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In a Fog

Rochel Gross

It’s my father. “Rochelle, I don’t know what’s happening to Mommy. She says she’s feeling terrible. She’s complaining that her head is throbbing, and keeps saying she doesn’t know where she is.” In the background, I hear soft sobbing. Is that Mommy? Crying?!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

“Can I speak to her?” I ask, fear clawing my stomach. “I don’t know if she’s up to talking. Let’s see.” There’s a rustle as the phone is passed to my mother. “Hi, Mommy. What’s going on?” “I don’t know,” she says in a faraway voice. “I feel terrible. What’s happening to me? My head is so heavy and pounding. I’m dizzy. Where am I? What’s wrong with me? I can’t talk.” My father takes the phone. “I’m calling an ambulance right away,” I say, trying to steady my voice. “What do you think is wrong?” “I’m not sure. I hope it’s not a stroke, chas v’shalom. Let’s not waste any time.” The ambulance arrives within minutes. Initial tests are reassuring. My mother’s blood pressure and pulse are fine, she does not need help breathing, and she can move all her limbs. She has no obvious signs of a stroke or heart attack. Yet it is clear that something is seriously wrong. She is very disoriented, complains of a severe headache, and says she feels nauseous. The paramedics decide to transfer her immediately to the hospital. On their way to the hospital, my father and I talk on the phone. “I’m very worried,” he tells me. “Mommy keeps asking the same questions again and again.”

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