The Tony Awards were on TV, my mom’s favorite awards show. She sat in her chair wrapped up in an afghan but still she shivered, definitely sick… very sick. Fast forward to Wednesday when she had to have a stress test which she failed, and was scheduled for an arteriogram the following day.
“Where’s Mom?” Dad had returned home without her. He was ashen and calm, too calm.
“She’s in the hospital,” he said, “and it’s not good.
He showed me copies of the x-rays. Three of her coronary arteries were nearly shredded. In four days time my energetic, funny, and loving mother had been broken, and so too, were my dad and I.
“What’s next?” I asked.
“She’s scheduled for triple-bypass surgery tomorrow morning. She’s going to call you in awhile.”
I wondered what she was going to say. Goodbye? Don’t worry, I’ll be fine? I waited anxiously for her call. The conversation was light-hearted, each of us trying through the phone to buoy each other up.
Then came Friday, June 13, 2003, a day etched in my memory. I hadn’t slept. Numb and still in shock, my dad had asked my best friend at the time to stay with me while we waited for news. It wasn’t until 18 hours later that Mom regained consciousness, and an additional 48 hours passed until I saw her face to face. I remember meeting the Coronary Care Unit Manager outside her room.
“She’s very sick,” I said. “I guess she’s going to be here a long time.”
“No, not very long,” she replied. “Her surgeon will probably let her come home in a day or two.”
Inside her room, our eyes locked. She looked frail, frightened, and so tired. The nurse came in and got her up for a walk. Little by little during that visit, I began to see glimmers of my “energizer bunny” coming back to me.
She was discharged as the CCU manager had said, and Mom’s long recovery began at home. Nearly 12 years have passed and she recovered well.
She and my dad have traveled the world, their most recent cruise to the Baltic in 2012.
I will never look on Friday the 13th as something to fear but as a lucky day because I have my “energizer bunny” back in one piece, healthier than she’s ever been.
Note: I chose to share this post with you today in honor of my mom’s recovery and the “Go RED” campaign that is celebrated on 2/6/13 to raise awareness of heart disease in women.