I’ve been debating writing this post for quiet some time now (aren’t I always?) and I feel like the only way to move forward is to share them than to push past them. Bear with me.
On September 16th, my mother had a minor heart attack. On September 21st, they performed a coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).
My mom had been feeling off days before we called the ambulance to come check on her. She was tired, lethargic, and on that day had trouble breathing. We finally called the ambulance when she felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest. I thank God for the doctor and nurse that came to our house to check on her. They listened to their guts and transported her as opposed to doing the easy thing.
You see when they came, although my moms BP was through the roof, her EKG came back normal. When they tested my moms sugar levels due to her diabetes, they were also through the roof. The doctor couldn’t, in good conscience, give her something for each and leave. So they took her to the emergency room. The doctors performed more physical tests which came back normal. But what gave it away was her blood test.
My mom wasn’t having a heart attack in that moment. However, the blood tests showed that she had had it several days prior to her arrival. None of us could believe it. The night before she was babysitting the girls while Carlos and I went out for a birthday celebration and now she was being admitted to the hospital and nothing was certain.
After a series of tests, the doctors discovered a blockage in one of her arteries and suggested surgery. At this point I was in Montevideo 14 hours a day while Carlos was at home with the girls. I was scheduling trips for my aunt and sister to come down and help me so I could take care of the girls. I was trying to round up volunteers to donate blood for my moms surgery.* It was exhausting.
Eventually we rented an AirBnb so that we didn’t have to travel the hour to and from every day. It was a great convenience for us seeing as it was 3 blocks from the hospital with parking. I’ll definitely be staying there again in the future.
This month has easily been the longest month of my life. Longer than either of my pregnancies, longer than my first year of marriage, longer than my three years away at university. But now we’re finally back home. My mom is recovering as well as can be expected. Her wound still hasn’t completely closed but it is looking better each passing day.
This experience was a wake up call for all of us. We need to take better care of our health, of our bodies and of our minds. I’ve witnessed the physical traumas my mom has gone through since her cancer diagnosis when I was nine years old. Whether or not I like it, her suffering molded and affected me. My goal now is to do better for them so that they don’t have to witness the same thing…not if I can avoid it anyway.