Last evening I got home from a hockey game and found three message from my sister - the one with whom my mother lives. My mom was taken by ambulance to our local hospital because she couldn't breathe in spite of using her "puffer". Some background info: she's 76, at least a 1/2 pack a day smoker, an alcoholic who drinks at least 3 beers per night, has arthritis in many joints in her body, has been diagnosed with OPCD (?), can't get around without the aid of her walker and tends to use it or a wheelchair the odd time she leaves the house, she's had a stroke and many TIAs (mini strokes) over the past 10-15 years. After spending a few hours at the hospital (I got there close to 11), they have finally settled her in ICU with a diagnosis of congested (or congestive?) heart failure. Needless to say, she gave us quite a scare. She'll be in ICU for a couple of days and then moved to another room for an unspecified time. My sister was with her when she was examined by the heart physician and he asked a couple of questions regarding how much - how shall I put this correctly - effort? should be put into keeping her alive. I guess the PC term is heroic? They asked her the questions not because they believe such will happen but they want to be prepared "just in case". Well, I'm not very conversant in doctor speak, and I'm not really sure exactly what is wrong or the extent of it. I don't know if this is just one episode and there will be more to come, if livestyle changes can help or if we are looking at the beginning of the end. I'm really feeling confused and wish I had some more answers. I imagine I'll get more later today but in the meantime, I would ask those who pray to please keep my mom in prayer - she's the only parent I have had since I was 14 and the only living grandparent my two children have. Good thoughts and wishes are also welcomed. OK, i'ts almost 3am here and I really should get some rest as I have an appointment with my physiotherapist for a slightly damaged hip flexor.