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Monday, May 16, 2011

The month of April was difficult, and May has been unkind, but we persist. Life continues to unravel at its own pace, according to its own will. Or lack thereof. I personally can find no rhyme or reason in recent events. (Well, maybe a little rhyme. But no reason.)

My petty grievances seem, well, petty, compared to what Mom has been through this month. A couple of weeks ago, just as she was getting moved into her new apartment, she took a fall (on the new, nappier carpet). Since her phone hadn't been connected yet in the new place, her Lifeline button wouldn't have worked, so she dragged herself across said carpet to her cell phone and called for help.

Herewith my daily report, taken directly from Facebook posts over the succeeding days:

Wednesday, May 4. My mom took a fall on the brand new carpet in her brand new apartment today and was taken to Kaiser emergency, where they took very good care of her. X-rays showed that she had broken a hip. She wasn't a candidate for immediate surgery because of medication she was on, so she will probably be operated on tomorrow (Thursday).

We are very hopeful because Mom is strong and sharp and determined. Suzanne is spending the night in the hospital room with her. Mom asked me to post something here to let you all know what's going on.

Thursday, May 5. Just heard "breaking" news: No surgery today, now hoping for Friday. The sooner the better, because Mom is in a lot of pain. I'm off to the hospital now.

Later that day: The latest news on Mom's condition is that the surgery is expected to happen Friday afternoon, probably 3:30 or later. Her Coumadin level is finally coming down to where it won't be a danger to her. She's still in considerable pain but she's able to control her own pain medication, which helps some. But not much, really, so let's hope the surgery comes off as quickly and easily as expected.

By the way, until late today when the pain got the better of her and she had to press the morphine drip to the limit, everyone in the hospital who came into contact with Mom has remarked on how sharp and alert she is, even through all the pain. She has pulled no punches in asking for the care she thinks she needs, and they've appreciated that.

Friday, May 6. Mom's partial hip replacement surgery didn't start until about 5:45 Friday afternoon. The surgeon told us it went perfectly, and she was out of recovery and back in her room about 9:30 pm. She's very tired and sore, of course, but without the pain spasms that have plagued her since Wednesday. The plan is to have her up and walking tomorrow.

Sunday, May 8. Sunday morning, and Mom sat up by herself and fed herself solid food for the first time! So she should be getting stronger soon. Her spirit is good, but the pain is still slowing recovery some. No timetable yet for going to rehab, or how long she'll be there. I'll let you know. I spent the night in her room. Home now briefly, then back to the hospital for Mother's Day with Mom and the family.

Sunday night: Mom got a workout from the physical therapist this morning, then a visit from the whole family this afternoon. We wore her out but she enjoyed it. She's working very hard at getting better and will most likely be sent to a rehab facility Monday. We are all very proud of her and pleased with her progress. She is expected to be in rehab about a week, but there are no guarantees. Thanks for all the good wishes.

Monday, May 9. Mom is now at her new rehab facility and ready to do what it takes to get up and around again. She stood on her repaired hip for the first time today, and she'll have physical therapy twice a day until she's ready to go home. That could be in as little time as a week (or less?). Suzanne and I will be checking in on her every day, and we'll let you know how she's doing.

Tuesday, May 10. This was by far Mom's best day yet. She's back to her old self, sharp and fiery and aware of everything that's going on. She walked for the first time in physical therapy, and she now knows that the rehab place has a computer (so we might be hearing from her soon). We are so grateful to the people who have taken such good care of her and brought her back to us. But she's done an awful lot of the work herself.

Today, a week into her stay at rehab, Mom is doing well, working hard at physical therapy, and expecting to be released late this week. It turns out that we were a little optimistic thinking she'd be in rehab for a week or less, and now they won't release her until we've arranged for someone to be with her 24 hours a day, at least for now. We'll work this out and get her home as soon as possible. I'm sure her recovery will go more quickly in familiar surroundings (and with food she actually likes the taste of).

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