Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Breaking Bad(ly): My Poor Mom

After all the nice things I said about her in my last blog post, you think I would be more careful with my mother. Not so much.

Last night she was going out to her car to retrieve something. Our epically icy driveway had another plan. She fell. I was in the bathroom and Scott was cleaning up from dinner so we didn't even realize she went out. When she came back in she reported that she "lay there awhile" before she decided she should/could get up. The first concern we had was the cut on her arm. It was not deep, really, but it was... well, I think the technical term is 'gross'. We found some gauze, wrapped her up, and gave her an ice pack. It would have been amusing, the picture of me on the couch with my bum leg and her on the rocking chair with her bloody arm, if it weren't so alarming. And, to be honest, inconvenient! Having 2 of 3 adults moderately disabled in a house with 3 kids is tough!

Thankfully it was pretty close to Gabe's bedtime and I was able to get him in jammies (yay! I can manage 1-legged squats to the floor to do diaper and clothes changes!) and Scott put him to bed. Gungah went (carefully!) to bed, too, and we were hopeful that things would  be easier in the morning.
Oddly enough, things don't always look better in the morning.
When she got up things were decidedly not easier. She now sported an enormous bruise underneath the cut and realized during the night that she had conked her head a good bit, too, during the fall. Ever the trooper, she took some Ibuprofen and we all powered through a rough morning. The plan was to have Mom drop the kids off with one of my co-workers at a half way point to school and she would take them the rest of the way. (EVEN dropping Gabe at daycare. HUGE!) Because of her fall and because, despite my gimpiness, I am still able to lift things, I decided that I would get Gabe loaded up into the car, ride to the meeting spot and get him loaded into the other car. (He has been an absolute horror show getting in and out of carseats and I didn't want to put that on anyone outside of my bloodline!) I was scurrying around to get myself out the door as everyone else was doing the same. I hollered at least 3 times, "DO NOT TRY TO LIFT GABE!"

Tom heard me. Elliott heard me. I'm sure Gabe heard me. Mom says she didn't hear me.

[Drum roll the inevitable.... ]

She was stepping down into the garage, carrying Dr. Chunk and she fell.


This time it was her ankle, mostly. Tommy was on it and yelled for me immediately. I scrambled to the door and hauled Gabe off of her lap. I told the boys to go inside. They were confused and worried. I called my husband and upon his answering said what must have been pretty alarming: "You need to come home right now!" (To my credit, he had called just minutes before and said if I needed anything to call and he would walk out the door right away. So, it wasn't like he hadn't offered!)

Meanwhile, Gungah was still sitting on the floor of the garage and Gabe was standing on the porch screaming his head off. Not because he was hurt but because he didn't want to go back inside. He wanted to ride in Gungah's car!

She refused to let me help her up (maybe a wise choice) but eventually Mom was able to limp her way back into the house. I cleared the couch of my torture rack and took a look at her ankle. It was slightly swollen but she could roll it, so it did not seem like a break. I gave her a towel, ice pack, and wrapped it in an ace bandage, just as Scott arrived.....

She thought at first she broke it, so I guess we are actually in good shape here.

Since I had PT at 9:00 and we were obviously not going to allow Mom to do anything except sit and rest her leg. And her arm. And her head .... I rode to school and daycare drop off  with Scott and the boys and he dropped me off at PT. (Still an APB out on my right quad muscle, by the way. Where, or where, could it be?)

I got home and mom was still waiting for her cell phone to ring.

What? That doesn't make sense? Oh. Right. I didn't tell you about my DAD, did I...?

Back in February, Dad had his shoulder replaced. He is a pro at these things, as he has already had a hip replacement, several shoulder surgeries, a lobotomy.... you get the drill. When you have shoulder surgery in general, and shoulder replacement specifically, it's really hard to do little things. You know, little things like get out of bed, get dressed, maintain your own personal hygiene....

When Mom arrived here she was a little worried that he was overly dependent on her but was determined that it would be good for him to start doing for himself a little more. She talked to him several times a day and he sounded, she said, kind of depressed. He was having a hard time doing the things she always did. Not too surprising. But he was still able to do most of the social things he had on the calendar: high school play, church, committee meetings. It was a little red and swollen one day, so there was some concern about infection, but that seemed to calm down. So, really, how bad could it be?

Apparently it could  be pretty darn bad. Yesterday he had an appointment with his GP. The doc took a look at his shoulder and said that it appeared that somehow the surgery had failed. Dad needed to get back to his surgeon ASAP.

Oh. Sh*t.

ASAP turned out to  be this morning at 8:45. Hence my broken mother sitting in a chair with her cell phone on her lap willing it to ring. My cousin, Kevin, retired last summer and was happy to drive Dad to the appointment. We know he got there. But what the HELL was taking so long for them to call back? Finally, a little after 11AM, the call came.

The ball of his arm is out of the shoulder socket. The surgeon (a guy who Dad has known since he was a teenager.... a guy who Dad taught to play hockey... a guy who always has another story about Dad every time he sees him... a guy who just plain loves my dad....) was extremely upset by this. He will need to have another operation to get it repaired. That operation is on Monday. Kevin and Dad had already talked about the logistics of getting things taken care of without Mom there to help, including picking up the High Test pain meds Dad would get to use to keep him sane until the repair.

But Mom knew I it. I knew it. Scott knew it. There's only one thing to know:

Mom needed to go home.

So, she is. She is on her way right now, actually, busted up body parts and all.

Lucky for me, I got pushy with my surgeon's office and now I have permission to drive. This takes care of 999 of my 1,000 foreseeable problems. I also have permission to bear 50% weight on my leg. Thank. The. Lord.

If you have me on any sort of prayer list, I surely appreciate it, but I would ask that any that you have for me be tossed over to my parents. And everyone living at 84 Benton Rd., for that matter. (A totally different blog post...)

P.S. Oddly enough, the only time my dad can think of when he might have hurt his shoulder, causing it to 'undo' his surgery was when he was driving in his car and he sneezed. Yup. It sounds like a sneeze may be the culprit for his troubles. Crazy, huh?


  1. Whoa. That post kept me glued to the screen...WOW. I do not know what to say! I hope you all heal quickly with NO MORE accidents. Period.

  2. Gungah might have the nicest-looking feet I've seen on a running blog in a long time. ;)

    What an adventure! I agree - totally glued to the tale.