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Nov 21, 2014

A Difficult Week



Not great news that could have been much, much worse.

Last Saturday night or Sunday morning (we're not even sure of the time) my mother fell off her bed trying to get up to go to the bathroom and landed on her right hip.  (This is the same hip she'd had replaced three years ago.)  She was unable to move.

My mother lives alone.  She was not wearing any sort of medical alert bracelet, though she owns one.  I got a call from a friend of hers in the building where she has lived for more than 45 years (and is the president of the co-op board at 84) saying that my mother hadn't picked up her newspaper for the last two days, wasn't answering her phone, and her machine was no longer accepting messages.  Her friend was worried.

I immediately called my brother, who's an emergency room doctor.  He and his wife grabbed a car and drove up to my Mom's.  They got the key from the super (my brother had my mother's key somewhere but wasn't sure where) and entered the apartment.  Miraculously, my mother was awake and alert and lying beside her bed.  This was roughly 8 pm.  My mother had been on the bedroom floor for at least ten hours.  Also miraculously, she hadn't panicked.  She'd heard people ring her doorbell (her bedroom is far from the front door, so they couldn't hear her call out to them) and had heard the phone messages.  It sounds like she knew it was just a matter of time before someone found her.  The fall was caused by grogginess and an urgency to get to the bathroom ASAP -- no heart attack, stroke, etc.

Long story short: my brother called an ambulance and she was admitted to the hospital where he works.  She'd fractured her femur.  She is incredibly lucky -- there were no other complications apart from a few pressure sores (apparently these start forming within hours if a person is truly immobile).  She had surgery Wednesday night and is expected by the surgeon to make a full recovery, though it's going to be a much longer recovery process than the original replacement.  It may be six weeks before she can put her full weight on her right leg.  Yesterday afternoon, not 24 hours after the surgery, the physical therapy staff had her up on a walker and taking a few tentative steps.  It was great to see her upright again but I think it exhausted her.

Today was a tougher day for her.  I think the adrenaline rush from all the drama has begun to wear off and she's starting to realize how difficult the road ahead is likely to be.  At least temporarily, she's not going to be very independent.  She's afraid that this is it: she won't be able to take care of herself moving forward.  The doctors, physical therapists, and social workers all assure her otherwise: the bone will heal, the pain will subside.  But she has to believe it.  Due to her age and the severity of the injury, they're going to keep her in the hospital a little longer before she goes to an intensive rehab facility (she's been to two of these in the past so she knows the routine).  Today she didn't even want to do her exercises in bed (it hasn't been 48 hours since the surgery, but they want her to keep her moving).  She also claimed she had no appetite, which is worrying.

Naturally, I want to motivate and encourage her but I also want to honor her feelings and not make her feel wrong for feeling down.  Not only did she suffer a debilitating injury, she had to endure a long, long wait, alone, and I imagine that, consciously or not, it impacted her.  This is her third hospitalization related to her right hip, and every single time, she wants no cards, no flowers, and no visits from anyone other than immediate family.  She also doesn't want phone calls (she doesn't want to have to go through the whole story again and again, she claims) so I have to call her friends (and she has many) to update them on her situation.  (I'd be yacking on the phone to my friends all day if it were me.)  My mother can be very private.  She's also an only child and stoic.

If you've ever gone through a family health crisis, you know that it can really bring people together and help cut through the nonsense that can fill our normal conversations; it all becomes very real.  My mother has been very lucid and direct these last few days.  I am very fortunate that my family is close and we're all supporting her and each other.  But she has to find it within herself to make the healing happen and return to a normal life or something close to it -- initially she's going to need a lot of help.  The hospital staff couldn't be more upbeat and I think she feels she's letting them down if she's not cheerful and that's a burden for her.  I think she has some grieving to do no matter how rosy the prognosis.  Luckily there are social workers and other support staff on hand to help.  I'm hoping her dark mood will pass; we'll see.  One day at a time.

So that's what's going on with me.  I'm not sure I'll be sewing much for the rest of the month but I'll certainly be checking in.

Thanks for reading.

