and spending Christmas in a hospital.
Like she always says, you just never know what the next day will bring.