Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

One reason I've been preoccupied lately

My great-aunt called me around 7:30 Christmas night, concerned that she hadn't been able to reach my mother in Miami. My mother never really goes anywhere so this was troubling. I had just spoken to her around 6:15 and she sounded fine. I called the building desk, and they went to check (they have keys). They then called to tell me she appeared ill and they were calling EMS. I spoke to the EMS guy who said he had 20 years experience and was 100% sure this was a stroke. They took her to the nearest hospital, Aventura, which turned out to be specially certified for stroke care. Through the night, I spoke to the hospital staff (who said she was paralyzed on the left side, but talking up a storm) and she appeared to be in good hands.

Meanwhile, my sister (a Miami doctor) and her family were away on a cruise. Luckily, they were returning that very morning. I left messages on the ship (which apparently didn't get there), and on cell phones and they heard them upon landing and went straight to the hospital. She was there for almost 3 weeks, and I came down during that time.

While I was there, she moved to acute rehab at Mt. Sinai (in the former Miami Heart building, where my father had practiced), and a few weeks later to subacute rehab at Douglas Gardens. I visited her there less than 2 weeks ago. We all liked this facility, and were hoping she could continue there after Medicare's coverage ended (there was a long waiting list, so this was uncertain). She would need a lot of help (she was not making much progress in physical and occupational therapy) and we were prepared to drain her life's savings to get the best possible care.

Before that became an issue, she died. Early last night, the nurse called my sister, saying my mother didn't look good. She had been having trouble breathing over the last few days. They recommended taking her to Mt. Sinai, but before they could move her, she just stopped breathing. So sudden and sad. But she did not have a good quality of life to look forward to, so perhaps it's better this way.

Here's the obit.

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