3 and 1/2 years ago, my mom felt severe chest pains and difficulty of breathing. I did what any ordinary son would do, brought her to the emergency room. It was of course suspected to be heart problems, but I thought it was something she ate. I have read those in magazines, books and over the net that some food high in acid can cause chest burn and difficulty in breathing.
This was not the case though. Her diagnosis based on her ECG was heart problems - possibly even a mild attack but that was their preliminary diagnosis. More test were needed to be conducted. She had to spend the night in the hospital. Test were ran, blood samples were taken, and meds were given. Those gave her a better feeling and we thought that it was all good. She woke up the next day feeling fine, like nothing has happened. Her doctor presented us with some findings but said that we still have to wait for the test results to get a better glimpse of what is really happening. We were advised of course to stay in the hospital for her to get rest and be monitored. Since we don't have enough cash, we decided to request for a discharge instead and wait for the results while she gets bed rest at home and just undergo medication prescribe by her doctor. So far all was well.
I brought her back to the hospital for a follow up check up and to check the results of the tests done on her. The test results came to us like a shock. My mom had Valvular Heart Disease, Congestive heart failure and Calcific Aortic Stenosis. I thought to myself that it would be impossible or maybe the test results were wrong. How could my mom have a heart disease when she always watched her health. She was an athlete when she was in college then a Physical Education Professor for more than 40 years before she retired. She is also petite and underweight, exercise daily, and even walk half a kilometer daily for her to reach the jeepney stop. How can she have heart problems? What hurts more is the fact that my dad passed away 19 years ago due to heart failure.
Unfortunately, the test results were correct. I felt so useless knowing that the woman who raised me, taught me, gave me a comfortable life is now battling for her own life, and I can do only so little when it came to finances. I work in a call center, and though the pay was good, it was just enough to put food in the table, pay the bills, tuition fees of my two sons who were both in high school and rent for the apartment where me and my sons are staying. My mom as well only relied on her pension, which was just enough for her to go on for the whole month. I knew through experience that having heart problems really costs a lot and in that condition,the patient is already a ticking time bomb, waiting for the fuse to run out then "boom." That was what happened to my dad after all.
Her physician gave us prescriptions for her medicines. I knew they were maintenance and that this would be lifetime if we wanted her to live longer. Who wouldn't? I decided then to give up the apartment and move back home for obvious reasons. My mom needed companion at home to monitor her situation, and of course lesser expenses which are to be used for maintenance. Though we had it planned out, we knew that we have to make all ends meet too. I also sought assistance from relatives of course and from charitable institutions to help out with her maintenance.
Months later, she again would be confined in the hospital due to her Congestive heart failure. Then couple of months there after, she's back in the hospital. This has been ongoing and we were advised to up the dosage of her meds. There were days where she won't be able to take medicines because of financial constraints, and even with the help from others, it still was not enough. I really felt so useless. Worst is my aunt (dad's younger sister) had a stroke and was left paralyzed from waist down. There goes our financial help from relatives. The bad news didn't end there. All through out she had couple of tests ran as advised by her Cardiologist - 2D echo/ echocardiogram, EKG,cardiac ultrasound, angiogram to mention the least. And each time was no good news. Her blockage were getting bigger. Her artery is being blocked by calcium deposits and has been growing. We were advised that she needed an operation, a by-pass of her artery for her to survive longer or we are looking at just 2-3 more years for her. Tears has been running down my cheek each day. I never could face mom crying. I often stay in my room when I feel like I'm about to.
I love my mom a lot (who doesn't?) and would like to spend more years with her. I still feel that I am unable to repay my mom for what she has given, for taking care of my sons when they were younger after their mom left us. I owe her so much more than what I can give right now and I would like to repay a little bit of those kindness she has given me and my family.
I'm knocking on your kind heart to help me. Help me give my mom another chance in life. Help me repay, even just a small bit of all what she has given me. To give her hope, to thank her for everything, show how much I appreciate her as my mom.