It's ok to be a little broken

“Come back!” the Caterpillar called after her. “I’ve something important to say.” This sounded promising, certainly. Alice turned and came back again. “Keep your temper,” said the Caterpillar.” - Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Mom had a partial hip replacement the next day. She did surprisingly well; once the anesthesia wore off she was acting like it was really no big deal. Not remembering why she was there probably helped. She also had a catheter in for the first full day - she kept wanting to get up and go to the restroom and I had to keep reminding her that she didn’t need to. Since she couldn’t remember why she was there and that she was catheterized I spent a lot of time unkinking the tube (how on earth she kept getting it pinched was beyond me) and showing her the bag. When they decided to remove the catheter, I knew what was going to happen - she was going to need to get up at least every 30 minutes if not more often. I warned them, shoot, I practically begged them to leave it in for just one more day. For their sake and for mine. But no, it had to come out. Medically I get it, personally I would have sawed off a toe to leave it in for her entire stay.

The  five day restroom rodeo got off to an amazing start. I wasn’t allowed to assist her since she was a fall risk so we had to use the call button and wait for a nurse. If it was longer than a couple of minutes mom started to get anxious. Then I started to get anxious. A few more minutes and she was talking to me through gritted teeth. There were only so many nurses and aides and they were spread pretty thin. They always managed to get there within 10 minutes but those 10 minutes were tough ones to sit out.

You know how most people are pretty tired after major surgery and take little naps since there isn’t anything else to do? Not my mom. She didn’t take a single nap the entire time I was there with her. Not even a little nod-off. Sometimes she was sleeping when I got there in the morning but as soon as she saw me she was wide awake. I tried to get her to watch TV but she didn’t want to, she wasn’t interested in reading or listening to music either. So we talked about the places we had lived, her friends, and trips she had taken. Over and over. I felt horrible leaving her there at night but I had to get away and she needed to sleep. The day she was finally discharged was one of the happiest days of my life.

She was able to be admitted to the skilled nursing section of where she had been living which was a huge relief. She got started in physical therapy right away and decided from the first day that she hated it. She said it was stupid and she didn’t like the therapists coming into her room to get her. I didn’t understand what her issues were with them; they were nice and she was getting one on one attention which she usually loved. When it was time for her therapy she would tell them that she didn’t feel like going and they could come back later. I had to remind her that this wasn’t a vacation spot where she could pick and choose what she wanted to do; this was a scheduled treatment that was in place to help her. She didn’t give a single little damn. I had to resort to telling her that I would be there during her therapy sessions but only if she stayed for her entire allotted  time. If she started acting up or refused to do her exercises, then I would leave. It worked fairly well - I never had to leave but I came close.

When I was little and would get into a snit about something mom would often threaten me with the prophecy that one day I would have a child and it would act just like I was acting. That didn’t happen with my kids. It was happening with my mom.