Today in My History
Baubles, Bangles and Bigots
IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2009
"Sundays at Tiffany's"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
VIDEO OF THE DAY / WEEK / WHATEVER
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5 April 2009
Well, the surgery went very well. They had told me that she would be in recovery for 1-2 hrs, but they called just as I was leaving the library. It had been less than an hour and she was doing great, so I headed on over to the hospital.
The first problem was that, being the fashion plate that she is, she had dressed in a pantsuit that was very stylish--but left NO room for the post-operative boot she was now in. We were afraid she'd have to go home with no bottoms on, or that I would have to come home to get a skirt for her. Then I suggested that they put a pair of scrubs on her. The nurse thought this was a great idea, so she rounded up a pair of scrub pants and those fit fine.
She is able to walk and even manipulate the stairs in front of her house, which is good.
What is NOT good is that when she first broke her ankle, a year and a half ago, this was all new and she was a somewhat more compliant patient than she is now. She is NOT an invalid and she ISN'T going to act like one. She won't take pain meds stronger than Advil because she doesn't like to take medication, though she winces and sucks in breath when the incisional pain hits.
She doesn't want to feel like an invalid by being waited on... she wants to continue to wait on people.
Let me give you an example. Look at this picture:
I was sitting in the empty chair on the right, she was sitting where she is now with her huge boot on. I was reading something and she struggled to her feet and hobbled over to turn on the lamp (circled) because she didn't want me straining my eyes. (It wasn't even that dark in the room at the time!!). The worst thing you can do to her is NOT let her take care of everybody! And trying to convince her to stay off of her leg is a real chore.
She apologized for not fixing my lunch and I assured her that I was there to cook for her and that I could certainly make us toasted cheese sandwiches without feeling put out!
This may be a longer stretch, emotionally, than it was when I lived here for six weeks when this accident first happened.
* * *
The emergency happened at 3 a.m. My mother staggered out of the bedroom saying that the machine she has to carry around with her was beeping and she didn't know what to do about it.
My bad. The machine came with all sorts of instructions, which I didn't realize. I wasn't exactly sure what the process was with the machine that had been affixed to her wound, when I spoke with the wound nurse, she seemed to indicate that the machine wouldn't need attention until Monday, when she would be cleaning out the wound. But she did tell me about plugging the machine in if the power got low.
Well, what this machine is is a mini vacuum cleaner which attaches to the wound and sucks the blood out slowly, keeping it all clean. We had been given a bag of supplies, with assurance that they had explained everything to my mother who, of course, can't remember anything and is terrible about instructions for machines even if she could remember. (In 10 years she has never learned that my journal is NOT an e-mail!..and clicking on the only bookmarked link in her Web-TV is way too advanced for her, even 10 years ago when we first set it up for her. She is fiercely proud of being a luddite.)
The beeping came with a message on the screen of her little electronic pack that the "canister was full" and that therapy was suspended. That's when I realized there was a big instruction manual that I should have read. It shows how to change the canisters when they fill with blood, but the canister didn't seem even half full.
The manual is 60 pages long and there are SIX pages alone telling you how to change the canister. I was trying to figure out the instructions when the beeping stopped. I had pressed a reset button and that seemed to get it all going again.
Crisis averted--I hope. I'm hoping that it was just that the machine got in the wrong position in bed and that with it being reset and then hung up on the headboard, where she can't lie on it, maybe it will be OK.
In the meantime, she's in great pain, but of course, the Vicodin, which might have helped, is at the pharmacy because she was sure she wouldn't need pain medication stronger than Tylenol.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is the machine
MILES TO NOWHERE: 104 miles