My mother had a heart attack two weeks ago. She had been to a doctor’s appointment that morning. She wanted to go alone but something told me to go with her. I saw her walking up the sidewalk to the front entrance as I pulled in the parking lot. It was good for me to be there to be an extra set of ears for her as she has become hard of hearing. It gives me peace of mind also to converse with the doctor myself concerning my mother’s health concerns.
Lately, her blood pressure has been elevated and when they tested her blood, she was anemic. The doctor prescribed an iron supplement which we were going to fill after getting a quick-lunch. We went to a local Panera Bread since Mom likes their soup. She was feeling fine until we sat down. Suddenly she started feeling dizzy and put her head down. She started going in and out of consciousness. Her left arm started shaking. I tried talking to her. She told me she needed to use the restroom then wanted to go home. I walked with her to the restroom. As soon as she got to the bathroom stall, her legs buckled and she began falling. Fortunately, I was there to catch her and break her fall. I laid her head down on my purse so that she did not hit her head on the floor. This was the first miracle. The second miracle was that I had passed two police officers at a table just outside the bathroom. I grabbed them and had them call “911.” The paramedics came within minutes. They took her to the hospital. I phoned my husband and met him at the emergency room. The EMT’s met me at the door and told me my mother had a heart attack. They were working on her. We waited for about an hour to find out the prognosis.
The time in the waiting room seemed like an eternity. Some candy-stripers offered us some snacks to eat that had been provided by a church. I looked down and noticed that the bag of chips I had chosen had a scripture verse taped to the outside. I marveled at how God must use this wonderful ministry to provide comfort to distraught family members in the hospital waiting room.
As I nervously sat with my husband, I noticed a lady sitting alone across the aisle from us. I struck up a conversation to try to console her as well as myself. Her husband was having heart surgery. He was only 49. She said he had a condition known as “the widow-maker.” As worried as I was about my mother, I wanted to offer a prayer for this woman. I asked her if I could pray for her and she was happy to oblige. Somehow, praying for someone else in the midst of my own crisis made me feel better.
Finally, after an excruciating wait, the doctor came out to talk to us. He took us into a room and showed us an image of my mother’s heart. He said he had put a stent into an artery that was 99% blocked and that she should recover well but would need to stay in the hospital at least 3 days. We were told in the ICU that she was very lucky! She still has some challenges to overcome.
I have been caring more for my mother as she has gotten older. I try to convince her to do things to take care of herself as she gets stubborn sometimes. She almost refused treatment in the emergency room. If my husband had not been there to coerce her, she might not have signed over to let them work on her. Try as I might, I have to keep giving her back to God. He has given her back to me this time. For that I am grateful.
I find myself revisiting the old lesson that God keeps trying to teach me to let go. As I left the hospital during one of my visits when I struggled convincing her that she must stay a few more days and abide by the doctors’ directives, I felt the Lord saying to me “Let little birds fly.”