Mother's Heart attack

easter friday morning in the early hours.

mum’s heart started to give out. she and dad thought it was a panic attack and she endured 7 hours of pain through the night.

we were camping in Cania Gorge, uncontactable and surrounded by a sea of 4WD’s, country music, children and woodsmoke.

unknowable anguish in the family and I was detached from it all bushwalking, photographing bats, bettongs, birds and bark.

I can’t reconcile how I felt being in a situation where you don’t know what’s happening literally half a world away due to the distance of communication.

we came into Monto for a steak dinner to escape another meal of SPAM and beans and spam spam spam, with an egg on top.

we got the messages on our phones, frantic calls and my own heart skipped a beat.

not a great time for tachycardia on my own behalf. what to do, she was getting the best medical care and Dad and my sister said everything was OK.

should I continue with my trip and next day’s bushwalks and photography planned for the full moon we we experiencing?

reconciled, a quick morning pack and home in easter rushhour traffic to get to her bedside.

she looked a picture of health for some unknown reason, but you never know with these things.

by Tuesday the angiogram (delayed) came back showing massive blockage to most of her valves – you would not think with 100% blockages of some valves she wouldn’t have major ill effects….but it was all my fault in some ways.

despite my medical knwoledge, her last few years of pain and panic attacks when walking were put down to my family’s mental history and we had pressed her into treatment.

if only i could have had more foresight – walking distances in public would cause her pain which we had come to believe was psychomatic and fed by the anxiety and panic attacks.

i know better now. the pain was real and the attacks were more likely adverse cardiac niggles. but most of her activity had been contained or short walks so I never put 2 and 2 together.

as a chronic smoker, she always maintained her blood pressure was ecellent and cholesterol was low – so nothing EVER showed on tests related to cardiac condition and her doctors had never even thought she could have had such massive blockages.

the week sapped quickly as on the day of her quadruple bypass in the early hours Mum suffered from a stroke – a Transient Ischemic Attack by all accounts with no hemorrhage but in her occipital lobe so she lost her sight and some other functions.

this put the operation on the back burner as they struggled to control her oedema.

positive doctors and negative doctors….. a whirl of good, impartial and worst case news flowed over me as the family gathered and clumped in the ICU waiting rooms – couch sleeping and bad coffee and tea – the paucity of biscuits was appalling for such a heavily funded hospital – but i digress since i cared not for treats.

the swelling subsided but she had a seizure and the EEG showed some damage to her parietal and occipital. nover good news but i never got a straight answer as to it was another stroke or something else…..

she has mended, she is awake now, once the intubation was removed she talked non-stop. all her nurses love her for that but her confusion is upsetting as she has had to go through the realisation that the heart operation was not done and she still has that to come.

my uncle (mum’s brother) just had an infected heart valve last month and his heart attack and leaking vale stopped his ticker altogehter but he’s pulling through OK now..only for this to happen to the sister.

weird times…. parts of my emotion are dead and i can’t understand what i NEED to go through….but i’m working it out inside. the stuff i’m on stabilises my moods so i blame the disaffection on a drug for epileptics….but it’s stopped a bad decline i guess.

i feel lost inside but the pressure of work builds with every day, those capable and mobile around me seem to deal with so much more with aplomb but i feel like a weedy strongman in a carnival with fake muscle suit and plastic dumbells…..

onwards ever onwards…

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