Wednesday, February 12th, Mom and I went out for our daily walk. Everything was normal, except for the everlasting snow fall that started our biggest snow storm of the winter. It was cold, as it usually is when it snows. I was walking far ahead of Mom in my own little world. The sound of Mom yelling awoken me from my daydreaming. I turned around to see her fall. Our cat, who likes to take walks with us, ran towards me. I figured she tripped over him, or lost her footing. She’s clumsy like that, often losing her balance and running into walls. It’s rare when she falls, but she does.
She didn’t get up. “Mom?” I said. She didn’t respond. I ran over to her, to see her laying on the ground, convulsing. She was having a seizer. I had only seen people have seizers on t.v., House to be exact.
“Mom!” I yelled. She had stopped convulsing, but now she was breathing strange. She sounded like her was gasping for breath, choking on something. I turned her to her side and unzipped her jackets from her chin. I didn’t know what to do. Her eyes were closed, and she was breathing the same way my grandma did minutes before she died. My mom was going to die.
We were in the woods, the snow was starting to pile up, Mom wasn’t responding to my constant yelling. I got up and ran to a clearing. “HELP!” I yelled, knowing very well that absolutely no one was going to hear me, yet I continued to yell. I yelled so loud, like I was auditioning for a horror movie. No, I was in a horror movie. I ran back to my mom, hoping something had changed. She continued to gasp for air. “MOM!” I yelled again. I hit her back, hoping that what she was choking on would come out. I stopped, knowing that wasn’t going to help. She swallowed. She wasn’t choking, neither was Grandma before she died. I ran back to the clearing. “HELP!” I yelled again. No tears. I didn’t have time to cry. I had to keep my mind clear.
“God, why are you doing this to me?” I yelled. “You can’t do this! This can’t happen!” I ran back to Mom. “She can’t die!”
Her eyes were open. She looked at me. “Mom?” I said. She looked back down at the ground and moved her hand under her cheek. She was breathing normal. She can’t talk. Is that function gone? Can she move? Is she paralyzed?
Peace. I knew the only thing left to do was leave her. I didn’t want to, she could still die if she couldn’t move. She could freeze. Something could happen. But I couldn’t stay. I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I took off my jacket and my scarf and I covered up any open skin to keep the snow off of her. I had to walk home and get help.
The snow was coming down harder and faster. I started up the boat ramp road, and over the locked gate towards the top. A car drove by. Stupid people, why are you out in this weather? I thought, though hoping more stupid people would be out to help me. “You can’t let her die,” I said, “God, she can’t die.” I was filled with fear, and guilt. I felt so guilty for leaving her, and if she died, I would have never forgiven myself.
As I rounded the corner of the road my house is on, a car came up behind me. I turned around and waved. They came up beside me with their window down. “My mom is…on the ground, and…she’s not…breathing…and she’s…twitching” I tried to explain through my hysterical stuttering. I couldn’t talk, I was too scared and happy and nervous and relieved. They let me get in and drove to the boat ramp road. It’s locked, how is the ambulance going to get down the road? How are we going to her her up here? How is this going to work? As I sat there with my head in my hands, I noticed the passenger get out and unlock the gate. Not everyone has a key for that gate. No one I know has a key for it.
I was confused. Overjoyed, but confused. I looked up. The one car? I thought to God. Really? They drove down to the lake, and I sprang out of the car and hurried over to Mom. She was sitting up. “Mom!” I called to her. She looked at me. I slid down the hill and knelt next to her. “Mom?” I said again, looking her in the eyes. “Yea?” she said.
I can’t even tell you how I felt. Everything was ok. Everything was ok. “What happened?” she asked. “You fell” I answered. Her eyes grew wide. “I fell?” she repeated. Memory loss, she has memory loss. What kind of memory loss? Permanent? Long term? Short term? I told her everything that happened. “I was so scared.” “What happened?” she asked again. Memory loss, oh God, no. I explained everything again.
First the EMT came, then the ambulance. Her memory was starting to come back, but not enough to make me calm down. They got her into the back of the ambulance, and from the front seat I could hear her saying she didn’t want to go the hospital. It was a money thing. Of course it was, we don’t have much left. I knew going to the hospital wasn’t the best decision money wise, but selfishly, I needed her to go, so I could know what caused it. I needed her to go. I was scared.
