Two years ago this past December, I had the worst day of my life. I wrote about it in a short essay titled Something Was Wrong — A Daughter’s Story. It lives with me everyday. Two nights ago, I had a bit of deja vu.
It was New Year’s Eve afternoon and we were moving the last of the items from mom’s old house to the new one. Mom, hubby, brother-in-law, Tony, nephew and my sister Debbie and I were all helping. At some point Deb disappeared. She had knee replacement surgery a few months back so I usually try to keep an eye on her to make sure she’s not over doing it.
After not seeing her for about 15 minutes, I decided to walk into the house to see if she was there. I noticed the bathroom light was on through the frosted window leading to the back porch. Good, I thought. There she is. I messed around a few minutes, walking through the empty house making sure it was truley empty.
She still hadn’t come out. I knew something was wrong — just like before. I walked to the bathroom door and knocked. No response. I knocked again and called “Debbie?”
No response. I was feeling the now familiar wave of fear building in my stomach. I began banging on the door and yelling to her all at the same time. I stopped to listen for a reply. A very weak voice said “Yeah”.
That’s all I needed. I ran outside and screamed at Tony “Come quick, something is wrong with Deb”.
He dropped the box he was carrying and his 6″6″ frame had him inside the back door in seconds. I heard him try the door and then break it like I would snap a pencil. I followed him into the bathroom.
Debbie was on the floor. Her eyes were completely glazed over. She was looking at us but I don’t think she was seeing us. Mom came in behind me and called 911 on her cell phone.
Turns out her potassium level was critically low. Today, they are still not sure why but at least they have ruled out stroke, aneurysm and blood clot. She is going to the neurologist for some more tests to get to the bottom. She’s at home resting with her husband and son with virtually no memory of the episode — only the 2 1/2 days in the hospital that followed.
For me, it was too familiar a feeling, circumstance. Mom was in the bathroom too. Mom had the same empty stare and darting eyes. I’m glad I found her when I did but I could have gone the rest of my life without another episode like this.
Thank goodness, in both cases, they are doing well.
What a way to end 2011.