Monday, May 20, 2013
I woke up this morning to find Mom already sitting up in her bed. I knew something was wrong right away. Her knitting was in her lap, and she wasn’t moving. Her head was leaning over on one shoulder.
I don’t even remember getting out of bed. The next thing I knew, I standing over her, tilting her head up, and yelling, “Mom! Mom! Talk to me!”
One side of her mouth had drawn down. The eye on that side of her face was drooped closed. She made a funny noise, a kind of ‘mmm-mmm-mmm’ like a softly revving motor.
I ran for the door, screaming at the Nobek guards outside for help, fighting to get the damned thing unlocked to let them in. They were in the room in an instant, bending over Mom, one talking urgently into his com.
An ambulance shuttle arrived at our dorm within only two minutes, though it felt like hours. During the wait I was so crazed with panic that my Nobek bodyguard actually had to find my pants, socks, and shoes and dress me so I wasn’t running around in just the tee-shirt and panties I’d worn to bed. I was completely out of my skull until the medics arrived and started working on Mom. Thank God for Kalquorians who don’t bend under pressure.
Dr. Dad and his team were waiting in Medical, and they whooshed Mom into a treatment room right away, leaving me to pace and worry in the hall. Weln showed up a little while later to keep me company and sane. He kept repeating, “It will be all right, Shalia. It will be all right.” He held me on his lap as he sat on chair he’d found, rocking me like a baby. He kept his big arms wrapped around me so I wouldn’t fly apart. I don’t know how I would have gotten through that first hour or two without Weln.
Mom had suffered a stroke. They cleared out the blood clot that had caused it, but the damage has been done. And while Dad assures me that with therapy Mom might recover some of what she’s lost, it is now imperative we get her to Kalquor to correct the worst of the damage to her brain. If I wasn’t sure we should go there before, I know we have to now.
To see her so small and helpless is killing me. Eve Monroe was not meant to be an invalid. While she is no bigger than me physically, she has always possessed the stature of a giant. The dementia had been taking that away, but in small pieces, a little at a time. The stroke has broken her in one fell swoop. The only sign I’ve gotten from her that she might still know me is a slight squeeze from the cold hand I hold in mine. My mother, often my tormentor and sometimes my staunchest protector, is an almost motionless shell.
Nang, even with all his worries what with yesterday’s attack, took the time to stop in. He held me, let me cry on his shoulder for a bit, and even spoke gently to Mom while holding her hand. He had bad news for me too. The transport going to Kalquor has been delayed. It won’t be able to take us for at least another four weeks, maybe five. Dr. Dad and the specialist who’d seen Mom before, Dr. Ginna, told me that it shouldn’t make a difference in the long term for Mom’s prognosis. Yet all I want is to get Mom to Kalquor so they can make her better. I’d even take her with dementia if it meant she’d be up and knitting and giving us all fits. Anything. I’d give anything for her to not be laying there so quiet and still.