Suffice it to say that my life has been turned almost upside down since my mother moved in with us back near the end of January. One true way of seeing that is that this is the first post I’ve written on this blog since the end of my 31 days in a row of posting on this blog in January.

It’s been a period of acclimation and adjustment for all of us, and a period of restless sleep. Every day is a new challenge and a new lesson on dealing with a a parent with dementia. I’ve had some mental highs and lows, but other than my two main blogs I haven’t felt like writing anything else. Last week I thought I might finally be ready to get back to work and writing… until…

My mother had a heart attack! Didn’t see that one coming, and as it turns out, women manifest symptoms slightly different than men. It took my wife and I almost an hour to realize Mom was possibly having it instead of some serious indigestion after Mom finally announced that she hadn’t eaten the breakfast I’d made her (she’d thrown it away and we didn’t know) and mentioned that her chest hurt (which she hadn’t indicated earlier) that we finally called 911 and got the ball rolling.

The ambulance was at the house within 5 minutes. Then came the police, firetrucks, a fire marshall… I’m not totally sure of all the people in the house but not counting my wife and I there were 12 people there, and 7 or 8 of them were in Mom’s bedroom; that’s saying something. It took maybe 20 minutes to finally get Mom on the ambulance and the ride to the hospital was mentally taxing, even though the driver drove slower on Route 81 than I normally do.

We went to Crouse Hospital because that’s where my wife and I used to work and that’s where our doctors have admitting privileges. In this case it was an emergency, so ER docs handled the early part and a cardiologist, who happened to be in the hospital making rounds, was summoned. We were given information at each step of the process and, luckily, my wife understood everything that was being said (I understood about 75% of it, being in health care finance).

Eventually the doctor came out and told her Mom officially had a heart attack but that it would easily be taken care of. They took her downstairs to the cardiac surgery area and my wife and I stayed in the waiting area to see how things were going.

This is the amazing part if you ask me; from the time we called 911 until the end of the surgery it was all over in less than 3 hours. Mom was feeling better, as they’d placed a stent in her heart that they put in by going through her wrist… and she was awake the entire time! That’s just amazing; who says our health care is bad in America?

I’m not going into many details in this post, as I really just wanted to think Dr. Anil George, who performed the surgery, all the people in the emergency room of Crouse, the ambulance unit (sorry but I don’t know who it was) and the people who watched over Mom the two days she was in the hospital. Imagine that; a heart attack and back home in 2 days!

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