Tuesday afternoon around 3, I got a phone call that derailed the rest of my plans for that day, and shifted all others for the rest of the week...
My mother had fallen, the nurse said. EMS was on its way. What hospital did I want her taken to?
Frustration with her welled up inside of me. Why did she let impatience with the response time of aides cloud her judgement of her own strength and mobility, despite so many "lucky" falls over the past two years? Why did she risk it?
But concern for her, of course, far outweighed my frustration. And I also could put myself in her place, imagining how tough it had to be to have to ask for help for almost everything after a lifetime of independence and always being the one who helped others.
I suspected this was just another 'lucky' fall - her bones seemed to be made of steel! - but nevertheless, I gathered up my phone charger, some snacks, a notebook, and jacket before heading out the door.
She was already loaded in the back of the ambulance when I arrived at the home. I just had time to give her a kiss before they started for the hospital - sans sirens, thank goodness - with me following not too far behind in my own car.
Fast forward to this morning. Mama's luck ran out, dang it. Her femur fractured close to the hip when she hit the ground. She had surgery yesterday to repair it... which means they stuck a long rod down the center which is fixed in place with the medical equivalent of bolts and rubber bands.
The surgery went well, but she had to spend a lot of time in the recovery area. The heavy pain meds they had given her were slow to leave her system.
It had taken a lot of pain meds. I had never seen my mother in that much pain. Every movement was agony for her, but they had to move her to another bed, insert a catheter, and set the leg in traction that first night, bless her heart.
When I left last night, she was still having a tough time keeping her eyes open, but if asked, she said it didn't hurt.
I'm so grateful for all of the prayers, good thoughts, and well wishes that were sent on her behalf the past couple of days, and for Facebook, email, my laptop, smart phone, and the hospital's free wi-fi.
I may have looked alone, sitting in that waiting room, but in reality I was surrounded by friends and family. Thank you.
And Mama, I wish you weren't going through this, but thank you for reminding me to have patience ... to be kind to my body ... to weigh risks and ask for help when I need it. Too often I try to cut corners to save time. I forget my body is getting older and that I need to treat it with respect, which often means letting others help me do things I once did alone without even thinking.
A mother is always teaching, isn't she?
Please continue to keep her in your prayers. I'm afraid she's at the start of a long road of healing and rehabilitation and it won't be an easy one.