Almost a month ago I woke up to a phone call at 7am. It was my mother’s partner’s son calling me to tell me that my mum had a stroke and was in hospital.
She had been watching TV, heard a buzzing noise, had a seizure and started speaking gibberish. Her partner called an ambulance and although she recovered somewhat on the way to the hospital emergency area, she succumbed again and was admitted to the intensive care unit.
I arrived at the hospital the morning after the stroke. Thus began our new life.
This experience was, and continues to be an emotional roller coaster. It is difficult to see your mother unable to move or talk, essentially trapped in her own body. She’s a strong minded intelligent woman, currently facing her worst nightmare. When she is most alert she can communicate with us via her left toe and arms, and her eyes open, but most of the time she is in a half awake state, constantly poked and prodded by the hospital staff.
Her prognosis is somewhat unknown. Time will tell how much better she will get and the main medicine is patience. This is the kind of patience that can last months – even years.
I’m currently typing this sitting in the stroke ward next to my mother. She is surrounded by people who are in varying degrees of the same condition and a dedicated staff of nurses and doctors there to help. As her only son I am the closest person in the world to her and I know my presence and voice has the potential to be of the most help. I especially want to be here during the times she is afraid, and to monitor her changes so I can stay abreast of her condition.