It was only that morning, mum was talking about how life can change in a split second.
On Thursday, when my GP was taking me to meet this new psychologist, mum went for her walk to pick up my meds, a route she walks every day.
When she was on the way home, she tripped over and injured herself quite badly. The worst of it was her arms, which she must've landed on awkwardly when she fell.
Nevertheless, she drove me in to my piercer to get my tongue web piercing taken out in preparation for my MRI the next morning - even if I had to reach over to help steer around corners and park the car as she couldn't without extreme pain (which was scary as hell considering my total driving experience amounts to 5 minutes some seven years ago).
Stubbornness runs in the family. She was going to wait until the next morning to get checked by a GP. Then I asked if we could try to pull her sleeves up to have a look.
Her left arm was swollen, but once we managed to get her right sleeve up, I was shocked. I don't think I've ever seen such extreme swelling before.
I took one look at her elbow, and said she really had to go into A&E that night. When my brother got home from work, he drove her in.
He dropped her off and came home, and told me they were doing x-rays and CT scans and whatnot. Just to be prepared, I went around the house and packed her an overnight bag to leave in my brother's car incase she was admitted.
It wasn't long before we were both heading in to see her, and take her the bag.
The doctor came in. After a couple of rounds of x-rays, we found out she'd fractured her right elbow ('split' it, is what they said), plus two fractures in her left forearm. At the grand age of 59, this was her first broken bone, and she managed to do both arms at once. She would need surgery on both arms, and was looking at a few days in hospital.
Feeling lost and unsafe in my own headspace, I asked A if he could keep me company. He drove down from Melbourne, and took me to my MRI the next morning.
Mum had her surgery on Saturday. After not hearing anything for some hours, I started to get really stressed, wondering if it was supposed to take so long, fearing that something had gone wrong. Around 6pm, my brother called the hospital to see what was going on. Her surgery was supposed to be in the morning, but it turns out they didn't start until 1pm, and we were told she was still in theater.
Time ticked on, and I got more and more frazzled. Around 7:30, I headed into the kitchen to get a drink and see what pills I had sitting around.
As I went in, the home phone rang. I've never been able to answer the phone, so I just sat by the answering machine to listen.
It was mum, so I picked up the phone, my voice shaky. The first thing she said was asking if I was okay.
She'd finally gotten out of surgery after 6.5 hours. All went well, and my brother and I went in to visit. Knowing she'd have been fasting all day, I put some homemade cottage pie and a bread roll in a container to be reheated, plus bagging up some peanuts and other little snacks.
She's got plates and pins now, and may even have more metal in her than I do.
Speaking of - I had to go back to my piercer on Saturday to get my tongue web jewelry put back in, plus a couple of other I was struggling with. Since I've only actually gone in twice in the past several years, I figured I'd make it worth my while, and got a second navel piercing (the other time I went in, I got my second nipple piercing).
My current piercing total sits at 19. It would've been 21 had I not had to take out the surface piercings on my hips, not to mention the multiple helix piercings I stupidly had done at the chemist before I was old enough to get them done properly, which never fully healed.
On Sunday, mum told us she'd be coming home that night. My brother and I visited in the morning, and I made her a cappuccino to take in. It was good timing, as we were both there when the occupational therapist came to talk to her about what she could and couldn't do at home.
The biggest limitation is that she can't lift more than 500 grams (1 lb), and no lifting with her right arm. When I got home, before she was discharged, I weighed all of the crockery and kitchen stuff that she uses. Anything over the limit, even her favourite coffee cups and bowls, were labelled with a "NO!", and I found lighter alternatives that I put a "Yes =)" on, so she wouldn't grab them out of instinct.
The other killer is that she can't drive for at least 6 weeks. Mum loves driving. She can't even supervise me as a learner. Running on such a tight budget, I can't afford to take taxis to and from every appointment. Realizing I wouldn't even have the dietician to talk to for weeks, I just started crying. I've not been coping with having so much time alone. My head is not a good place to be. Even now that she's home, she's been resting in bed so I'm by myself most of the time.
When she told me she'd be given oxycontin at home, I told her straight away to take my lockbox (with both keys) to keep them in. She's keeping the keys on her person, even if I help her with getting them out. A painkiller addiction or overdose is the last thing I need right now.
Her being so limited had put a lot of responsibility on me, which I'm struggling with. Even seemingly simple things like keeping the kitchen and dishes clean, feeding the pets etc.. I struggle to take care of myself, let alone someone else and a house. Someone will be coming three times a week for the next two weeks to help, but even with that, I feel like my head's about to explode.
Despite her saying she'd be living on frozen fish and chips for the next 6-8 weeks, I got my brother to do some shopping, and I spent the time she was in hospital making bulk batches of dinner meals. I've still got more cooking to do over the next week or so, but I'll be able to freeze everything, and it can all be eaten with just a spoon.
I'll post about the rest of my busy week in a few days. Amongst the chaos, I've barely even had time to sit and process the psych appointment or anything, so I'll try to write about that next time
I'm definitely putting off going out for dinner (maybe for 3 months off synthetics?).
I don't particularly want to go out again for quite some time.
I don't particularly want to go out again for quite some time.