Last night my mom called and in her calmest mommy-voice began not with her usual ‘Hello!’, as chipper as it is distinct, but rather with a phrase I have heard less than 5 times throughout my life, and only in the grimmest of situations. Time slowed to slow-motion as she said, “I don’t want you to get too upset, but-” “Grandma”, I interjected, in too solemn a fashion for it to truly be a question but rather an articulation of the fears running through my mind as well as the sinking feeling in my gut. Mom calmly explained she had fallen twice and they were taking her to WakeMed to see if it was her heart. Grandma, now 91, had a heart attack when I was in high school. We’re lucky that with modern surgery and medications we still have her with us, but she is a tiny woman taking many pills. There could be any number of things wrong for which the symptom was multiple falls and lightheadedness, so despite her reluctance mom and dad got her to go.
The nurse verified her age as she provided her intake information, never having seen a 91-year-old in such good shape.
They let her go home with momma and daddy at three after a battery of tests, with the conclusion being that her heart is as good as can be expected and that unsteadiness on her feet and lightheadness just happened, as things do, later on in life.
Some minor heartaches for my family last night as we worried; I myself fell asleep at 5 this morning, but today a sense of gratitude.