Monday, March 22, 2010

Mom & Knee Replacement

Ad2b has been a bit harried lately...

I have not talked about my mom a lot here and I'm not sure why. Partially due to privacy, partially because it has taken some time for me to wrap my head around our relationship.

For years, our relationship was distant at best. I was ever thankful that she'd help me, actually insisted, on helping me with my son. I knew, or wanted to believe, that she really cared about me. My brothers, on the other hand, are her life. She hears from them and lights up. Me, not so much.

As the years have gone by, my mom has become a trusted source of help. While my dad's complete patience has started to give way to irritability and insolence, Mom has been calm and often my preferred person to talk to.

I have come to really love my mom. Ask anyone who really knows me, they'd find that incredibly hard to believe.

This past Friday, my trusted confidant, had total knee replacement done. She'd been walking with a walker for quite some time, taking cortisone shots as they were timed, and hoping something would help. No pain shots helped, no cortisone shots left her pain free and mobile.

It was time.

Seeing her on Friday was a hoot. Alert, laughing, telling stories, listening to my latest with my ex bf, and I could tell, scared. She knew, as I did, the spinal had not worn off yet. I cherished my time with her that day.

Saturday came and it was rough. With the spinal having worn off, the pain settled into her leg. Sadly, no one told her the morphine pump could be used every 10 mins, and the lidocaine around her leg pumped every 2 hours. By the time she was informed of all this, she'd been suffering.

My dad was looking harried and worn. At 80 and 60 years of marriage to his credit, his wife was suffering and he felt utterly helpless. The nurses were in to wash her leg, get her to stand up, redress the wound, and get her onto clean bedding. The pain was evident.

At first I was not sure if my mom would let me help her. But then I told myself:

If she were your patient, or someone else you were visiting, not your mom, what would you do?

The nurses got her settled back into bed, I got to look at the incision, ask my questions about pain management and how the morphine pump vs. the lidocaine worked. I was fascinated by the medical side.

I sat with her a bit until the morphine set in, held her cold hand in mine telling her the worst was over. I tried to do what I could not knowing if I helped or not.

Yesterday was better for her. The physical therapists are god-sends and had her sitting in a chair. She sounded good. She sounded better.

All of the past few days got me curious as to what actually happens during total knee replacement. I found a few sites and this one, is kind of neat. You get to diagnose your own "patient"...

Still thinking ortho is SO not me (the cutting on bones makes me cringe) but this site is interesting nonetheless.


Slamdunk said...

Having you there for support and encouragement is certainly a blessing for her.

I hope she recovers quickly and your father finds away that he is comfortable in helping her during this trial.

OMDG said...

You are not an adolescent boy. This is why ortho is not for you.

Just kidding. I do have a *female* friend who went into ortho. She is totally badasas.

Knee replacements can be unbelievably painful. A lot of people underestimate this. But hopefully your mom's mobility will be improved in the long run!

rhonda said...

I am with you on the cutting bones. The idea makes me cringe.

I hope your mom has a speedy recovery.