Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Mom (Absolutely No Running Content)

Sorry about this non-running-related post.

We knew it had to happen sometime. Mom would either fall and break a hip, come down with pneumonia, or have some kind of major heart problem. It was the former. But why did it have to happen when I was responsible?

A week and a half ago, Dave, Carol and Mom came over. We went to lunch, and then sat at our house and talked. I had to go to work, so I said I'd drop Mom off at her assisted living home since it's on the way. She and I went into the garage, and I let go of her for one second so as to close the door behind us. Mom tripped over our board as she tried to make her own way between the two cars.

I've played the scene over in my mind a million times. It's almost like a dream. It was only for a second that I'd let go of her. She fell so slowly and almost gracefully. I almost could have reached and caught her, even though I had been reaching back to close the door. Right away, she said, "I broke my hip". We got EMS to take her to SW General.

I can't even say how terrible I feel about all this. Everyone has been extremely understanding, saying it could have happened to anyone at any time. I know. But why me? A few days earlier I had visited her at her assisted living place, and when I was leaving, she told the lady sitting nearby, "He's such a good son".

After a couple days in the hospital, she had surgery. This was scary because no one knew if her heart could take it. It did, and the operation was successful.

The recovery has not been as good as I thought it would be. We understood that it would take time, and that it would be tough for her to walk again. But she's having trouble with just about everything that requires movement. A week after the surgery, she was moved to a nursing home. We had done some extensive research to find a good one for her.

She's getting good care now. They are very intent on getting her back to her former level of movement and independence through physical and occupational therapy. If she can get at least mostly back, she can return to her assisted living home. If not, she'll probably need to stay at the nursing home.

The recovery is still problematic. She has good days and bad days. Since the surgery, she has been more confused than ever. They say it's due to the anesthetic. We've been visiting every day.

All of this happened in the midst of our visitation from Veronica, Barry and Malcolm. As much as Debbie and I were worried about Mom, and as much as we had to go and visit, we thoroughly enjoyed that visit. We did some fun stuff, like the beach, a family picnic and the Great Lakes Brewery. But we mostly had fun with Malcolm.

He is a real joy. And he seemed to have fun too. But here's the thing. He likes me. This is quite unusual, for kids are sometimes a little afraid of me. Other times, they are just cautious and standoff-ish with me. I don't take it personally; I just accept it.

Not Malcolm. He actually seeks me out to run (yes, run - walking always turns into running) with him, or to play in some other way. He seems to light up when he sees me. He calls both Debbie and me "Momma"!! (There's only the one "Dada".) What a joy.

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