Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mothering My Mother

My poor mom just had knee surgery. Unfortunately, this is her 2nd one. On the same knee. Nuff said there, right? In case you don't know, that rarely happens so it seems fitting my dear mom would fall victim to such lousy luck. Thankfully the surgery appears to have been successful, no infection and no complications. I asked her if she wanted me to scrub in for the surgery so I could be there as her advocate while she was under the ol drugs. Yeah, she didn't really go for that idea. I think she envisioned me breaking out some mean dance moves or bursting into spontaneous show tunes in hopes she somehow might be able to hear me.


Yesterday, I got to bring her home from the hospital and currently she is settling in yet dealing with some tremendous pain. Thankfully she has some pain meds which tend to give at least some relief. Did you know that pain meds can make one terribly cranky? Well, in case you didn't, they do.

I remember when I was in the hospital for a kidney problem and they were giving me Demerol. Unless it was the nurse coming in to give me another dose no one was welcome in my room. No drugs, no entrada! So, I understand her feelings of aggravation.


Post surgery is a real pain (pun intended.) She has to have her leg and knee in a type of traction device that keeps the knee rotating to increase her mobility. She has to do that 6 hours per day. Obviously, one can feel so confined strapped into something that resembles a small car. I think the hardest part too for my mom is her limited ability to do things in her house HER way. She does everything to the Nth degree in terms of precision and detail. I'm trying to keep up with her system but I gotta tell ya, it's tough!


Her kitties, for example, have a schedule that one must not waver from. One door has to be shut before another opens and this flannel blankie has to be on this cushion NOT the other one. The food goes on the little plates with the small flowers and only a little for this cat but a little bit more for that one because he is always hungrier. This one likes warm milk, the other doesn't and don't ever and I mean EVER switch their plates. They get very cranky apparently. I'm running to and fro wringing my hands in desperation, fearing the worst - I'm going to lay the blankie on the wrong cushion or worse, use the wrong blankie!


I'm just giving my mom a hard time. Poor thing is very used to my antics. She is more gullible than me! Fancy that! I tease her just mercilessly and she is such a good sport about it. Except when I told her I accidentally added kitty litter to the washer instead of detergent. That one didn't go over so well so I decided I better rein it in a bit.

I am trying hard to make sure things are kept tidy and clean though so she doesn't feel overwhelmed by "to dos." But, I believe she is one of the few women in this world when you move a couch cushion there is absolutely zilch underneath it. So boring, not even a crushed goldfish or a grimy penny!


Because she will be on a walker for a while means there is a lot of adapting to do in terms of getting around and such. It can be very frustrating for her trying to negotiate turns, parallel park and passing on the left. No speeding tickets though, for which I'm grateful.


She told me to put a bowl of greek yogurt back in the fridge to which I commented, "A bit testy aren't we?" Her response? "Because I am your supervisor and that is what supervisors do, they supervise." Gotta love pain meds! :)


My mom always thinks of others before herself. She is amazing and it is very humbling when she asks how you are in the midst of her own pain. She even asked me what sounded good for dinner (since I'm staying with her) and I was quick to respond, "I don't know, what are you making me?" She wasn't impressed. Now I'm totally out of my element because its usually ME thats relaxing on the couch, feet up, while she is doing all the work! I'm very confused with this whole role reversal. I don't think I like it.


Actually though I'm really pleased I can be with her. Such a drop in the bucket compared to all she has done for me. That is the truth!


Well, its time for me to go give my mom an injection in her stomach. Yep, I get the honors on that. Right about now she is asking herself, "Isn't there anyone else who could do this?"

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