PS - If you have an elderly parent who lives alone, make sure they have some sort of medical alert system.  Falls do happen and it could save a life.  It's also good to have your parent's friends' phone numbers and vice versa, just in case.

115 comments:

  1. Peter, I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. I will keep her in my thoughts. You might ask the folks at the hospital to have a therapist or counselor see her. Depression can affect the healing process, and it's not uncommon that it affects seniors, even someone as cogent and usually upbeat as your mom.

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    1. Agree completely. And I'll add that your Mom is lucky that you understand the complexity of the situation. Best to you and your family.

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  2. My MIL fell and broke her hip two weeks afer she had a mini-stroke last fall. She was using a rented walker and got it hooked in the bedspread and fell. She has osteoperosis, so they can only pin, not replace the joint. It worked well, but coupled with the depression and other medical issues, and compounded by the fact that she will only eat about 800 calories a day, my husband is at his wit's end with her most days. Before she got home from the hospital, we basically gutted her bedroom of her hoard so that we could put hard flooring in and repaint. You couldn't move in that room, which was probably the biggest reason she got tangled up. We're working on her to move to town so that she has other people around her, we hope it might change her outlook on life, as she is desparately lonely, but so far no go. You're lucky your mom still cares about living - it makes it so much easier to relax when it comes to letting her live on her own, she's hopefully more likely to make good decisions still.

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  3. Peter, big love to you guys, and my thoughts are with you and your mom. it's so fortunate she was found so quickly and got the attention she needs. please do not feel obligated to post here regularly in this time (but i'm sure we'd all love quick updates as you can spare them). please focus on her and her healing, and be there for her as much as you can. hugs to you!

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  4. Peter, sending good thoughts your mother's way (and yours!)
    I wish her a speedy recovery.

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  5. I'm so sorry. Prayers for your mom. I hope she'll be back to her independent self soon.

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  6. I'm so sorry to read about your mother's fall. Hoping she heals quickly and stays as positive as she can.

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  7. Oh, Peter, so very sorry to hear about your mother and her fall. You are doing such a great job of balancing your love and concern with tremendous respect for her. You are all in our thoughts and our hearts.

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  8. Sorry to hear about your Mom's fall and aftermath. I'll be thinking of you and your family and hoping you are all back to home and health and sewing.

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  9. Peter-- I'm glad your Mom is okay. Healing is definitley a process. Please remember caretakers need a time out now and then to keep some sanity. Pull out your Louise Hay affirmations and go to town. Love to you and your family.

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  10. My FIL had a portion of his colon removed, a pretty serious operation. He is 94. He has made a complete recovery 2 1/2 months later. Healing is a process, but doesn't have to be a long one.

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  11. My Dad is in hospital after serious surgery last week. He is also one who feels obligated to be cheerful and it has helped him enormously. The nurses want to pop in, chat and take extra care of him because he's the lovely patient. I'm sure his recovery has been faster as a result. I hope your Mum will be the same x

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  12. I hope she will heal soon, and completely. So sorry this happened to her.

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  13. Hi Peter, I read your blog. Inspired by how well you can sew to be a guy (don't loose it, just sayin'). Hope your mom soon recovers. Mary

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  14. Peter, very best to you all: my 92 yr old Mom is on her own, refusing any kind of assistance including medical emergency button; 92 yr old husband is just a swoon away from a broken hip...i appreciate your supportive and realistic attitude.

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  15. All the best to your mother, I hope she is up and brining you alterations soon!

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  16. Peter, your mom is fortunate that you have such good insight and compassion for her situation. You're a good son. It's good you are all pulling together, too! Sending your mom healing thoughts.

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  17. Oh, Peter, I'm really sorry to hear this. Hope your mother's recovery is smooth and that this is a time that brings you all closer together. I'll be thinking of you guys!

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  18. Sorry to hear about your mom's fall, Peter. Hope she heals fast, and wishing you and your family the best as you navigate the next few months. My husband had a hip replacement followed by a fracture three years later. He was able to dodge surgery but had to wear quite the immobilizing contraption. I'm sure the discouragement will pass and your mom will be more upbeat in time. Take care.