I convinced Mom to say she’d go, but only if I found the cat. Shasta! Of course I needed to find him! I thought about finding him too. I was not about to leave, knowing the cat was outside in this blasted storm. Someone drove me home so I could grab a few things, and God bless that cat, he was right at the back door. I let him inside, and I ran around the house, crying, grabbing random things I could barely see through my blurry, watery eyes. I didn’t care what I grabbed, I just stuffed it into my bag, and left. The guy drove me back to the ambulance, and once inside, we took off for an hour and half ride to the hospital (which usually takes about forty five minutes on a normal day).
From 5:30pm to 10:30pm, tests were done to determine the cause of the seizer.
No one found one. The next day, a different doctor came in to talk to us. He shrugged his shoulders, and told us he couldn’t find a cause. Nothing was found.
I was happy, and yet, I was afraid. I was afraid because I didn’t know what to avoid for the next one…if there was going to be a next one.
With the wondering aside, more guilt came in. Mom was so excited to play in the snow, she was so looking forward to being at home when the storm came, and I had to make her watch it from a hospital room window. The look on her face every time she looked outside made me cry. I was so upset at myself. I made Mom miss the snow.
I couldn’t get her home. Since we both rode in the ambulance, we didn’t have a ride home. My awesome friends on Google+ shared my plea for someone to get us. I even reactivated my Facebook account, where all of my friends from around the hospital could see my message. No one responded. My friends. On Friday (today), a neighbor responded on our neighborhood message board, and rescued us from the tower (we were getting a little claustrophobic). We had a cat to go home to.
We had to walk home from the main street, but thankfully it was close (closer than walking from the hospital). Everything is fine. Mom’s very tired, but here’s the thing: she sleeps like I do. Before the seizer, she’d sleep a little bit, then get up in the middle of the night, then sleep a little bit more, then get up again. She also used to get up at seven or so. Now, she sleeps through the night, and doesn’t get up until nine. I think she sleeps longer than I do! She doesn’t move around like she used to either. Once she’s asleep, she’s asleep. I was concerned for a while, thinking she got a concussion and was in a coma. But no, she was just sleeping hard.
I’m better, by the way. I’m overprotective right now, but Mom understands why and it doesn’t bother her. She never blamed me for anything. I was the one who put all of the blame on myself. She was so calm, and I was the basket case this time. Role’s reversed, I have a better understanding of stuff now. I can’t tell you what kind of stuff. Maybe, emotional stuff? See, when I was younger, my dad told me that crying was stupid and I was dumb if I cried. So, I never did, hoping to finally get his approval and blah blah blah. So, I never cried at all. But gosh was I a wreck going through all of this, thinking my mother was going to die. It was hard.
To give you a sense of what I was going through in that moment, here’s a Google+ post I posted while laying in a hospital bed next to Mom:
I am extremely depressed.
The doctor came in, bewildered by the fact that there is nothing anywhere that leads to the cause of Mom’s seizer. On top of that, we can’t go home because of the snow storm. No taxies, busses, nothing. We don’t even know any neighbors who could help.
And it’s my fault. I had to leave her in the snow, and hope she didn’t die by the time I got back. She didn’t want to go to the hospital, but I made her say ok. I was so scared. I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong with her. She was so excited to play in the snow, and now she has to look at it through a hospital room window. For what? Because I was scared. She’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with her, and it’s my fault we’re stuck. We’re stuck, and I feel guilty, for everything. Everything that happened, I take the blame. I know I shouldn’t, but I don’t have any answers. “Everything happens for a reason” is not an answer. Why did this happen? Why can’t Mom play in the snow? Why can’t she be home with Shasta? Me, because I was scared.
I’ve never cried so much in my life. I’ve never been this depressed. This is worse than 8th grade when I wondered if people would care if I was gone. I got over that because I had people who cared. I don’t have anything right now.
Everything does happen for a reason. Although I don’t know for what reason this happened, it’s all I can think that will get me past this. Mom’s fine, I’m fine, there’s a reason for this, let’s get past it and move on and find that reason.
Honestly, if Mom hadn’t opened her eyes at the right time, I wouldn’t have left, which means I would have missed that car, which means I would have missed the one person who could open that gate. Everything happens for a reason.
We have decided that it was just a freak thing. My mom broke her elbow, and only 1 in so many people get this certain kind of break. Only 1 in 3 people get shingles in their life time, and Mom got it twice. This just goes along with who she is.
I know this was a long post, but I had a lot of say. Thanks for sticking with me. Talk to you guys next week!