I got a phone call at work this afternoon from a nurse at the hospital in the next town. Mum has had a heart attack.
It didn’t quite register properly when she first told me – I only spoke to mum yesterday afternoon and she was fine then. The nurse said she was stable and in the cardiac high-dependency ward. I think I was a bit incoherent at first because I gabbled at the nurse about her bronchitis and kept asking her how long she had been there. Turns out mum called the ambulance herself last night because of pain in her heart and she was transfered to the hospital she is in now because they are better equiped for heart problems. They had been trying to track me down since last night, but mum left my phone number pinned on the boiler in the kitchen, and she couldn’t remember the proper name of the company I work for (it is the most ridiculous name and impossible to spell, even my friends can’t remember where I work). They finally tracked me down by speaking to the local police (please note: I am not a wanted criminal). I got off the phone and told Steve what had happened and he drove me to the hospital straight away. Steve used to live not far from it, and knew exactly where it was, which is a blessing, since I hardly know the area, and on my own would have driven around in my car in an increasing state of hysteria not being able to find the place (thank you Stevie xxx).
Once we got there I cried horribly in front of the nurse (mum was having a catheter fitted and an xray, so I had to wait before I could see her), but they were so friendly and calm, and really very impressive considering how much I distrust and dislike medical people, that I actually calmed down and didn’t burst into tears all over mum when they finally said I could go in and see her.
She looked tiny in the hospital bed (do they deliberately make them so that all people look small in them??), but to my enormous relief, she actually looked pretty good considering what she’d been through. She had a reasonable amount of colour in her cheeks and chatted away to me quite happily for an hour before falling asleep. She’s got a balloon pump fitted in her leg, which helps circulate her blood and gives her heart a bit of a rest. The nurse said they might be able to remove this tomorrow. The ward she is in is open 24 hours and the nurses said they will call me if there is any change at all in her condition, so we drove home so I can get some sleep before returning in the morning. I called my dad and my brother, and little Bro is coming to the hospital with me tomorrow. I also called my nan when I got home, to which I got a frosty reception until I told her what was going on (one of those complicated family relationship things). I need to call her with an update tomorrow.
Work know I’ll be out of the office tomorrow and have been great about it. I just have to wait now and see that mum gets well enough to come home. What a shock. As you can imagine the worst thoughts ever went through my mind on the way to the hospital and I am so relieved to have spoken to her and seen her, and that she was well enough to talk to me and still keep a smile on her face.
And do you know what she said when I asked if she wanted anything else from the hospital store apart from something to read?
“Ooo, you couldn’t pick me up a chocolate bar, could you Faye?”
She saw the funny side when I explained I would probably be escorted from the premises for bringing chocolate into the cardiac high-dependency ward, and it would probably be right up there with handing over some cigarettes and a bottle of gin to make her feel better.
She’s got an inner strength that I don’t see all that often, but I’ll be keeping the phone right next to the bed tonight, and at the moment morning seems like a very long way away.