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  19. So sorry about your mother. I hope she starts to feel more capable and confident as her physical condition improves. Best wishes for a full recovery.

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  20. Your mom is my favorite MPB guest star and we are sending her our very best wishes for a speedy recovery. With grandparents on the decline and as co-caretaker for my own father, I know the complexities of this situation. You are doing the very best thing you can do - being a loving and supportive son. Take care!

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  21. I hope your mum soon recovers, Best wishes Judy

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  22. I just went through something very similar with my mom about a month ago. During recovery (still ongoing), I found that she's at her best when we need her advice, talk to her about the usual things, i.e. let her focus on being Mom.

    I hope everything is well for all of you and your advice re. a medical alert is very timely. All the best.

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  23. I was so sorry to read about your mother's ordeal. I hope she finds it within her to choose to put this accident behind her and heal. Best wishes to you both.

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  24. Oh, your poor mother :( wishing her a speedy recovery <3

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  25. I'm wishing your mother the very best.

    I have two grandmothers her age who live alone so I'm familiar with some of the issues (like the medical alert thing. We've finally convinced them to actually wear those). One of them fell and broke her hip last year and at first, it seemed like she had given up on the chance of full(ish) recovery (even though the medical prognosis was good). After a while at the rehab facility, that changed though and she could go back home and now she's walking unaided again.

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  26. I am sorry to hear that. My mother-in-law refuses any such things and she has already spent a whole day once in the bath after a fall. We are at our wits end actually, she lives 980km away, so I can't even just pop in and check. Her argument is that she doesn't want to be a bother, but it actually means to opposite for us ... sigh ... anyway, hope your mum gets better soon and I wish her all the best :-)

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    1. I am dealing with a similar situation with my mother. She has flatly refused to wear a medical alert button so her doctor suggested I place one in the bathroom (hanging on a hook near the shower) and another near her bed. While this is far from ideal, I figure these are the highest risk areas and it's better than nothing. I expect she would use the button if it came to that. Just sharing in case this might work in your situation too. All the best.

      Spud.

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    2. My mother likewise refused to wear one for years - she finally agreed to wear one, then refused to press the button to summon help when she fell over and broke her hip! Luckily I was visiting at the time, otherwise she might have sat on the kitchen floor for days.

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  27. What a terrible ordeal. Your poor Mother no wonder she is feeling down. An upsetting and stressful time for you all. It's something we all dread when thinking of our elderly relatives. It sounds as though she is getting excellent levels of care. Sending love and good wishes to you all from the U.K

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  28. Sorry to hear about your mum, Peter, and so much of what you describe struck a chord with me too. My gran is 96 and had her first heart attack in February this year. Because of her age it has taken such a long time for her to get back to what is for her a healthy appetite and to have that sparkle in her eyes again. You just have to go with the flow and shoulder some of the burden of determination to get her better again.

    The good news is that she is still living in her own home, has carers come in four times a day and can get about on her own, within the limitations of a hip replacement years ago. She also has a medical alert necklace which used to be a decorative wall-hanging but now she wears it all the time, thank goodness.

    She has some dementia too but again, go with the flow and I chat to her about people and places from the past. It's very difficult seeing someone you love be ill and coping with the shock of it all. A lot of this is about you and the others who are involved in caring for your mum. You'll get your mum through this by being there for her and perhaps pushing her when she feels very tired and is in pain but you sound like you have the strength to do this. Keep going, Peter, and best wishes.

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  29. Hi Peter - I'm so sorry for your mother. I'm in the England (I live in California) helping my mother through her second broken hip in one year. I know how you feel. Being both the injured party and the caretaker is a difficult road to travel. I hope she gets her confidence back soon.

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  30. Omg, Peter! I'm so sorry to hear your mother had a bad fall. I hope she gets a little bit more chipper as she spends more time in the hospital and sees you and at least a couple of her friends. That should make her feel loved. Ok, then. I hope she gets well soon!

