So three weeks ago today I got a call from my Mom. Little did I know that would be the last time I would ever talk to her, and it was her last ever phone call.
Six years ago my mom discovered that she had an aortic dissection. It’s a very serious issue, but at that time the best thing was to just keep an eye on it. So that’s was she was doing. My Mom never let on at how scared she was. At that time she wrote a letter to me and my brother and her will. She was super organized. Her letter basically planned out her funeral. It’s really sad, but it’s now one of my prized possessions.
So on Monday the 16th I got that call from my Mom. She said her dissection was leaking a bit and she needed to go in for surgery. It was a very serious surgery, but she played it off like it wasn’t. She didn’t want anybody to worry and didn’t want me to tell the rest of the family, so I thought nothing of it. I never even looked it up to see how serious it was. Later on I learned that she collapsed at work and was brought to the hospital by ambulance. She didn’t want to worry anybody, so didn’t tell us that.
Tuesday we got a call stating that the surgery was successful and she was recovering. We didn’t hear anything Wednesday, so we just assumed no news was good news.
Then Thursday the 19th came. It was probably the worst day of my life. First, our cat of 14.5 years was going through kidney failure. We new she didn’t have too much time left. We saw her going downhill and didn’t want her to have to suffer over the weekend, so we brought her in to put her to sleep.
About two hours after we got home from the vet, we got a call from the hospital that my Mom was in critical condition and family needs to be there NOW. So in blizzard conditions we dropped everything and headed to St. Cloud. What normally is a 2.5 hr. drive took 4 hrs.
We got there at 11:00 PM and she was on about everything she could be on to keep her alive. They had to perform CPR on her for quite a while, so they weren’t even sure if there was any brain activity left. Her aorta ruptured at another spot, and another surgery wasn’t an option given her current condition. At about 1:00 AM they gave her an hour to live. She held on until family got there around 1:00 PM.
Then when everybody that was going to get there got there, I had to make the call to unhook her from the machines and watch her die. I know it was the right decision since there was no brain activity, but I’m still bothered being the one who had to make the decision.
The images of my Mom dying have been burned into my memory and I’ve been reliving them every night in my dreams.
So while most people were having their Christmas week, we were planning my Mom’s funeral. Christmas was my Mom’s favorite time of the year. I’ve never been much of a fan of Christmas, and I don’t think this year is going to change that.
I’ll probably have more posts about my Mom these coming weeks. I don’t know if anybody still reads blogs, but it’s helpful for me to get it out.