Given she had passed out (she believes it was for twenty minutes) they took catscans of her head and so had to wait to ensure it wasn’t a stroke. It wasn’t but since this passing out seems to happen regularly—every few months—they held her for a few days to monitor her heart and blood pressure. Now my mother’s heart is actually in excellent shape for her age. In the past year she’s had a stress test and an echocardiogram, all of which shows a remarkably strong heart. Her latest cholesterol level is an astounding 163. But what seems to be her problem is an unusually low heart rate. It’s always been in the fifties, and while she was hooked up to the monitor at the hospital I saw it drop to 49. Six years ago she was also diagnosed with NeurocardiogenicSyncope, which makes her faint when she bends over and rises really fast.
So at the hospital the talk seemed to lead that she would need a pacemaker. But ultimately they decided she didn’t need it and just gave her an additional medicine for Orthostatic hypotension. But here’s the kicker. After spending three days in the emergency room on an ER bed, she developed back spasms which prevented her from walking. She couldn’t put her feet down on the ground. She was ready to be released but there was no way for her to take care of herself by herself. They wanted her to go to a rehab facility, which is nothing more than a nursing home. I couldn’t argue against it, and neither could she, but she was furious. They actually went through with making arrangements.
When I tell you she was mad, that is an understatement. A nursing home is her worst fear. I couldn’t go into her room without her cursing me. Other than the curses, she refused to speak to me. I finally had to leave. Actually it’s my sins coming back to haunt me. At times when my mother in her advanced years would do something that risked her well being, I threatened to have her put in a nursing home. Now I didn’t really mean it. It was just a means to get her to be more cautious, and for the most part she understood that. But at the hospital she claimed I finally got my wish to have her put away. God certainly was getting back at me.
Luckily the painkillers the next day enabled her to walk with a walker, and given I promised to stay with her, they released her to her home. So I’ve been there for a few days, and slowly her back has been getting better. She’ll have a nurse coming over to check on her and a physical therapist. Finally I can get back to work. Anyway, without getting into more details, that’s the story.
Through it all Matthew had a fun Halloween. He went in a Captain America costume. He looked great. Here are some pictures.