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  31. Sorry to hear about your Mom Peter, mine had a similar accident a few years back and broke her hip. It took her some time to heal, and loss of appetite was an issue, but she came good and I'm sure your Mom will too. Best wishes to you all.

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  32. Dear Peter, my heart goes out to you. Your story is all too familiar to me. I hope your mother makes a complete and speedy recovery. Heartfelt best wishes to you and yours at this challenging time.

    Spud.

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  33. SeamsterEast at aol dot comNovember 22, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    So very sorry. The best to her, and you as well.

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  34. am so sorry to hear. Hope you Mom gets better soon

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  35. So sorry for you and your mom. I went through the same thing with my grandmother and I know how tough it can be. Wishing your mother a smooth recovery.

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  36. what a strong woman! I would panic! Spoil her a lot in the coming time and I wish her a good recoverey and you all a lot of family love and comfort !

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  37. So sorry to read this news, Peter. I hope things settle down for all and that your makes a full recovery in good spirits. Best wishes :)

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  38. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Mom. Now be good son and get thee to Zabar's for treats ASAP.

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  39. Thank you for sharing that with us. I am asking my dad to get a medical alert System TODAY! I hope your mother starts feeling better soon. Illness is depressive for anyone, but I'm sure this is especially difficult.

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  40. Oh Peter I am so sorry to hear this. My mom suffered a massive stroke almost 2 yrs ago, and couldn't move or speak. I remember telling her, "you are going to get better, this is not the end for you. You don't believe it, but you are getting better." It was a long road, but she did get better in every way. Just keep encouraging her. Give her time and let her go at her own pace. She is still in shock, and probably disappointment and fear. And take care of yourself, caregiving is tough.

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  41. So really sorry to hear about your mom's fall and surgery. Aging and what comes along with it is never easy and trying to figure out what is the best answer to all the questions that are suddenly there. I hope she is soon feeling back to her normal self and makes a strong recovery so you are sewing again with us soon.

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  42. Oh, what an awfully scary situation for your mom! So glad to hear she is in safe hands and on the mend. Hopefully she'll be soon feeling in better spirits - sending good thoughts your way.

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  43. oh Peter, I am sorry. I am going through the same thing with my mother. So many of the details are the same (lives alone, very stoic, etc) and the most recent incident was just a week ago, when she was getting an MRI and sent off in an ambulance for a spinal tap because the brain membrane was so much thicker than the last MRI 3 months ago. For the last 2 years, she has had maybe a dozen unexpected admittances to the hospital and none of the reasons make sense. Nothing ever connects. She doesn't have meningitis (that last scare) and she does have a long list of more minor health issues, though. Combined it is one big complicated mystery. It is so hard and I like the thoughtful way you were able to describe your mom. I can tell all here in a comment on your blog, but my mother would never accept a blog post where I tell about the roller coaster we're on. Like you, my immediate family has been able to put aside our differences when it comes to caring for mom. And she has been softening up. It seems every time I'm keeping her company in the hospital, she finds new stories to tell and she accepts my tenderness. We are having the mother-daughter bonding I waited my whole life for. And it is sweet. but also scary as hell. Sometimes I want her to tell me those pants make my butt look big so I can know she will always be around. She seems to be sending a diferent signal these days.
    So, anyway, you are on the right track. Listen to her and let her know it's OK to feel down, and I know you will find a way to crack a joke or do something to make her smile. Take it day by day. Thanks for putting up such a good example on how to deal with this shit.

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    1. I'm going through something similar with my mother - mysterious and repeated hospitalizations, some explicable (broken hips / kidney infections ) many inexplicable. She has a neurological issue that no one has ever been able to put a name on. It's a long and arduous road for all involved. I too am finally bonding a little with my mother - at age 43. It's interesting visiting the ward - it's always mothers and daughters...

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  44. Peter: What an eloquent post. I am so sorry to hear of this - but your mother sounds incredibly strong (if challenged at the moment) and I'm confident it's going to be ok. She just has to come to terms with this set back. And let's face it, age is full of set backs. If she's into meditation (something I certainly didn't love in the past), it can be extremely helpful in supporting healing and mental integration of the challenge at hand. And she doesn't need to be cheerful or outgoing to do it and to experience its benefits. Maybe a book would be enough to get her on that track.

