This was one of the hardest to remember and write!
Wednesday morning, I got up as normal, sticking to my normal routine, drinking a cup of tea, whilst doing my makeup. I texted my sister ‘Good luck for her interview’. Went to work, had the typical Wednesday back to back meetings.
I was in such a surprisingly good mood. I felt like everything was looking good, I was happy, I had a gorgeous man who loved me for I am, my sister was happy with her little family, bringing my gorgeous nephew into our lives, mum was happy though suffering with MS she was happy when spending time with us and especially her Grandson, nothing could bring me down. Us down!
How wrong was I?
I finished work late, which wasn’t unusual for me, working in hospitality rotas/routines don’t really exist so nothing out of the ordinary. The drive home from work was a typical drive, I was singing along to the radio. Everything was it’s a normal way, a normal day.
I went straight home, got into my comfies, took my phone out of my handbag, that’s when everything changed, even though I never knew it in that moment.
So, taking my phone out my handbag, I see I have a message, Mum ‘Have you got my front door keys’ I had the same Facebook Messenger Message 10 minutes before, but never saw the message because I was driving.
I responded, ‘I have a front door key xx’ Mum again ‘Any chance you could come over and let yourself in, Auntie M’s coming over think I may need to go hospital.’
Still thinking there was nothing to worry about I asked, ‘When now?’ She answered, ‘Yes please x’.
I explained to my partner I was popping round to open the front door, wait for my auntie and I wouldn’t be long.
Bless him, he was worried because I was working late and hadn’t had dinner yet, he said ‘go after dinner, you’ve just got home.’ I remember saying ‘don’t worry, it’s only down the road, I’ll be back in 10 minutes, I will literally pop in, wait for my Auntie and come home again. Leave my dinner in the oven, I will eat it when I get back’. With that I grab my keys and phone, leaving the house, walked to the car and text mum ‘On my way xx’.
XXLast message I received and still have, to this day nearly 2 years later
The drive over, took less than a song , which I know because, I was once again singing along. (You’d think I could sing, the acoustics in the car are great)
Things may get a little emotional but please hang in there, it’s just my version.
Entering the house, downstairs was dark, but that was out of the ordinary, as mum wasn’t well and in bed. I opened the front door, calling ‘Hello, I am here’ with no response, the only thought I had was she couldn’t hear me. I thought I will just pop upstairs and say hello quickly, I shut the front door behind myself, making way upstairs, saying ‘hello’ that little bit louder, though still having no response, I didn’t worry, just thought maybe the TV was on and she couldn’t here me, in hindsight maybe alarm bells should of started ringing, things may of been different?
I remember seeing my mum stumbling back into her bedroom, I was a little baffled as to why she wasn’t in bed, but never questioned her. She’s a grown women, why would I question why she wasn’t in bed?
I spoke to her briefly, asked how she was feeling. I remember I started feeling slightly worried, I knew she needed to go hospital, thinking I couldn’t get her there on my own, but still wasn’t aware of what would happen in the next few minutes.
I remember my mum telling me, she had had a fall and banged her head, that she had blacked out and wasn’t sure how long for. I thought definitely need to get to the hospital, auntie could meet us there.
I called my partner to say I was calling an ambulance, mum really wasn’t well, I will wait until they got there, then make my way home. Which he understood, said to keep him informed.
With that I sat on the bed next to my mum, explaining ‘I was going to call for an ambulance because I wouldn’t be able to get you down the stairs, especially with the chair lift.’ Knowing myself, no matter how hard and careful we were, we wouldn’t be able to help her down safely.
She said ‘Jac just hold me for a minute’
Which I did, and I am so grateful for that!
If my memory serves me correctly, she blacked out for a few seconds, so I said ‘right I really need to call an ambulance, where is the house phone? Downstairs?’ Whilst scanning the room and not seeing one there.
Mum sat back up and laid down flat on the bed, her last words to me were
Jac, I feel like I am going to die…
To which I replied ‘well don’t! I am going downstairs to call an ambulance for help, I will be two minutes, hold on!’
At the time, I still didn’t think she would die! If I’m honest, I thought yes she is very poorly and needs medical care, but she wouldn’t, couldn’t die. Death wasn’t an option.
I went downstairs called 999, spoke to a lovely gentleman (wish I could remember his name) I explained the situation, how she had flu and Multiple Sclerosis. How she had a fall early that evening, kept blacking out and wasn’t sure how many times or for how long. He asked me if she was breathing, to which I said ‘yes, we were just talking, I’m just making my way back up the stairs now’
Then walking into the room and saying ‘I am back’ hearing nothing, seeing her laying there, eyes closed, very pale. Then saying to the gentleman on the phone, ‘she’s not responding, I cannot see if she is breathing, her chest isn’t moving’. He stayed very calm, asking ‘can you get closer, feel if she is breathing’.
I did, I had my ear as close to her nose as I could, placing my hand over her heart. I responded, ‘I cannot feel her breathe but I can feel a very faint heartbeat’.
