Tuesday, 2 August 2016

No Rest for the Wicked

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.



  1. It doesn't rain, it bloody pours doesn't it!

    It sounds like you've done plenty to help, and I hope you can continue to do so. I like the labels :D

    I can't believe she took so long to get to hospital, your mum is a stubborn lady! I hope she gets better soon!

    And like the piercing. I'm with you on dodgy piercings I got when I was younger that I can't use at all. I can't wear any earrings in my lobes, because they were all done in cheapo places with piercing guns (never get a piercing done with a gun! Learnt the hard way!)

    By the way, are phone appointments an option? Just thinking that you know your dietician well enough and all. I do struggle with them myself (even my GP)


  2. I'm really sorry to hear about your mom. It's a terrible thing to happen. I hope she gets better soon.
    It seems that you have taken on quite a lot of responsibilities and I'm sure she's gratefull. Every little thing counts, trust I know from experience :)
    I love your piercing! Mine didn't take. I had it done 3 times, but it kept falling off. I'm gonna have some face piercings done soon though, so I'm excited about that.
    Hope your week pick up.
    Lots of hugs :)


  3. i hope i don't offend you, my love, my love, my love.

    the irony of that first statement given that i already know what's happened (and i hope that mum is resting well!).

    the piercer thing and the fact that she drove afterwards still leaves me confused and somewhat surprised. the turning the wheel thing would've had me in ruins so i can't imagine how it must've been for you.

    wait, she was actually going to wait? oh God. did you tell me that? ahhhh.

    i'm glad that you did take her down to the A&E! God, what with two arms that need surgery...

    i'm not sure about 'the seizure supervisor' right now, but i'm glad that you weren't alone and that you've had someone to take you to your MRI.

    "The first thing she said was asking if I was okay." <- mum has her brilliant moments. this is one of them.

    i've never had cottage pie homemade! i wonder how lovely it must be.

    "She's got plates and pins now, and may even have more metal in her than I do." <- is it awful that this made me smile so much?

    speaking of more metal... *recalls new piercing*

    oh God, i love how you did that!

    that thing you've done for your mum (labelling the cookery) is one of the sweetest things i've ever heard. you are such a supportive little lass. you're a good person, and it shows all the time (even when your head tells you you're not.) you rlly are.

    i'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that things turn out alright, my love. i hope that you're able to get round this hurricane. i'm (still) glad to know that she's fine. i'm just hoping you'll be alright too at the end of this. i wonder how exhausted you must be after such a hectic few days, not counting the rest of the week!

    i don't really mind that you're putting off dinner surprisingly. it sounds like you've so much on your plate! it's understandable if you don't, but i'm still so proud of all the things you've done.

    your g's still look like q's to me.

    (i'm going to go open your package in a few minutes). shhhhhhhh. i'm so excited!!!

    -Sam Lupin

  4. Crikey that was a helluva fall. Amazing how much damage can be done from a simple slip and fall. We've had cases that resulted in upwards of $500,000 in medical bills just from slipping on a wet floor in the supermarket.

    Your mother sounds like she has successfully completed the Official Mich School of Dealing with Injuries. Congratulations, mum.

    Hope she recovers quickly!! And hope you get along ok while she's recovering. I'd be going absolutely demented in her place and probably would be making everyone else in the house miserable, so good luck to you. <3


  5. Oh my. That poor woman!! She took the "stiff upper lip" to the extreme though.

    It was so cute how you labelled the crockery etc. Honest to God i never would have thought of that.

    These weeks will probably be a bit of a struggle but so far so good. You really are a competant person, full of surprises.

    Really looking forward to your thoughts about the psych.


  6. So sorry to hear about your mum. I hope she heals fast. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, things will get done in their own time. You need to still take care of you. Always here for you if you need to let off some steam or anything! Sending hugs xoxo

  7. I'm sorry to hear about your mum. But thats awesome that you're doing so much to take care of her! I'm sure she really appreciates it!