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Thursday, August 7, 2014

It all made perfect sense

Some events are hard to put in to words.........some posts are very difficult for me to relive as I tell our story.  Please be patient with me as I struggle to spare you some of my very raw emotions on this subject.  Many posts are written (and re-written) several times as I attempt to capture the meat of the story and leave some of the seasoning behind!
Thanks for hanging with me!  I would very much appreciate yourcomments/ helps to know someone is out there!


Have you ever been kicked in the stomach by a horse?  I have; it was nothing compared to what I felt when moms’ surgeon confirmed what I thought I was seeing on the X-ray of her leg.  It all made sense now; the “ouch” in the shower; the need for the extending the leg brace; the elevated pain; the increase in moms’ need for narcotics; it all made perfect sense.

The only thing that didn't make sense was how mom had even been physically able to bear weight on her leg; let alone walk 175 steps at a time.  I always knew my mother had a higher than average tolerance for pain, but geez, I didn't know she was THAT tough!  I've broken a couple bones before and I know it is possible to walk for a bit on a small fracture; not so much on a shattered ankle, but I couldn't imagine walking for nearly a week with a rod broken through my femur!

My mothers knee in July 2013
following surgery and prior
to going to the Skilled Nursing Facility.
My mothers knee in
August, 2013 after being in a
I kept replaying the shower incident over and over in my head, my mother wincing in pain and saying "ouch"; I knew I should have hit that CNA!  I guess I don't know for sure that was when the most recent damage was done, but I suspected it was a good bet.  All I knew for sure is that (even though it didn't look great), moms' knee looked a whole lot better before she got to the SNF than it did by the time she saw the surgeon three weeks later.  I guess it was a good thing I hadn't hit her because (as much as I hated to) I now had to take mom back and request an extension while we waited for yet another surgery on moms knee/leg.  I really wasn't looking forward to mom staying at the SNF, but I didn't know what else to do; it never occurred to me that it might not be an option.

I helped mom to the restroom and delivered her to the dining room at the SNF before I wandered down the hall to the facility coordinators’ office to make the necessary arrangements for mom to stay another week.  “We’ll have to move her to a semi-private room”, the coordinator informed me she was “sorry”, but the private room mom was in had been “promised” to someone else.  “Excuse me?” I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, mom did get to stay in her private room for the next week; her check out date (and next surgery date) was now set for August 30th, 2013.  “Do you think she’ll be back after her surgery for more rehab?” the coordinator asked, and then told me they could hold her room for a fee.  I politely responded, “No”; what I was thinking was “Hell, NO”!

After making all the necessary arrangements with both the SNF and the hotel, I finally took the time to sit down and call my husband.  As I dialed the phone, I thought about what I might say: “You know how I wasn't there for the surprise birthday party I planned for you last year; how I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving for a couple years; how I spent last Christmas and New Years in a hotel room with mom; ..........well, I won’t be home for my birthday or our anniversary this year.”  When I heard my husband’s voice on the other end of the phone, I didn't say any of those things; I just sobbed uncontrollably.

“Honey, what’s wrong?  Are you OK?” I could hear the alarm in Marks voice.  I had to get hold of myself
before I scared him any more than I obviously already had.  I took a deep breath and tried again to talk through the lump in my throat.  Once I was finally able to tell him about the rod going through moms’ femur and the need for more surgery, he understood my distress.  I really wasn't sure how many more surgeries mom could make it through or how this incident was going to affect her long term prognosis.  “Hang in there, Babe, OK?” my husband sounded like I felt; helpless and not sure what to do, or say, next.  “I wish I could be there for you, hon.” Mark said before we said goodnight.

I fell asleep that night trying to remember the last time I had seen my husband; it had been (give or take) 45 days.  I have heard the two best stress relievers are sex and crying; since my husband was 250 miles away, it had to have been the crying that sent me in to such a deep sleep.  I was barely able to open my eyes when my alarm went off at 8:00am on Saturday morning; I think I could have slept the whole day, but I had important things to do.

I quickly showered and since I had sent most of my clothes home, deciding what to wear didn't take any time at all.  By 8:45am I had already been to the SNF to check in on mom and was pulling in to the school
where my grandson was having soccer practice.  My daughter had been almost evasive on the phone the night before and I couldn't figure out why they weren't waiting for me to walk with them to the field; they almost acted like they didn't see me, but I knew they had as they had waved at me as I parked.  What the heck was going on, I wondered.  I was pretty certain I hadn't done anything to make them angry; had I?  I also wondered why they were pulling my grandson away from something that had obviously caught his attention; my daughter and her husband are excellent parents who generally take time to “stop and smell the roses”, especially when it comes to their children.

Since I was sure there were no roses around the corner of the building where my grandson had been looking, I decided to take a look as I went by to see what had caught his attention; what his parents wouldn't let him stop for.  Hhmmm, that’s interesting; there was nothing there except a man standing with his back up against the wall.  Wait a minute!  I recognized that man and I’m sure my grandson had too; how they had kept him from yelling “Grandpa”, I’ll never know!  Seconds later I was in my husband’s arms; I don’t much like surprises, but this was a good one!  My daughter laughed and said “This is why I couldn't talk to you mom; I would have ruined the surprise; you would have known I had a secret and I can’t lie to you!”  It all made sense now.


Surprises can be hard when you are a control freak; how can I control what I don’t see coming?  I guess the simple answer is, you can’t; but then, you can’t control what you can see coming either, right?  Yeah, it all makes perfect sense.


Tanya said...

It is amazing how pain RA patients tolerate. I am glad your Mom didn't require an emergency amputation of her leg. It sounds like you have a wonderful family.

healthcare hostages said...

I do have a wonderful family and realize how truly blessed I am in that regard.

Thank you again, Tanya! You have no idea how much it means to me that you continue to follow our story.