My mom had hip replacement surgery yesterday morning. She’s 73 and arthritis has been attacking her hip joints. She had the first replaced five years ago. She refers to the surgery as the best thing she’s ever done. She was certain this surgery would be just as easy, but I kept thinking that every surgery is dangerous.
Mom read or heard somewhere that hip replacement is the bloodiest surgery. Her doctor prescribed six times the regular amount of iron, so her body could make extra red blood cells in advance.
My dad didn’t call yesterday. By the time I realized, it was too late for me to call. So I called his cell this morning and happened to catch him in the hospital room. Everyone sounded very chipper. The surgery was an hour and a half shorter than the doctors expected. She actually went to physical therapy yesterday afternoon. The expectation was that she might be sent home tonight after dinner.
Dad hasn’t been feeling well lately, either. It’s probably dehydration, since he doesn’t like to drink water when he’s driving — and he’s been driving a lot this month, since he’s hauling livestock to county fairs. I hope it’s only dehydration. He had his first heart attack — and first bypass surgery — more than 20 years ago.
I wish I could be home taking care of them, but they didn’t let me take care of them when I was home. Mom finally relinquished her car keys so she could take her pain meds. She let me cook for them occasionally, but then she insisted on cleaning the kitchen afterward. I was forbidden to do laundry or housework. I wanted to help, but they didn’t want to let me.
Instead, I am back in San Francisco, squiring my daughter to medical checkups, cleaning house, getting ready for school to start. The new school clothes have been washed and put away. We’re reviewing our math. I need to sort out the after-school classes.
Added to all that, her best friend is moving away in a week, so there is a lot of processing and mourning going on. I know what’s she’s going through, because my best friend moved away in 5th grade — and my replacement best friend moved away in 7th grade. It’s hard to be the one left behind.
All the emotional work and worry is making it hard to think about settling down at my desk to write. I’ve been chipping away at my email and slowly sifting through my desk. There are deadlines coming up and pieces that I’ve promised and things I really should finish up. Realistically, though, real writing isn’t going to happen until the first week of September.
I’m trying to be okay with that. I could beat myself up for not being productive now, but frankly, I’m still somewhat jet-lagged — and I have a birthday sleepover to survive tomorrow night.
Sufficient to the day. That’s what I keep telling myself.