Let me just say that I love my mother dearly. She is so special to me that I can't even put it into words.
Now that that's out of the way, let me just say that she is infuriating!
She is the most stubborn woman I know by far. This past week has been exhausting. She told me on Monday that she has had high blood pressure for about a week. High like 184/101 high. For a week!
Then she tells me that she has been having chest "pressure" for a week off and on. It's been so bad that she has woken up in the middle of the night from it and then has to "catch her breath".
That's when I call my brother, who lives 5 minutes from my mother compared to my 2 hours. Has he been made aware of any of this? No. Why would she tell him?
(twitching becomes spasming)
I fill my brother in and we take action. I pack a bag and hit the road. His wife drives Mom to the doctor. He can't leave his 24 hour shift so he just waits for our updates.
We are all prepared for her admission to the hospital. Which doesn't happen. She is seen and released with blood pressure meds and nitroglycerin tablets to take as needed for the "pressure".
Of course, she sees this as nothing being wrong.
She is fully convinced that it's probably just congestion or acid reflux. No big deal. She continues to hang on to this logic as she is clearly short of breath and rubbing her chest for the next several hours.
I spend the next several hours trying to convince her to take the nitroglycerin tablets. When she refuses to do that, I try to convince her to go to the emergency room. Clearly she is having the "pressure" (which she refuses to identify as pain btw) and is short of breath.
(spasming becomes seizing)
It's midnight before I finally get her to agree to go to the ER. Midnight.
They immediately take her back and hook her up to a monitor, do an ekg, chest xray, bloodwork, give her a nitro pace and nitro tablets.
She is shocked and amazed by how the nurses respond so quickly. You know, to her chest pain and all. Huh. Imagine that.
She stays there for 4 hours so they can repeat her bloodwork and then they discharge her because it came back okay. They tell her to take the nitro tablets as soon as the "pressure" starts and to come back if it doesn't help. They tell her she's not congested. They tell her it's probably not acid reflux. They tell her to get the stress test her doc is setting up for her.
What does she take away from this?
It could still be acid reflux. Or maybe congestion. She doesn't need all those meds.
(full body seizing)
My brother and I spend the next morning pleading and crying to Mom to please, for the love of not finding her dead on the floor, take the nitro. We can see that she is again rubbing her chest but does she take the nitro? No. She takes Pepcid. Pepcid.
(omg my head is exploding)
Since we can no longer argue because we are emotionally drained, we just sit and wait. We pester her with questions about her symptoms until she finally caves and takes a nitro. Then takes another.
And do you know what happened?
Her "pressure" went away. Imagine that.
(omfg I think I just stroked out)
One small victory for us. The battle is far from over. For the sake of my sanity, I returned home yesterday. I felt good about that decision. She was on the right path.
Of course, she emailed me this morning to tell me that she took some Pepcid and some Mucinex last night and had a good night's sleep.
(teeth started grinding)
I just don't know what to do anymore. I am a wreck. She is so stubborn that it just may kill her and it breaks my heart. I know she's really struggled with aging and all the health problems she's developed in the past several years. I've struggled right along with her. I've felt her frustration and anger and embarrassment and depression just as deeply as she has. I get it. She knows it's hurt me to see her deteriorate. It's hurt all of us. But we've been right there by her side and always will be.
Deep down, I know she understands how serious this is. I know that. I think her fear is just keeping her from accepting it all.
It's just so painful. So stressful. So heartbreaking.
Please send me some positive energy. I am going to need it.