I spent Sunday in the emergency ward with my mother. Oh, not to worry, she turned out to be absolutely fine. I was the one who insisted on taking her there, for my own peace of mind. She just wanted to go home. But I had the car keys.
My mom had gone to the casino early on Sunday morning. She hadn’t been for a while, and she wanted to play the slots for a couple of hours, then get home in time to watch the US Open golf tournament.
She said she put 20$ in a machine and was happily gambling away, when quite suddenly, she felt clammy and hot and sweaty all at once. Equally suddenly, she vomited. She felt rather disoriented and put her head down on the machine, at which point security came over to her and took her to First Aid. They checked her over, particularly her heart (she has atrial fibrillation, so her heartbeat can be quite erratic, despite the meds she’s on), and gave her oxygen. Things settled down, but when they removed the oxygen, she felt weird again. She also complained that there was pressure behind her left ear.
In the meantime, she asked the casino staff to call me so I could take her home, as she didn’t trust herself to drive. PG and I were there within 45 minutes. As one First Aid person took Mom out to the car, another one told me what her symptoms were. He said the pressure behind her ear was what worried him, and encouraged me to take her to her doctor.
On Sunday morning. Yeah, right.
I asked Mom how she felt right at that moment, sitting in her car. She was pale, but she said she was okay. She said she was tired and wanted to go home and lie down. I said I thought I was going to take her to emergency, that I just needed to know that all was well. She took one look at my face and nodded.
To make a long story short, at the hospital, they checked her heart (it was fine), she had bloodwork done (fine), they gave her head a CT scan (fine again), and they analyzed her urine (still fine). Then her left ear popped and there was no more pressure in her head. Apparently, there was no real reason for her to have thrown up and felt so crappy – except perhaps she’d caught some minor bug, the doctor figured. And there may be something to that theory, because in the seven hours we were in the emergency ward, I overheard a LOT of seniors in beds around us who complained of feeling hot and sweaty and clammy and lightheaded and who had thrown up.
They let us take Mom home shortly before 5 pm – and we all immediately had a shot of rye once she was settled in her favourite chair in her own living room! We ordered dinner in, had another drink, then left her about 8 pm so she could get some sleep.
And how is my mother now feeling? Well, she’s as feisty as ever and still right pissed. You see, she didn’t have time to win any money at the casino on Sunday, and she also missed the entire golf tournament on TV!