What a month. And I don't mean that in a joyous way.
I am lucky in that both my parents are alive and well - and basically just all-around awesome parents. They have always set extraordinary examples for me and my siblings on how to be kind & generous with others. Example: when I was in high school, my mom AND my dad (they are divorced) both took in teenagers who were having trouble with their families. Mind you, they already have five of their own children to look after - but they both graciously looked after young adults who needed help & support. Frankly, I'm not sure I always live up to their example, but I am going to try a little harder.
Anyway, my mom started to have some strange (and scary) physical symptoms this summer. She would suddenly feel absolutely terrible, sweat profusely, and then vomit. Of course, being a nurse practitioner, she did the logical thing: ignore the symptoms and keep them to herself. VERY bad idea, Mom!
Fast forward to September: she (finally) sent us (her children) an email where she briefly discussed her health concerns. She mentioned needing an angiogram, but made it seem like that was as common as getting a flu shot (umm...not quite). The ol' mother-daughter telepathy kicked in (sometimes we have that) and I sensed she was either not giving us the whole story or in denial about what was really doing on. Turns out, it was both scenarios. Again, not good.
I was able to get a few days off to fly up to see what was going on. After the angiogram, the doctor confirmed the worst. My mom had FIVE partially blocked arteries in her heart (3 of them were 80% blocked - including the one they call "the widow maker.")
Yup - my mom was going to need a quadruple bypass procedure - not the simple little stent that she thought would take care of her issues.
Thankfully, the surgical team @ Concord (NH) Hospital is just incredible. My mom made it through the bypass surgery with flying colors. She is now at home - resting & healing. She can't drive, can't lift anything yet, and is pretty fatigued. But, she is going to be with us to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's about all I could ask for.
Her experience has certainly made me think twice about what I eat, too. Suddenly, kale, spinach, beans, and carrots are looking really good. Take care of yourselves, my friends!