– Still very calmly he said ‘OK, you are going to have to give CPR, can you lay her on the floor flat?’ I couldn’t, stating I could not get her out of bed and on the floor alone, there wasn’t enough space, I still didn’t panic, which surprises me still.
He stated counting ‘1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, count with me’. I was counting, doing CPR, remembering I had the rhythm.
Then I couldn’t feel her heart anymore, panic hit, calling her, crying, hands shaking, still doing compression’s. If felt like forever but yet everything was happening to fast.
The ambulance arrived, I told the gentlemen on the phone ‘they are here’ and hung up. They rushed past me, 5 or 6 paramedics, male and female, whilst I backed out the room.
Still not quite believing what was happening, not wanting to see what was happening, sitting on the stairs, saying this can’t be it, wishing my auntie was there already, wishing someone was with me, sobbing.
Things start getting a little hazy here.
Within seconds or minutes, I lost all sense of time, I remember my auntie and nan turning up, asking what was going on. I was in the lounge downstairs, though cannot remember how I got there.
To the best of my ability I tried staying as calm as I could, explaining the last few minutes of events, not quite understanding it. Very confused how one minute she was literally talking, then next not, I only went downstairs, how could that be?
Thinking if only I didn’t go downstairs to get the house phone, used my mobile, then again hardly any battery, what if the battery went. So, confused, wishing someone would say it will be OK, but more importantly she would be OK.
I remember feeling so alone, though there was 3 of us downstairs. Auntie sobbing, nan holding her. I borrowed nan’s phone, to call my partner, I needed someone to hold me.
Two paramedics came downstairs, asking me questions as I was with her,though cannot remember what they questions they asked, they told us, they are working hard on her and they will keep us updated.
Disappearing again, my partner turned up, holding me, I sobbed thinking I need to call my sister. Nan trying to call my stepdad, who was at work. All worrying because we couldn’t get hold of him.
I called my sister, I don’t remember the conversation, I think I was sobbing, I just remember my dad saying ‘Jac, we can’t understand darling’, with that I gave the phone to my partner, leaving him to explain.
The paramedics came downstairs again, this time saying ‘they have a pulse, she is very weak, they need a stretcher and will be taking her to hospital’.
We all let out a slight sigh of relief, little did we know it wasn’t over.
The paramedics came back in, went upstairs and before we knew it they came back down. ‘Her pulse had gone, stating it probably started because of all the drugs.’
Everything became a blur.
I remember the neighbour next door walking up the garden path, seeing other neighbours in the street. I went to the front door, slightly annoyed at nosey neighbours, but now understanding some people care and most people are curious, its in our nature.
I still remember the blue flashing lights, two ambulances blocking the street and a fast emergency response car parked outside. I still freeze slightly, and my heart still sinks, when I see blue flashing lights in the dark, with no sirens.
The next-door neighbor asked ‘if everything was OK? Did we want him to contact mums husband?’. I replied calmly, (chocked up inside) ‘no things are not OK but it’s a family matter, we have contacted him and he is on his way home, please go home’.
In all honesty, in that moment, I wanted to reply, ‘if there’s two ambulances and a fast response car, with blue flashing lights blocking the street do you really think things are OK?! Please get out of our garden and mind his own business.‘
Making my way back inside, trying to listen to what was going on upstairs but at the same time not wanting to know, because that meant it was real. I really did not want it to be real, still don’t, still wish it’s a nightmare I will wake from.
The two paramedics came back into the lounge, closing the lounge door behind them, explaining she was died, they tried everything they could, but she was too poorly, too weak. That feeling off ‘don’t lie, they must be lying, she was talking to me.’ I have to say I don’t know how long they were there, but they did try.
Oh how I then wished I never left the room, always thinking what if I didn’t, blaming myself. Then blaming myself because I did CPR wrong, wish I tried harder, would she still be with us and on her way to the hospital.
The nice paramedic man, (wish I knew his name too) held my arm and apologised, saying ‘there are support groups out there, I should contact’ He looked so sympathetic – like he understood how hard this was and the extra trauma I had.
I am not disputing it was traumatic for anyone else, but I think he saw that I would struggle, and how hard CPR is on someone, anyone. Understanding how traumatic it must be on doing chest compression’s on your own mum, maybe. Anyhow I would thank him if I could.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t want any praise or you’re so brave comments, I wasn’t, I had no choice. Fight or flight. No one knows how they will react because thankfully they haven’t had too and hopefully never will.
Stepdad came home, we had to tell him. Then family came over and to be honest I don’t remember mush else from that night, just feeling so cold, numb, alone, lost. But mainly numb and hatred towards me. How I had failed, let everyone down, blaming myself.
I do remember I couldn’t sleep much. Checking her Facebook, seeing if she was online. Telling us she was at hospital alive.
About 2am she was online (or rather her account was), I messaged saying ‘please be ok, I love you’.
I had no reply.
Kept thinking how could this happen? How can I not see her, she was a mile away from my house, in the hospital, but I couldn’t see her, I couldn’t speak to her.
Why? This is not fair!
#hardestmemory #grief #blogging #thedayeverythingchanged #noidea #paramedicappreciation