Updated: Oct 12, 2020
It is August 12, 2020.
As I write this, my mom is being helicoptered to the University of Michigan’s emergency room, where she will be prepped for a procedure that this hospital has done successfully many times before. Beverly, that’s my mom’s name, is stroking. One of the staff members at her assisted living place found her unresponsive, lying on the floor (tough image).
She has a significant blood clot in what must be the right brain, because the left side of her body is dropping from top to bottom. My sister, Cathy Sue, who is a nurse, laid it out for me. They could have just given her the drug TPA and hoped for the best, but the possibility of mom surviving were high, but not with a quality of life. Her baseline would have seriously changed: wheel chair, speech impairment, limited use of the left side of her body, etc.
The procedure mom is about to receive is called a Thrombectomy, which is a real-time imaging catheter, inserted in an artery, at the groin. It is then navigated up to the brain. Once in the brain, the neurosurgeon will determine which option of removal to use (suction, stents, etc…). I’m now in a state of surreal time, not quite as surreal as hearing about a death, but close.
Cathy made this decision because of two factors: firstly, mom’s baseline prior to stroke was good for an 82-year-old woman. She still enjoys life, as much as an elder can enjoy life with pandemic lock down protocol. The thrombectomy gives Beverly a greater chance of returning to her baseline. Not a 100% chance, but much higher than without it, as I described above. The second factor was the nurses. Cathy asked the nurses to walk out into the hall with her where she posed this question, “What would you do if it were your mom?” Ergo, Beverly’s solo, yet escorted flight to . . . a procedure.
Heavy sigh. I am . . . simply holding the space for Beverly and God to decided what course to take. In other words, may she live and express her highest dharma. Or, God’s will, not ours, be done. Heavy sigh.
Just got a text. She’s going in for the procedure. Fuck. Fuck! What the fuck!?! OK. She’s in God’s hands. Thy will be done.
My head hurts. I have to rewrite an entire tribute section of a Celebration of Life Ceremony that is happening this Friday. Today is Wednesday. The descendent lived a tough life, and her children have no positive memories of them together. They have deep appreciation for the sacrifices she made, as a single mother, but no touchy feely memories. It has proven to be a difficult writing. Sorrowful memories make for difficult writing.
And now, I get to think of Beverly. I’m so glad Cathy Sue, who has a different father than Greg, and me, I’m so glad she has fond memories of Beverly. And her grandchildren do as well, as do the great grandbabies. Three generations of wonderful memories of a Beloved woman I call mom. And even though, as I sit herE and write I can’t think of one wonderful memory (although I know there must be at least one), I know she knows I love her, and she knows I know she loves me too . . . to the moon and back.