    I'm thinking of you, her and your family. xo Keep us posted.

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  45. Oh Peter, I'm sorry to read this. I wish her a speedy recovery both in spirit and body. I agree with a little sewing, listening to our parents when they are feeling down and letting them vent is a gift and so is being there. I know how hard it is to listen to them on their bad days. I'm lucky that my parents are here but it is tough to see them go through tough times. She is lucky that she has you and your brother to be there for her. Just remember to take care of yourself too. And thanks for sharing this story, sending good vibes and prayers.

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  46. Just wanted to send you and your mom best wishes.
    Also, I'm one of those people that doesn't want gifts or visitors when I'm in hospital. It probably sounds weird, but when I'm in hospital, being reminded of my 'outside' life (even in a kind way, like with gifts) reminds me of all the other things that I 'should' be doing out in the world, which gives me a lot of stress and makes it even harder to heal. When I'm in hospital, I want my whole focus to be on getting better. And I find it tough to do that if I'm worrying about if everybody's eating right or who handled the big presentation.
    I think it's great that you are respecting your mom's feelings on this - I imagine it's hard when you'd respond so differently to the same situation.

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  47. Harrowing for all, I'm sure!! But what a good thing that your mother has a wide and alert network of friends, family and neighbors who raised the alarm so quickly! Best wishes for a speedy recovery for her (and you too!). Remember that general anesthesia can leave a person drained, too, especially the elderly, who don't metabolize it as fast as the young. That could account for her listlessness, too.

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  48. Oh Peter I'm so sorry to read this, I really feel for you and your mum in this difficult situation. Her confidence and dignity have both been dented and I can only imagine how hard that must be for her. Thinking of you both and sending lots of love. x

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  49. My best wishes to your mother. I have gone through a similar process, cervical fusion, melancholy after I returned home, physical therapy, and I understand.

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  50. Please forward to Sonia some big hugs from a huge fan (and take one for yourself).

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  51. Peter, I'm so sorry to hear this, but glad she had caring neighbors and family to find and help her. This kind of thing is part of life as we get older, I'm afraid.

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  52. Hugs to you and your mom and hoping for a easy recovery. So sorry to read this about your lovely and adorable mom. You seem to have the situation well in hand, as much as possible, and have gotten some great advice above so I'm sure you will all be fine in time. You will be in my thoughts.

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  53. Peter, I echo everyone else's wishes for a full and quick as possible recovery for your mom. If she continues to be 'down' and is willing, depression meds can work wonders. Speaking from personal experience. Also, if keeping her friends posted on her recovery one at a time becomes too burdensome, you could try something like CaringBridge.org, where one or more people can post updates for all to read, and you control the level of privacy. Well wishers can post messages of support, too. Just a thought. Claudia W

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  54. So sorry about your mom's fall. Wishing her a speedy recovery. I worry about my mother. I can relate.

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  55. I'm sorry to hear your news Peter. I think your mum is going to get a lot of love and support which is so important for the journey ahead as these things are tough to get through, lots if ups & downs ahead.
    My father-in-law had a terrible heart attack a while ago, it was a terribly difficult time for the family as he is a larger than life personality & it was unimaginable that we might lose him. Fortunately he pulled through, after six weeks in hospital & a defibrillator in his chest & A LOT of rest.
    Families are so important. Sewing and the blog world will wait for you xo

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  56. Her age aside I think it's pretty normal to be depressed after a major op with its associated damage to your body and psyche. As you say, she spent a long time on her own and that takes awhile to get over even if the prognosis is good. I remember being all over the place emotionally after I had my appendix out and part of it was a resentment that the world hadn't stopped while I dealt with the aftermath of pain and removal of a body part! Like any big life event, something like this takes awhile to process, I'm sure she'll bounce back when she's had a chance to do some healing and in the meantime I think respecting her feelings is a really great thing to be doing, it can only help.

