Friday, November 16, 2007

Next Phase

I'm feeling a bit like a parent who just left my child with a babysitter; glad to be in a different world for awhile but also fighting back the little itch that wonders if everything is "ok" back at home. Resisting the temptation to call and check, trusting that no news is likely good news, I haven't done much with my free time. My energy is low and although I'd like (theoretically) to be out exercising, shopping, cleaning, raking leaves or doing something active with my time, I've contented myself with the newspaper, the store ads, a shower and this blog post. All I really want to do is sleep (but that won't happen for me in mid-day; I'm not a napper) and eat (definitely something I can accomplish).

Mom was discharged from the hospital back to Merrill Gardens yesterday, almost a month after her hip fracture. She was glad to come home but I can detect some tentativeness, anxiety about the next phase of her recovery, and a definite concern about falling again. She's been outfitted with a walker, wheelchair and other equipment to ease the transition. Home physical and occupational therapists and round the clock attendants have all been arranged. I know Mom isn't too excited about all this; she never likes strangers in her home and won't relax into her own routine, worrying about what caregivers are thinking, doing, eating, sitting on and a host of other issues. I have to let that go and hope for the best. After spending last night with Mom and assessing the level of hands-on care that will be required, I know that we will need all the help we can get over the next few weeks. She is still a heavy weight to support moving from seated to upright posture using the walker. I had to invent a way to stabilize the walker with my left foot while reaching under her left arm with my right arm to literally pull her upright from the chair. I'm sure that there is an easier way but it was the best I could do under the circumstances. Once she's up and moving, things are slow but at least headed forward. The reverse, going from standing to seated is just about as challenging although gravity is on our side. I may be a doctor but this has nothing to do with my specialty. If I ever learned how to safely maneuver a strength impaired adult with a recent hip fracture from a seated to upright posture, the information has long evaporated from my brain.

I'm tired. But, the sun is shining and I'm determined to energize myself with a walk into the village for an Americano. I have eaten far too many Hershey's miniatures, Trader Joe's snap-pea crisps, and frosted mini-wheats. We call this carbo loading on a cold and breezy fall day. Comfort food.

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