Remembering My Mother

It is hard to believe that nearly twelve years ago my mom seemed to be having stroke like symptoms. One of her feet had foot drop and she was becoming harder and harder to understand. She was having difficulty chewing her food and swallowing.

As long as I can remember, my mom had terrible balance and many falls. But the foot drop now was causing her to fall even more. My mom failed to inform me about what was going on. I was in Manitoba at this time so I wasn't around to notice.

My dad called me and asked me what was going on with my mother. Two miracles... my dad called me and he was concerned about my mom. (I think that somewhere along the line my dad was misinformed...that children should call their parents and never the other way around.)

The doctor's did many tests that ruled out a stroke. Then they did a muscle test to test the electrical conduction from her brain to the muscles. I believe it was an EMG (an electromyogram) test. I was aware of my mom going for this test and I was anxiously awaiting this test result.

My mom called but never left a message and then her phone was left off the hook. I was a nervous wreck when I couldn't get in touch with her. I tried calling Chris many times but I couldn't reach him because he was a deejay at a nightclub. He often wouldn't get home until two or three in the morning. I was going absolutely nuts.

I had some suspicions of what may be going on but I was praying that I was wrong. My brother and I finally connected at five in the morning. He had to spell it out for me because he couldn't say it and he told me that I was going to have to explain what it was. I burst into tears and cried 'not that'. My brother went silent. She was diagnosed with ALS short for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig's disease (the famous baseball player). In retrospect, I was so grateful that Chris had told me so I didn't have the same reaction for my mom.

My mom finally called me the next day. I held back the loud tears. The tears were silently streaming down my face our entire conversation. She probably had no idea that I was crying.