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  57. Peter, as an RN who worked a long time in rehab, I can tell you that many older people suffer a normal situational depression following this kind of event. Maybe her doctor can consider putting her on an antidepressant. It truly does help some people get out of the hole. I think it is perfectly normal for her to feel down, no matter her age. Who wouldn't? It was scary, she didn't know if she would be rescued, and she is in a lot of discomfort. My best wishes for your mother and you.

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  58. Prayers for your mother's healing in body and spirit.

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  59. I'm so sorry to hear of your mum's fall. It is wonderful she has such a good support system, it must be very stressful to be reminded of your body's fragility and future lack of independence. I feel for her. Best wishes for a good recovery both physically and emotionally. ps. I have been reading your blog for some time but this is my first comment. Thank you for writing such a great blog. I find your gusto for sewing and life very inspiring!

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  60. Will be thinking of your family in the coming weeks. Glad she is (relatively) OK, but it's going to be a process to heal. Take good care of yourself, too.

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  61. Your update was hard to read. But the parts about being a close family and supporting her, and each other far out weigh the challenges. You are blessed to have that. I hope your Mother can work through all of this (it is a lot) and be close to her old self in a few months.

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  62. Without going into a lot of detail, I am quite familiar with what you are going through. She will come around. It's amazing how tough the elderly really are. Maybe you can make her something pretty to wear while she's laid up. Make her feel fresh. Take care.

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  63. I so feel for your Mom, last year my hip implant split my femur and I had to be operated on to repair it -2 wks after my hip replacement. The pain was horrible but luckily the rehab got me going again. Im sure her spirits will lift again once she gets past the initial shock of it all. Also pain management meds can make a person feel down. Just stay close and remind her that this too shall pass. Take care.

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  64. good team work and good rescue, hope her spirits pick up as she heals

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  65. OMG! I feel for your mom!! Maybe you can just tell her that if she doesn't get well, you and Michael will move in and take care of her 24 hours a day. That should get her on her feet in no time! I used a similar threat on my son once, it worked wonders!

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  66. Peter, I wish your mom all the best - I see a lot of elderly people who are going through similar situations and they do pull through. But it takes determination. Cheers,

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  67. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's fall. I'd encourage you to contact her hospital's chaplaincy/pastoral care/spiritual care department- they can be a great resource when someone is feeling down or looking a possible change in lifestyle/abilities/independence in the face- sometimes all the cheerfulness from nurses and the like makes it hard to do anything with the sadness- someone who can sit with it with you can sometimes enable a person to then let it go, if that's appropriate for them. They can also be a resource for you and Michael, if you feel like you need someone to talk to. In a lot of hospitals, social workers are busy dealing with discharge and may not have the time to do this sort of work- while chaplains more often do.

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  68. Peter, I'm wishing the best for your Mom, and for you too. Getting old is certainly not for sissies!! After three months of suffering without a conclusive diagnosis, my Mom (84) had hip replacement surgery thee weeks ago, followed by a complication in the form of a hematoma at the surgical site. As a family, we too are dealing with her not wanting to eat thing, as well as what I term 'the Lutheran outlook' (examples of which can be found at A Prairie Home Companion). What I have found to be most helpful is engaging her in conversation about her favorite topics, like planning for Thanksgiving, and, curiously enough, reading recipe magazines. Protein bars have helped too. I'm sure you'll find what works best for your situation - just make sure to take time for yourself too. Please check in when you can to let us know how you're faring.

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  69. I'm sending much love and tons of healing energy to Momma Lappin!!!

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  70. Loss of appetite= anesthesia side effect
    Insurance for rehab facility= company evaluates and likes the patients out in under 20 days
    Look for assisted living facility, this takes lots of time
    Just went thru this.

