I decided, Sunday afternoon, to get Mom out of the house for awhile. She doesn't like trekking around in the cold, but personally, I don't know how she doesn't go batshit crazy from cabin fever, and it made me feel better to get her out of the house. That's what she gets for making me put on a sweater every time she was cold, when I was growing up.
The agenda for the day: hot chocolate and book browsing. Whoo hoo!
She was dressed and had her hair washed when I arrived. I dried her hair, and tweaked her appearance a bit, turning her sweatshirt around so it was on front-ward. We were out the door in no time, looking forward to some lazy afternoon browsing.
We had a nice time at Barnes and Noble, and ran next door to Bed Bath and Beyond. I was going to purchase a knife, and then we'd be off to some cocoa. With whipped cream of course; she loves the whipped cream.
As I was paying for my purchases, however, Mom tapped me on the shoulder, and I could see immediately that something was wrong. "I feel dizzy," she said. The young lady that was waiting on me, Ashley, was right on top of it, and directed us to a chair in a small, open office a few feet away.
I got Mom settled in a chair, removing her coat and gloves to cool her off. A bottle of water materialized, and after taking one sip, she lost consciousness, sending the bottle flying. The BB&B staff may have a different story, but in my mind, I remained calm, saying "uh-oh, she's out, can you call an ambulance, please?" I knelt in front of her, holding her hands, and talking to her, trying to wake her up. She opened her eyes, looked right into mine, and zonked back out. It's all kind of spinny from there; I was shaking, thinking she'd had a stroke, and playing out 100 different scenarios in my mind.
By the time the firetruck arrived with 3 EMTs in tow, Mom had acknowledged that she knew my name, but the word "Lori" was slow in coming and difficult to manage. An ambulance showed up shortly after. IVs and tests were administered right in the store, and Mom slowly became more coherent. She was too out of it to be scared, she thanked the people that were helping her, and yes, she would like to go to the hospital, please.
My eyebrows raised, as on the way out, she answered all of the EMT's questions with spot-on accuracy. Her name, how to spell it, her birthdate, and her address. These are questions that trip her up when a doctor in an office asks. The pressure to get such simple questions correct makes her mind go blank. I listened, not having to correct her, thinking "Go, Mom."
After a few tests, Mom was given a clean bill of health. Her fainting was due to a "Vasovagal reaction," that occurs when you bear down and hold your breath at the same time, causing your blood pressure to drop and make you faint. You've seen videos where the bride or groom passes out at the altar? Same thing there. Perhaps her shoulder panged her, or her back ached, as it sometimes does, or perhaps she felt dizzy from the heat or from hunger, and held her breath a second too long. We are thankful that it was minor, of course, and hopeful that it doesn't happen again. Too scary.
So, Mom was fine, hungry, and ready to find some chow! My sister and I had to keep her from crawling right over the guard rails on the bed when she was told they were going to release her. She still had an IV in her arm, and several other wires attached to her body. I swear she would have just dragged it all out behind her if we hadn't stopped her.
We were finally given the all clear to get her dressed, but she insisted first on having all of the tape and doo-dads removed from her being. Stuck on with 3M tape, the job of pulling these things off was left to me.
Not sure whether to take it easy or do the quick-rip, I started out slowly. While I was worrying that I'd hurt her, my mother threw up her arms and yelled "BOO!" You can imagine how this sent me jumping 3 feet into the air, while she and my sister rolled around on the floor, laughing themselves into tears.
Here's my devil mother, still giggling at her own evil self:
To add insult to injury, I arrived home to find that as I'd been removing those snap-things, and setting them aside, my sister had been picking them up and carefully tacking them to the back of my sweater as I worked.
With these 2 ladies in my life, it's really a wonder I don't carry a flask, don't you think?