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Marcian P.

Family & Caregiver

Scared to Death

A couple of years ago I was to meet my Mom at the airport. We were both flying on the same airlines just coming from different states. I was able to go up to her gate since my flight had just arrived. I waited and waited as everyone exited the plane except my Mom. I became very nervous.

Finally after asking over and over where was my Mom, a stewardest came and told me my Mom had gotten very sick on the plane. I was told she had thrown up all over herself, did not know where she was for awhile and sort of pass out. They told me to please take care of her because she was very sick. I told them I was her daughter and of course I would take care of her.

My Mom was wheeled down out of the airplane ramp and there she sat covered in vomit and looking so lost. I immediately asked her if she was okay and she said she was now but did not know what happened. She stated I must have passed out. She told me everyone was nice to her and that she felt bad because she knew she must have smelled bad after throwing up but the people around her told her it was okay. I wanted to take my Mom to the emergency room but she insisted she was okay.

After we got to our hotel, I called my Mom's doctor in Indiana which is where my Mom was living. He told me to give her plenty of cold water and crackers if she would not go to the E.R. and to call him again in the morning. For the rest of the weekend she seemed fine. I decided to fly home with her because I did not want her to make her journey home alone.

The night we go home she had what I later found out was her second TIA (mini-stoke) within 5 days. The night was strange. My mother was acting different. She did not want to go to bed. She started looking at old pictures. She washed the dishes. It was now about 11:00 p.m. My mother usually goes to bed early. I called my sister who rushed over. My sister stated that the way our mother was acting reminded her of my grandmother who died of Alzheimer's. My Mom could not answer certain questions and seemed confused at times. I called her doctor 3 times and left messages with the answering machine but he never returned my call.

The next day I convinced my mother to go to the doctor. After being questioned by the doctor he was convinced that over the last few days she had two mini-stokes. When the doctor asked my mother about the day, she fabricated a story that was not consistent with what she actually had done over the last evening and night.

My mother was put in the hospital. After my mother was released from the hospital I took my mother straight to the airport and flew her back to Houston, TX to live with me. My mother was also diagnosed with early signs of dementia. I have now become her sole caregiver. I love her dearly and pray everyday that she will not have a big stroke or develop Alzheimers. She is able to stay alone while I am at work but I did make sure to get an alert button for her. I do not know how much longer she will be able to stay alone. Every morning before I leave for work I go to the door of her bedroom and listen for her breathing or snoring. After I have heard a sound a breath I thank the Lord and go on to my job. I call her from work to check on her.

It is hard being a caregiver but I don't feel anyone could do a better job than me. It is hard for me to ask others to help me but sometimes I have to give in. I love her so much and I am so scared. I lost my father years ago and she is my life, my angel. Need I say more.


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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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