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  71. My thoughts are with you and your mum, it is so scary for her to feel her independent days may be over. Take care of the carers too - that is really important. Over here in Australia we have free medical care so that is not a worry. The ACAT team - Aged Care Assessment Team - assesses the home for livability for the person -falls, trip hazards, dementia.... and the local Government or family can make modifications as required. The assessment from the Rehab facility also evaluates if the client could actually go home or to a low or high care facility. This happened to my lovely mum paralyzed on the right side by a stroke so it is fresh in my mind. She chose a low care facility then as her care needs increased over time she moved over to high care... still having a champagne at family celebrations tho :) She swapped her car for an electric wheelchair so had her independence to go to the shops, use the disabled maxi taxi to get to her medical appointments, etc.

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  72. So dreadfully sorry. Hoping for a speedy recovery.

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  73. Prayers for a speedy recovery for your mom. Have been through this myself. I know they can get picky about visitors. After your mom is out of the hospital I would certainly encourage people to visit on the condition only "happy" conversation is allowed. We had no problem barring those who wanted to be a Gloomy Gus. If possible, perhaps you or other immediate family members can also be present during the visits to keep things on a positive, especially since she will be in rehab for a few weeks. And as others have stated, please take care of yourself too! Perhaps you and Michael can even perform for the residents at the rehab center. :)

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  74. So sorry to hear about your mom. A very freighting experience for all. I know how you feel. Monday my mother fell at her home doing exactly the same thing. She broke her pelvis and layer there over night. Thanh god we visit every morning. So I found her laying there. She in the hospital now , no surgery as she's 95 and suffers from osteoporosis very badly. So she's in bed mending and doing phycio , but getting very depressed and not eating also. It's very sad to see her like this. She's just losing her will to get better. We've tried food from home, protein shakes, etc. one bite and she's done. So I'll be thinking of you and your mom as I'm trying to help heal mine. Prayers and good wishes coming your way. Please keep up posted on your moms recovery.

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  75. I'm sending positive thoughts to you and your family. Your mother is lucky to have you and your brother in her life. Please let us know how she is doing; we are all wishing her the best.

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  76. Hi

    Sorry to "hear" about your mother. Mine too has seen bad times.
    This too shall pass. As a healthcare professional this is what i have experience. Talking therapy, and meds.
    Emotional support from family sometimes does the trick.
    You are so lucky to live close. My mom is 6000 miles away.
    Time and patience heals
    Aloha from Josie

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  77. So sorry to hear about your mother's accident. Thank heavens that she has wonderful family, friends, neighbours and health care professionals to help her through this difficult time. Wishing her all the best for a speedy recovery.

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  78. So sorry to hear of your mum's accident and so glad she is safe and recovering in hospital. Take care of yourself as well a your mum during the next few weeks.

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  79. Sending healing vibes, physical and emotional. It's hard to get acclimated to the new normal: medical alert devices and the watchful carefulness that old age brings. Good vibes to you too, Peter. If we are blessed with parents who live a long life, we all must deal with this process. It's a difficult road sometimes, so enjoy your Mom today and every day.

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  80. Sorry to hear this - hopefully your Mum on the mend now. Can she have a mobile phone or landline extension phone by her bed? Sending best wishes from Gemma (UK)

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  81. I hope your Mum is feeling better soon, and that she regains her independence as she wishes.

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  82. I'm sorry to hear about your Mom's fall, but it's great that so many people were keeping an eye on her. I can certainly understand her being depressed about this, but from what I've seen in your blog, she's a strong person and with all of the love and care, she'll bounce back.

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  83. Peter, so sorry to read about your Mom's accident. But happy she has so many friends and family close by to help her as she heals. Praying for a speedy recovery for her and calming patience for you and your brother.

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  84. Just adding my best wishes. My husband and I have lived through similar dramas with our parents. Being a caregiver is always stressful and often painful. Take care.

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  85. All the best wishes Peter, I know what its like. My mom lives alone, and when I was home for Christmas last year 2013, she got very sick, IBS. I had to take her to emergency and they found out she had to have open heart surgery.

    My dog Maximus and I have been caring for her this past year and my aunt who had a stroke, a large 4 bedroom home and her 3 dogs (1 dog just pasted this July and that was difficult too). It has been rough, but over time things have improved.

