As the hockey game murmurs excitedly on the television, I am coaxing my consciousness to curl up in the simple comfort of my coloring program. It truly is a struggle not to dwell upon what is happening back in Ottawa. There is nothing, NOTHING, I can do from here. In reality, there’s nothing I could do, even if I was there. I feel so powerless, nearly four thousand miles away from home, or at least, that which USED TO BE home. Honestly, I’m not really sure where home is anymore. But I do know that I can’t help but think that I could make a difference.
After phoning her repeatedly for two days without getting an answer, my anxiety slowly rose and crested on Thursday afternoon. I finally got connected to her phone, back in Ottawa. Her son, Steve, answered the phone, sounding world weary, his emotional stress palpable. He quickly explained what was going on, and my fears were confirmed. On Tuesday morning, she decided to call her doctor, after having spent a virtually sleepless night, due to a persistent tickle cough. Upon arriving at her office, the doctor immediately slipped a PulseOx meter on her fingertip. It didn’t take long to sound the alarm bells, once the reading for her blood oxygen saturation was displayed. After listening to her chest, and detecting a telltale crackle, the diagnosis was clear.
She was instructed to immediately head to the emergency department at the nearby Montfort Hospital. Her oxygen saturation was dangerously low! Diane demurred, saying she really didn’t want to go, would rather just go home and rest. Luckily, the doc didn’t allow that. She could either do as she was told, or she would call an ambulance to escort her there! Given those options, she relented, and headed off to Montfort. Not surprisingly, she was quickly admitted, and given a nasal cannula to provide the desperately needed oxygen. That was Tuesday morning this week. She is still there, and will stay put for the weekend.
Tests indicated that she has “hardening of the left ventricle of the heart”, according to Steve. He seemed a bit hesitant with the exact particulars of the findings, but if it is indeed what I think he said it was, the proper term for it is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. From the bit of information I have read thus far, this is most often a genetic condition, which I suppose is why siblings and children of the affected individual are supposed to be checked out for this malady. I’m not going to go into any more detail about this condition for now.
Honestly, I’m not panicking yet, if ever. Mistakes happen, so I’ll wait until I have more definite information. In other words, researching the condion that might NOT be the final diagnosis is just adding more stress to an already worrisome situation.