I discovered Dr. Jordan B. Peterson just before the summer of 2018 unfolded and that's some sort of divine serendipity if you ask me. As a former Harvard professor and bestselling author, Dr. Peterson inspires with a message of personal accountability and empowerment. Search for him on YouTube and see what all the hype is about. I digress...
Easter 2018: Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne came to visit and help us celebrate this special holiday; we also celebrated Josie and Mama Hop's birthdays, as March beckons many opportunities to celebrate.
So there we were, in our Easter Sunday best (adorable dresses courtesy of Mama Hop), when Mama Hop casually informs us that she was experiencing some foot pain and discoloration that led to an ER visit and a peripheral artery disease (PAD) diagnosis.
PAD is a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. But I researched it (#KnowledgeIsPower) and discovered that it's a very common condition (affecting more than three million Americans per year), and I put it in the back of my mind, as Mama Hop was a vibrant participant in the holiday festivities.
Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne returned home and we all returned to our daily lives, anxiously awaiting the next major life change: Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne had decided to move to our area!!!!
However, Mama Hop had begun to experience more pain and physical limitations in the meantime. I wasn't aware of the severity of the situation until I received a phone call from Leanne one morning. This was alarming in that Leanne does not typically call me. Furthermore, she was talking a mile a minute, telling me that she was "scared" for mom. Here I was, 350 miles away, rushing to get my kids out the door for school, when I fielded this call. Long story short, I phoned Mama Hop's dear friend to go check on her, and I contacted Travis, who happened to be in Mama Hop's area for his grandpa's funeral, and everyone collaborated to get Mama Hop to the E.R. Talk about some heroic efforts from every individual involved; especially Leanne.
What transpired after that was kind of a blur...Leanne came to stay with us. Mama Hop underwent two surgeries. I spent a lot of time in her home, caring for her.
Right about the time Mama Hop's second surgery rolled around, I received a concerned phone call from my incredible husband along with an alarming photo of Leanne's swollen face.
Leanne's change in appearance prompted Travis to take her to Urgent Care immediately. She was (mis)diagnosed with a sinus infection and sent home with a prescription for antibiotics. As the day went on, Leanne slept non-stop (completely unusual) and spiked a significant fever. That's when Travis took her to the ER. She was diagnosed with a condition that could cause blindness and death.
I thought I was familiar with the notion of stress but I had never experienced the helpless feeling of needing to be in two places at one time to support two loved ones who were hospitalized 350 miles apart. That, my friends, rips your heart out.
To be continued...