Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The first half of the day I spent farting around, waiting until it was time to go to the hospital. I put some books into boxes, I did my grandmother’s laundry so she’d have clothes for when they let her go home, and I laid out in the sun reading (Phish gave me the advice to let the sun shine on my chest for a while to heal up my persistent case of gnappylung. Thanks again, Phish.) Then I went to visit my grandmother with my mom around 2:30. Actually before that, as an aside, my mother found an old wood picture frame at her work and she brought it for me. My portrait of Captain Samuel Samuels looks brilliant in it. Very striking.
My grandmother was much better today. She was smiling and her voice was stronger. At first she could walk with help and by the end of the day was walking around on her own just a hair slower than usual. They said that she didn’t have a stroke or a heart attack, which is very good news. My mother went to talk to the doctor and the doctor said that it was her opinion that my grandmother had had an extreme anxiety attack.
My mother said that she didn’t know what she would have had to be anxious about yesterday. I told her, speaking as one who has experienced anxiety attacks, that they’re not always brought on by something immediately apparent. Sometimes it’s just piling on mindstress for years and you finally just snap. Or sometimes everything externally is jim dandy, but internally you’re ripping yourself apart. I’m really glad I don’t do that anymore.
I have to say that it further confirmed my low opinion of doctors when my mother asked what to do if it happened again. The doctor said, “Have her lay down and take it easy for a while.”
To our surprise and delight they said that my grandmother could go home around 3:30. My grandmother was dressed and trying to get nurses to pull the IV from her arm by 3:35. It was 6:30 before we got out of there because that’s the pace of the hospital. Mom and I went out to dinner. It was a goodly dinner and we followed it with one large piece of cheesecake each.

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