Under the Clouds

Friday night we went to sleep, and we had a plan. We stocked up the office with breakfast goodies for Tori, and when she came in for her morning cuddles we asked her to let us sleep a bit while she played some games. It was only a few minutes later when she came running back into our room, saying “Grandma fell! Grandma fell!”

Sure enough, we got downstairs to find my mom on the floor, with a fairly large cut on her hand. She had a couple of bumps and bruises, but after taking some advil and lying down for a while (and after I wrapped her hand; it was a pretty big cut but she didn’t want to seek medical attention), she felt a bit sore but okay Saturday night. So okay, in fact, that she cheerfully sent Charlie and I out to the movies (we saw Cloud Atlas, which was amazing) although she was in bed when we got home from our post-movie Hurricane Sandy run to Walmart.

My phone rang at 7am this morning, and it was my mom calling from the basement. “I fell again,” she said, mumbling. “I’m really hurt this time.”

She was right.

She’d tripped going into the bathroom (which, alas, has a half-step up into it because… well, because we had to build the bathroom fast and cheap and the contractor cut corners, and we didn’t know what we were doing). She’d hit her face, her knees, and her arm as she fell. Her face was the worst; she had a huge laceration between her nose and her lips, she’d bitten through her lips and somehow even managed to split the tip of her nose.

We called an ambulance.

She was admitted, finally, around 3:30 because she’s been having falling spells now since early spring, when she fell at the gym with me. About a month ago she had some episodes with memory loss and word slurring, and after I pushed on her hard, she went to see the neurologist and they changed up some medications, and she got better.

Until this morning.

It doesn’t help that we have this massive freak storm (Hurricane Sandy or #FRANKENSTORM) barreling down on us full force; we’re worried about getting flooding in the basement again (we’ve done some work to prevent that, but 8 inches of rain in a day would challenge the best sealing). We’re prepared to lose power (highly likely, since we lose power in regular rainstorms here); and while we’ve done as much prep work as we can, the thought of my mom being wobbly while we also coped with the dark was terrifying.

Call me an asshole, but when they said they were going to keep her overnight, I felt such relief.

She’s safe.

I came home, I ate something (remind me to tell you an amusing story about me being hungry and the gift shop refusing to take either a debit card or a twenty dollar bill, and me almost losing my temper in a I’m-stressed-and-hungry kind of way), and I cuddled with Tori. At the hospital I held my mom’s hand as they stitched up her face (and teased her a bit for looking like a Romulan from Star Trek), so when Tori cuddled up and slipped her hand in mine it felt right.

Now, we cope with the storm outside and fight to get my mom’s issues resolved.

It’s going to be a long week.

Comments Closed


  1. says

    So sorry to hear you are going through this with your mom. One of the hardest things, trying to find the balance between supporting independence and keeping parents safe as they age or have health changes. Warm thoughts of recovery for your mom and strength for you! I really enjoy your blog and babblings at Babble.

  2. Kathleen says

    Ugh. Just what you didn’t need. Hang in there and I hope they figure out what’s going on with your mom. Stay safe.

  3. Stephanie says

    Oh no! I am glad she’s been admitted, and you’re home and fed. I hope they figure out what’s going on with the falling spells soon, and she recovers quickly :-)

  4. Hetty Fauxvert says

    Oh, no! I’m sorry your mom and your family are going through this … but glad too that they are keeping her overnight. Probably the best possible short-term choice. Stay safe through the hurricane!!!

  5. Donna says

    Poor you guys! I will be thinking of you.
    (PS: the mobile view doesn’t allow me to post comments from my Android.)

  6. 4katnap says

    Sending basement stay dry vibes along with stay safe and Mom feel better vibes. And I think you should NOT feel guilty for wanting your mom safe in a hospital while dealing with her health and a Major storm.

  7. Teresa says

    You’re not an asshole for feeling relieved that your mom was held at the hospital that night; I, too, was the caretaker for many years for my mother with various health problems and, literally, the only times I ever felt completely at ease about her was when she was hospitalized and I knew she was under the watchful eyes of someone more medically competent than I. In retrospect now, after she has been gone a year, I realize that it was my love and concern that caused me to feel that way.

  8. says

    What a stressful time – I hope your mom is ok and they find out why she is having these spells. It’s good that she is in the hospital right now, especially if you lose power or anything during the storm – she will be comfortable.

    Hang in there!

  9. Lisa F. says

    Have been thinking of you with the storm approaching, along with family in NYC & Boston. Glad your mom getting care, but so sorry you’re all going through this. Will be holding you in my thoughts, and hoping for a dry basement!

  10. says

    I do my best to try to take these “hurricane breaks” as I call them, as an opportunity to take a breath. Losing power can be a pain, but if you look at it as freeing up some time, it can be positive. Ish. Also, I’m sure it’s no 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity there, so that’s a blessing (been there, done that).

    As for your mom… I’m glad she’s somewhere safe and I hope they find the cause of the problem sooner rather than later. We just went through something similar with my dad. I mentioned this on FB, but ask if they are planning to (or have) checked her adrenal function. If her adrenal gland isn’t working properly, it can cause drops in blood pressure that bring on dizziness, etc.

    Good luck and stay safe!

  11. Alexicographer says

    Oof. I’m so sorry your mom’s having trouble and please count me among those glad she is safely hospitalized, given the circumstances. Been thinking of you and hope you and yours are and will stay safe and not be too badly affected.

  12. Sarah says

    I am so sorry for your mother and for you. I know very well how much of a relief it is to have her in a safe place for a brief while. Best of luck to all of you.