At Death’s Door but the Games Go On…

You may wish to skip this post which talks of

abuse/scapegoating and a life update.

Nothing violent or fatal tho’!


John said he’ll get her to take me to your house.

I most probably saved my mother’s life two nights ago.

Between six in the evevning till one the next morning I called the emergency services three times. Explaining at length exactly what happened to six people at varying times, saying the same thing over and over many times. No, she never behaved this way when her insulin levels fell because she’s either not injecting or not bothered to eat. I believe she’s having a stroke.

Her face went slack. She talked in a bizarre way. Slow, dead-slow, so low it sounded inhuman. The words non-sensical. Steadied herself on my side-table. Awkwardly moved about the room while saying nothing is wrong, I just have to eat. I followed her out of the room, down the hall and into the kitchen. She was in the kitchen, confused, not sure what to do.

Meanwhile the ambulance is on the way because the minute she took this turn I called to John to phone them. It frightened me, I wasn’t taking any chances.

I knew that a stroke affects one side of the face but her whole face went slack. She drooled from one corner of her mouth. I just thought, forget the one-side-of-the-face droop, she looks like she’s having a stroke.

The first responder – living just a few streets away – was here in just five minutes. I wanted to believe he’ll take care of things, make her feel right again. His manner was friendly and reassuring. He measured her diabetes. It was ten. By this time she’d been fed by John and myself a sliced-cheese sandwich and two marshmallows; but had only managed to digest half a marshmallow and half the sandwich. She appeared in a better state, talking more normally and less confused.

The First Responder was confused: I don’t know if it’s the diabetes (2) or a stroke. Before they left he decided it was the diabetes. Hypoglycaemia = is when the blood glucose level (or sugar) is too low, below 4 nmol/l. (Hers was a 10). It was decided she’d stay home – that’s what she answered she wanted! – instead of being taken to the hospital. Them saying she isn’t alone (as John and I live with her). I wasn’t aware of these numbers until the 1 a.m. Paramedic informed me! He was not happy they got it wrong and wasted seven hours.

The first three responders left about 7 p.m. About an hour after they arrived. The First Responder went home, the other two remained for a while in the ambulance parked outside. John heated up Mum’s shepherd’s pie which she didn’t relish eating. It was like she forgot how to chew, the food just went round and round, then she’d sort of half-swallow. Bits landed on the floor. I’d have to frequently wipe the drool from that same side of her face. Her voice had also reverted to that strange slurring as earlier. Worried, believing she was indeed stroking, I ventured outside on the dark road to see if the ambulance was still there. It was.

They came back in. Did another diabetes check. Called it a hypo. And left fifteen minutes later.

But I’d never seen her like this before when she’d had a hypo. I’d told the responders this over and over.

John and I eventually ate our dinner, watched some of the 1980’s Sherlock Holmes (with Jeremy Brett) and my mother fell asleep in her reclining chair at 10 p.m.

A little after midnight we wanted to go to bed ourselves but I felt extremely uneasy about leaving her. At 1 a.m. She awoke and her confused/slurred speech had worsened. Not only that but ONE side of her face – the same side as the one in which she was drooling had drooped. We phoned for the ambulance again.

I was exhausted from the stress and my fractured spine felt like it was on fire. I could barely move. I could barely talk. I’d kept it together, nice and cool six hours ago but now I was unable to. I was so relieved to have John’s help because I couldn’t have managed otherwise – with NO help from either sibling.

For goodness sake she was telling me to go to bed at 1 a.m.! I said are you aware of your strange speech? Yes, she answered. Are you aware of how confused you are? Yes, I can feel it in my head. STROKE.

I believe she’d had at least TWO STROKES that night. At least two, maybe three because of her face drastically drooping one side. Finally, that last responder KNEW what he was doing. I was staggered. The other, earlier responders were (two) middle-aged men who’d been in the job some while. How can they carelessly forget the significance of the hypo-numbers? 4 is dangerous. Not 10.

Both glyco and stroke symptons are similar. And this they knew. But a hypo is not 10.

The 1 a.m. Responder gave her aspirin which thins the blood as it was clotting and to prevent further clots. Then they took her off in the ambulance. Due to the Covid we weren’t permitted to visit her the next morning. I cried, it was awful. I didn’t know if I was going to see her again. And, I selfishly complained to John – Where are MY happy memories of the times with my mother? (A parent who doesn’t wish to know their adult child any more and spends time with only the Golden One). At the opened door of the ambulance, where I saw her lying on the gurney, I told her I love her and I told her that all her children love her.


The next morning the ambulance people brought her back. There was only aspirin as medicene. The day after she had an appointment at the hospital and John and I had to cram into my small car. Golden doesn’t drive and my brother is lost to the world. John came along because I can’t manage without him, physically. I’m unable to wheel her round the hospital when I need wheels myself!

I waited in the car two hours and tried to sleep. My spine has been highly inflammed since the incident. They scanned her brain again and gave her some other medicine (I might add its name here later). Finally she’s getting the care she needs.

She thanked the both of us for all the help but I said we only did what we had to.


The games go on.

John said he’ll get her to take me to your house.

Today, the day after the hospital appointment, on the phone with the Golden Daughter I am only referred to as she and her. I don’t warrant my own name, some kind of twisted rules don’t permit my mother to utter my name. A lab animal comes to mind because they’re designated numbers instead of names. This is simply a process deployed to emotionally distance the scientist from the creature, whose role is solely as an object to be used in tests. Giving that lab animal a name would be detrimental to getting the job done.



Excellent blog on Scapegoating

Emotional Abuse, the basics

My favourite YouTube psychologist

Diabetes guide


Take good care of You. xo




Copyright Faith McCord 2021

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.


About Oscar Dandelion

Hi, I'm Faith McCord, writer of the Oscar Dandelion books. I love reading, writing, watching films, looking at architecture and general design, embroidery (especially Elizabethan), spending time with my family. I used to enjoy long walks, bodybuilding, going out, however, since my injury my mobility is seriously impaired, so I'm more of a home-body now. I'm interested in meeting other indie / pro writers, so do say 'Hello' ! :)
This entry was posted in Abuse, health, life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.