This morning started out like most, my mom and dad got up, took their pills, and we talked about how they were feeling. My mom has felt weak the last couple of days, but that comes and goes. She was hungry, which was a good sign. After breakfast, I was working in the kitchen and my mom went into her room. A couple minutes later I heard her call me. I went in and found her lying on the floor at the foot of her bed. I was very confused and thought at first she had been doing some exercises. She said she could not get up, so I took a hold of her and helped her. She was having trouble standing. Luckily her walker with a seat on it was nearby, so I got it over and was able to sit her in it. During this time, I asked why she was on the floor. She said it was not on purpose. She was going to the back of the room and felt too weak to make it, so she held onto the bedpost and slid down to the floor. I could hear that she was having a hard time talking, which happens sometimes with her Parkinsons. But when she sat down, I could see that this was different. Her speech was slurred and it seemed that her mouth was not cooperating. I asked her to smile for me and only the right side of her face responded. I knew this was a sign of a stroke. Not wanting to leave my mom, I yelled for my dad and he came in the room. I briefly explained what happened and that I thought she had a stroke and we needed to get her to a hospital right away. My mom said, “Call 911”, which we did. The EMT’s arrived and my mom was able to answer the questions, but with some difficulty. As they tended to her, I could see that she was declining. The ambulance arrived and they whisked her off to the hospital. My dad was going to ride with her, but as he went back inside to retrieve his hearing aides, they left without him. They wanted to waste no time. When my dad and I arrived at the hospital, the doctor was speaking to my mom who was in a pretty bad way. She was struggling to form any words, had no feeling on the left side of her body, and was loosing peripheral vision in her left eye. The doctor said the testing that they had already done showed a spot on her brain and they were fairly certain she was not getting blood to that area and having a stroke. He talked about a drug that they could give her – TPA. He said she was a very good candidate as she was there so quickly after the onset of the symptoms. The medication needed to be administered ASAP. (I later found that there is about a 3 hour window in which this medication is effective.) The drug is given through an IV and breaks up blood clots that have formed, allowing blood to flow to the part of the brain that is being blocked. The doctor said the risk was potential internal bleeding and that they would keep a close watch for that. My dad said yes – to please do what could be done. He asked my mom who nodded her head and managed to form the words, “I read about that.” They got the medication set up quickly, gave her a large dose, and hung the rest on the IV pole to continue the process. The nurse stayed in the room and went through a regimen with my mom every 15 minutes. The first few tries, everything seemed to stay the same. Then, she was able to raise her left eyebrow a bit. Her words were becoming more clear. Gradually, she started coming around. After the hour drip in the IV, she was sent to ICU to keep a close watch over her for the next 24 hours. As time passed, her speech was more understandable, her thought process was better, and she got feeling back in her left side. Her nurse in the ICU called her a TPA miracle. I asked if they see many people improve in such a dramatic way. She said unfortunately not, as most people do not get to the hospital in time. As evening came, my dad and I were exhausted so decided to head home for the night to get some good sleep. By the time we left, my mom was just about back to her normal. I am still amazed and grateful for this miraculous improvement. And I am grateful for those who continue to care for my mom.
I Found God today in being close to my mom to respond to her, in my mom’s prompting to call 911, in the EMT’s and doctors who knew just what to do, in the medical knowledge and medications that are available, and mostly in the amazing improvement that my mom showed in a short period of time.
she is a resilient woman
Yes she is. It is truly amazing.