I'm here. I am tired and I am a small fragile pile of emotions. My Mom. I call her Mumsie. She and I, well we aren't the usual Mother Daughter. We are the very best of friends. We talk at least twice a day. We have my entire life since I moved out when I was 18 years old. We have always done everything together. She's 67, but doesn't look it or act it. She just got the most recent lady Gaga CD uploaded on her MP3. She reads books by the dozens, loves movies of all kinds including foreign films and slapstick comedies. She is not old in any way. But, this accident was a terrible accident. (Wait, let me preface that by saying the Orthopedic Surgeon, Neurosurgery and the therapists all say she is responding well and will hopefully make a full recovery. I MUST keep that at the top of my mind.) She tripped going down the stairs leaving on Thanksgiving morning. She does us a cane because she has Arthritis and her knees hurt, especially, ironically enough, going down stairs. (INSERT MEAN FACE). She fell from about three feet up, flew out into the yard, hit the ground and rolled under the car. My step dad called an ambulance, then called me. I met them at the hospital. Actually, I beat the ambulance to the hospital. That was stressful.
The doctors did an xray and found she had a fractured shoulder. They put her in a sling and sent her home. But, her legs would barely work and she was bruised and everything hurt. Yet, they sent her home. We followed her home and helped her into a chair. Later that night, she wanted to move to the recliner and as my Stepfather helped her, she slid to the ground. We drove back out to her house and helped her up and into the recliner. She wanted to rest so we came back home. The next morning, I called to check on her and she hadn't been able to move all night. I insisted we call an ambulance again. Once again, I beat it to the hospital. They did more xrays and discovered that she had a fracture in her back. Suddenly, she had to be transferred to a hospital with a Neurosurgeon. Now, it's not that we don't have any of those fancy doctors down here in Arkansas, but it was Thanksgiving and the Neurosurgeon on call was off that weekend. Seriously. I mean, I understand that a man deserves some time of, but if he is the only man to do the job, I think he should have been called in. And you know about hospitals and policies - there were other hospitals locally they could have transferred her to, but they weren't in the same circuit or whatever you call it. My brain is dead, sorry.
Ok, so they also did blood work and discovered she needed a blood transfusion. She needed two units there and two more in MO. Talk of scarier things then deciding it was too much Tylenol to a decision that she has been Anemic for years and it just caught up for her. That explains why she was tired a lot and needed to rest doing simple things. She was literally low on blood.
I'm getting too in detail here, but my mind is full and my entire life I have written things down to clear my head. It's what I have always done.
The point of this post is that she is hurt. Badly hurt. Fractured shoulder/arm (every doctor says it differently), pinched spinal cord, fracture in her back and a bruised tailbone. Because of the fall, she has no use of her arms or hands. Her arms are coming back, but her hands are swollen from the fall and from the pinched spinal cord. She can't use them at all which means she cannot adjust the bed, reach the call button, change the channel on her only source of distraction, feed herself, brush her teeth and a myriad of other things including call me on the phone twice a day. For the past five days I have done everything for her. And now she is in a new hospital/rehab where they insist she do it herself. But, holey hell, she cannot do it. It's not that she doesn't want to do it....she CANNOT do it. I asked if anyone would help her eat and the admitting nurse who did not impress me (read that as: I still cannot believe I did not fly over the bed and strangle her with my bare hands) said that she will have to do it herself or be wheeled to the dining room to be spoon fed with "the others". She went on to say that they simply do NOT have the staff to give one on one treatment like that. But, about five minutes after she left the room, the Nurses Aide came in and was so sweet. She has four patients and she comes in and out of each room asking what they need constantly. They brought my Mom pot roast which the Nurse says she'll just have to eat around (we don't eat beef or pork), but the aide goes to the kitchen and brings her back tuna salad and a spoon and starts feeding her. I am learning that the Nurses are all about the rules and the handing out of meds, and the aides are the ones that care. The aide got my Mom a pillow for her arm, got her a gentle touch call button that she can use and was being super sweet to her. So, I feel that she will get the care she needs from the Aides and the meds she needs from the Nurses and I will help and fill in as much as I can short of moving into her dresser drawer which is where I really want to be. :( I was actually really strong through all of this in Springfield, but now that I am home it seems really, really real and that is scaring me to death. I don't have a very strong support system in my real actually life other than my Mom. My Dad is being great, don't get me wrong. I just rely on talking to my Mom about everything.
A week ago she was mostly fine aside from the tiredness and arthritis and now she cannot move. But, she will get there. Therapy starts tomorrow but I don't know how she can so much in a full back brace, neck brace and splint. I know she will work hard because she wants to get out of there. The plan is to have her come here because our house is flat and there are no steps until she feels like she can handle the steps in her house and we have a ramp built outside. Her porch steps are impossibly steep and I have always known someday they would need a ramp. I just didn't know that someday was last Thursday. For now we will just take it day by day. Curtis aka the "Breadman" is an emotional mess because he stayed here while we were gone and felt helpless. The Bean is a mess because he went with me to help me and his "Baw". He told me that he knows how much he loves me so he knows how much I love my Mom. I have such a good kid there.
What a year this has been - our car being totaled, the job loss, my Dad's heart ablation and now my Mom. But, we have a beautiful new car that got me to my Mom with no worries whatsoever. My dad is fine and feeling good - his procedure was to make him better than he was and he was pretty good before that. Curtis has a few promising lines on jobs. Actually, he has had a couple offers, but I told him to slow down and take just the right one. Unemployment is his right and he paid it in, so why not accept it until he gets just the right offer? We aren't broke, he has retirement we can withdraw if he needs to and we haven't even had to pay a bill yet anyway since it has only been eleven days. (How can that be possible?) I don't anyone feeling sorry for us. You can send best wishes and pray that my Mom heals quickly and fully. But, we are fine in every other respect. I just need my Mom. I still have her. I just need to be able to talk to her again twice a day.
Thank you for all the comments here, on Facebook, texts and emails. I appreciate them all. You guys are the best. Thanks to Carol for updating the blog on my behalf. I've never met her in real life, but she's a great friend.