Saturday, May 26, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole (Again)

My Mother is in the hospital again, and this time it's serious: a broken hip.  Difficult for anyone, usually disastrous for the elderly, of which she most surely is.

And the sad and ironic thing is that I was on my way to see her anyway, yesterday. I was in a taxi, taking Jacob up his doctor's appointment when I realized a message had come in that I hadn't noticed in the hustle and bustle of my early morning.

When I registered that it was from the nurse at Carnegie, I held my breath. It is almost never good news.

A fall... found by aide... ambulance... Mt. Sinai ER.

Not how I was planning to spend the day (or the entire holiday weekend, for that matter). I had been thinking: do Mom's laundry, take her to lunch, give her a manicure. Bur ER bound we were.

I was on pins and needles throughout Jake's appointment, just itching to get. to. the. hospital. Jake was amazing though. He had heard my phone conversations, had understood my explanation that we were NOT going to be visiting Grandma in her home as planned, but instead going to the hospital to see her.

He told everyone at the doctor's office: "My Grandma is in the hospital. She doesn't feel good. We are going to see her to tell her to feel better."  (Whoever says autistic kids lack compassion can go suck it.)

And he was great in the two hours he was with me there (until my husband could come to pick him up). He kept telling my mom to "Feel better, Grandma!"

Very shortly after we arrived they wheeled her away for CT scans and X-rays. The doctor prepared me. By the rotation of her leg and the level of her pain, it was certain her hip was either broken or dislocated.

I was praying for dislocation but not feeling hopeful, and sure enough, it was as we'd feared: the top of her femur, the "ball" part of the ball and socket joint that is a hip was broken clear off the rest. She needs surgery to repair it, to place a metal rod in the bone and pins and screws to hold everything in place.


Thank goodness her sense of humor is still intact. Between that and the disinhibiting quality to the morphine that is keeping her out of severe pain, she has been terribly funny.

In the ER, as the nurses were trying to put in a catheter, and she was not quite understanding what they were doing, I heard my mother's voice calling out from behind the curtain: "Varda, why are there women in my vagina?"

When told that she needs to have surgery that involves putting the metal rod and pin in her hip, her reply was: "Then I better find a man with a magnetic penis!"

I hold on to this as I prepare to return to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow, to send my mother off into surgery. there will be more tales to tell, but for now, I am tired. So, goodnight.


  1. I wish you all an easy a time as possible through this. xxx

  2. I went through the same thing with my mother a few years ago. She had both hips replaced in a 6 month time span. Sending you lots of love and prayers for her to have a speedy recovery.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your Mum, and I hope the surgery goes well.

    When my Nanny (grandmother) was 88, we went on holiday to Cornwall (seriously, could I be any more British in this comment?) - within 10 minutes of arriving at our holiday cottage Nan fell down a few stairs and broke her shoulder. When the paramedics arrived she was HILARIOUS. She kept flirting with them, and when asked to rate the pain she asked them to give her a scale. 'Ten would be childbirth' they advised, and she arched her eyebrows at them. 'That was a VERY long time ago!' she stated. She went straight back to flirting with them, while still in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. All the rest of the family was panicking, and she was just laughing and flirting, a little under the influence of the gas and air.

    Did put a bit of a dampener on the holiday though - the nearest hospital was 50 miles away, and absolutely crap. Nan spent the whole fortnight in an armchair, rarely making it to bed, and we couldn't go anywhere for more than three hours because we needed to go back to the cottage, help Nanny go to the loo and bring her some lunch. Still, you couldn't ask for more stoicism, and being unable to drink with her meds fixed an alchohol problem she never accepted she had. It's an ill wind that blows no good.

    (Sorry, it's just occurred to me that although I've been following your blog for around a year, I've never commented. I'm a sucky follower. Hi!)

  4. I hope she does well, Varda. It's so hard to heal those bones when you get older, but I'm sure she will have the very best care!



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