After a few weeks traveling around the mainland visiting friends and family, my mom arrived at my house on Thursday night. Having a 6:00 PM arrival into LAX is a nightmare of a time due to the traffic on the 405. The 20ish mile trip to my house takes well over an hour during that rush hour traffic. Although I had offered to have dinner ready when she arrived, she insisted that we go out to dinner. The waiting around for her to get through the traffic made for a long evening, but finally about 8:30 she texted me that she was turning onto my street and to meet her outside. I jumped in her Prius rental car and we headed to Chi Chi’s Pizza, a local Italian place a few blocks from my house.
We had a nice, but quick, meal catching up. Both tired, after paying the check, we were set to leave. On the way out of the restaurant my mom stopped abruptly and gasped. I turned and asked her what was wrong. She said that her knee had been acting up. It had bothered her a few days ago but then the pain went away and she’d been fine. She stood holding onto the wall for a few moments and then said she was ok so we continued out into the parking lot. While we walked, I suggested that she go to the doctor to see about that knee. While she told me that she was fine, she stopped and gasped again about 5 steps away from the car. After a couple of attempts to continue her walk, she couldn’t. Right away I offered to drive and asked her if she could get in the passenger’s side since it was closer. I walked over and took her arm to help her towards the door. She gasped again and told me to wait. She leaned on me for a few moments and while she did her grip got tighter and tighter until she was holding onto my shoulder so tightly it hurt. “Ouch, what are you doing?” I asked her. She said she felt like she was going to pass out. I put my arm around her and tried to drag her to the car when, all of a sudden, she let go and passed out. My mom fell down, backwards in the Chi Chi’s parking lot! As she fell, almost in slow motion, I waved my arms in some kind of flailing motion that seemed helpful at the time and just knew I’d hear her head hit the pavement. Luckily, considering, she went down lightly. I stood over her muttering, “Oh my god!” over and over again. I called her name, and she answered quietly. “Should I call an ambulance?” She adamantly told me NO. I sat her up and told her to put her head between her legs, which in hindsight is something I should have said before she passed out.
After a few moments, she felt like she could stand. I helped her up, basically dragged her to the car, and threw her in the passenger seat. She still wasn’t feeling well. I mentioned I thought we should go to urgent care. Even though it was after 10:00 PM, it was over 90 degrees outside so I tried to start the car in order to turn on the air. I’ve never driven a Prius, and it’s not like regular cars. Gone are the days of just putting the key in and turning the ignition. I had to get out the user manual from the glove box to figure out how to start the car. After about 10 minutes, she finally came around to being a bit more coherent (and more helpful in starting the car) but refused to go to the doctor. She said that the pain in her knee made her feel light headed. Even though I told her that wasn’t normal, she said she was fine. Anyhow, after about 5 more minutes, we figured out how to back out of the parking lot and went home.
I brought her bags up to the guest room and got her settled. While she followed me around chatting I finally said, “I’ve got to get to bed. You’ve been here less than three hours and I’m already exhausted.” She chuckled and we said good night.
Yes, that was just the first night people! It does continue…