I phoned, as I usually do in the morning. I had just weaned myself back to checking on her once a day since I had taken Mom to ICU twice in October with atrial fibrillation, so that I wouldn’t upset her by letting her know I was uneasy about her health. When I checked her phone log later in the week to pick up messages, I saw that I had called almost exactly 24 hours before to check on her. I would wait until 9 or 10 in the morning before I called to be sure she was finished her shower. This was both to not disturb her, and to better assess how she was that day.
She picked up the phone after a couple of rings. I was not sure if the noise I heard from my end was a machine or my mother’s voice. I asked her a question, then I was sure it was her voice, and realized that she had probably had a stroke. “Mom, I am coming right now”, I told her. I quickly phoned Scott and my friend Luc drove me to Mom’s place. Scott was already there when I arrived, and was taking charge to keep her calm. We called an ambulance, and went off to the hospital with her. The next more than two weeks has been a blur. My sister and I were glad this week when the white board in the room we have been moved to with Mom had the date on the board. We had lost track of time.
Mom’s stroke was catastrophic – she suffered with global aphasia until the day she died – March 8, 2009. She never left the hospital.