My mother calls my brother in law Dr. Ron, on the phone.
“I think I’m having a stroke,” she says. “Can you come over?”
Dr. Ron flies out his door like he’s being sprayed by a strong water hose.
My mother is in her middle 80’s and Ron considers her his mother.
When he arrives at her crappy mobile home, he practically throws himself through the ratty screen door.
“Margaret!” he yells. “Margaret!”
Ron is spinning around in the front part of the trailer and through the kitchen, making a circle back into the living room.
He looks up and there is Mother bumping along down the hallway toward him. She lurches sideways and hits one wall, rights herself and bangs hard on the opposite wall. Then, whoops, she’s almost down flat on the floor and up, again. Now, she’s on her hands and knees.
“I’m dizzy,” she says.
Ron races to my mother and grabs her by an arm.
“Margaret, calm down! Be calm!” he hollers.
“I am calm,” my mother says. “I just can’t see right. My eyes are all wobbly. I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I think I’m having a stroke.”
Ron drags Mother to her old, cat-scratched comfortable blue cloth chair and pops her into it.
“Stay here,” he yells. “I’m calling the paramedics! Stay calm!!”
Mom displays a lop-sided grin. Ron is more upset then she is. She just feels funny and things are spinning. It’s not a bad feeling.
Ron has called the paramedics.
“She’s old and she’s having a stroke. I’m a doctor!”
He kneels beside Mom’s chair and takes her pulse.
“The best thing to do Margaret, is just stay calm!”
Suddenly, there is the wail of a thousand banshees on Mother’s property.
Paramedics blow in the door. There are 6 of them and right behind are the firemen. There are 4 of them. Everyone is wearing big yellow and orange outfits and enormous boots that rattle the floor. They’re all wearing hard hats and have massive amounts of equipment in hand. Each man is beeping and emitting other technological sounds.
But wait! Now come 3 policemen pushing through the door.
It’s a small town and you take whatever excitement you can get when it finally happens here.
The racket is incredible. The cats run to the back room and the dog howls.
Dr. Ron explains to all that Mom is dizzy; that she fell and slid all the way down the hall when he arrived and she says she can’t see straight. He tells them that Mother says she is having a stroke.
Everybody gets down to business.
Mother is surrounded by 13 men. Not a bad thing.
There is a lot of confusion with the men all clanking their equipment and bumping into each other. They take Mom’s vitals and have a chat with her like, ‘What day is it, who’s president, what year is it.’
Mother says, “Don’t you know?”
Dr. Ron is trembling. He loves my mother.
Finally, the men finish their exam and stand up. Everyone is quiet.
One of the paramedics says, “….Ah….ummmm, well. Your mother is not having a stroke.”
“What’s she having,” Ron wants to know?
“Ummm…well, the truth is,” says the man in charge, “….the lady is…ah.. the lady is drunk.”
Drunk!!? Our mother is drunk? How can she be drunk when she only drinks maybe one beer once in awhile?
Dr. Ron is quiet. Then he says, “Margaret? They say you’re drunk? How can that be?”
Mom thinks a minute. “Well, I was getting these weird visual disturbances and I thought, ‘I must be having a stroke.’ So, I read once that if you think you are having a stroke, you need to drink a lot of vodka with strong coffee right away and that will prevent a stroke. Ever since I read that, I’ve been keeping a bottle of vodka in the cupboard.”
Many large boots start to shuffle and there are some snorts in the room.
“I didn’t want a stroke,” Mom says. “So, I made some strong coffee and put a lot of vodka in it, but I guess it didn’t work.”
Ron looks at my mother.
“Margaret, I know you get migraines. Do you ever get things in your vision before you get a migraine?”
“Why….yes, I do!” Mom says real cheerily. “Maybe I wasn’t having a stroke! Maybe I was having a migraine!”
All the men are now laughing, but Dr. Ron isn’t one of them. He’s not laughing because he called the paramedics and got a lot of the town’s fire trucks and policemen, too. He’s embarrassed. Mother doesn’t seem to be.
It’s a good ending, though. All the men are relieved that no one is dying, no one is dead, they’ve had a really good laugh and Mother isn’t having a stroke.
What a Lucky Day! She’s not dead, she is only dead drunk.
(Mother lives for another 5 years and she doesn’t die of a stroke. Probably because she has the cure for one right in her cupboard!)
*Maybe someone you know needs to know this tip about strokes? Maybe they would be grateful if you Email this blog to them? Or, maybe my mother’s story would just give them permission to drink? Or a good laugh? Whatever…
*Do you know the kind of work I do when I’m not busy having Adventures? Look here for details. The NEW YEAR is a great time to have a phone reading with me! Visit me at www.GodIsAlwaysHappy.com for rates and availability.
*You can also find me on Google+ under venus andrecht. All lower case.