    She is on the road to recovery, and she can almost do everything to maintain her home. Its very difficult with aging parents who really should be living with someone to help with day to day chores. Max and I need to figure out how we are going to manage with my mom if we leave which I am hoping will be soon, by January of 2015.

    My best wishes to you. I hope you and your brother find some workable solutions for your mom, maybe with home care and visits and someone to come in and help. Life Alert is also a viable options should she wish to remain in her home on her own. Best of luck.

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  86. A speedy and complete recovery to your mom, Peter.

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  87. Oh, that's scary, for all of you. Best wishes for full recovery for your mom, emotional and physical.

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  88. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your Mom. You have gotten so much good advice and support from your readers! You are truly cherished.

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  89. Sending healing mojo to your wonderful mother and love to you. The love you give is so well reflected here. I hope it's a swift recovery.

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  90. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your mom. All the best to her, to you and the family. It sounds like you are all supportive of her and each other so that will definitely help. She will probably feel better mood-wise once she sees that she is making good progress. She is probably a little scared now. But you all will get through this! All the best.

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  91. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your mother, and wish her the best during her physical and emotional recovery.

    Kudos to you, too, for being so supportive of her and so self-aware when it comes to your own feelings and needs. Honor them, and you will honor your mother.

    I'm sorry to hear you won't be doing much sewing, but I'll take the time to tell you this: inspired by your blog, I acquired my first sewing machine a few days ago and am going to start sewing lessons the week after next. Thank you for that: I'll think of you and your mom as I start putting thread to (through?) fabric.

    David

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  92. My sympathy and prayers, Peter, for you and your mother. Change is often painful and your mom is of the generation that did take care of a lot of business. As my mom would have said, dammit. She moved reluctantly to assisted living but loved it once she was there--lots of people to boss around and organize. My MIL is terrified of the end of her life and refuses to make any changes or admissions that life does change when you get to be 92. It is sad for her, but it is her choice. I don't think it's fair to expect anyone in your mom's situation to be cheerful and upbeat. She has good reasons to be sad right now. Wouldn't you? Being there to listen is a great gift you can give her, one of the most powerful healers. I suggest you take up knitting or crocheting, a calming activity that many find meditative, and gives you something beautiful when you finish it. And it is something to talk about that isn't medical. All the best from Ohio.

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  93. Sorry to hear of these troubles Peter. Your mother will be in my prayers. My father decided he needed assisted living on his own four years ago, and visited/scoped out a few facilities before finding the one he lives in now. He's actually more social now than when he lived in his own house. Has been happy as a clam, even decided this last month to give up his car/driving at 92 (no accidents, just tired of paying insurance). Assisted living may be a safer living model for your mom to consider?

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  94. Peter, I am sorry to hear about all your mother went through and about the long recovery she is facing. I will be thinking of you and your family.

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  95. Wishing your mom a speedy & happy recovery!

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  96. So very sorry to hear. Gather with the family, it can be the best medicine!

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  97. Sending you trans-Atlantic positive energy - you and your Mum are in my thoughts.
    Hugs
    G

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  98. Keep the positive energy flowing. Best wishes for a fast recovery, and (as the French say... courage.)

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  99. Sorry about your mom, Peter. And I can totally understand she'd be feeling a bit down about going through the hip replacement/recovery yet again. And I hope her outlook will improve immensely when she gets out of that hospital and their need to check you out every 4 hours day and night and can get some proper sleep.

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  100. I am sorry to hear this. My Mother is the same age, and it took a similar accident (although the consequences weren't as severe) for her to start wearing the medical alert alarm my brothers had gotten her.

    I understand your mother not wanting a lot of visitors while in hospital. When I've been in hospital, I've been the same. I just don't want to put out the energy to entertain friends, which I would feel I'd have to do. Instead I want to be free to not talk if I wish, doze off in the middle of a sentence if I wish, and look like hell if I wish. I just can't do that around most of my friends and acquaintances--it would take too much out of me.

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  101. Saying prayers for your mother, Peter, and for you as well. Your mother's reaction sounds very normal to me, and so are yours!

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  102. Wishing for a smooth recovery for your Mom! Sending love & healing vibes to you all!

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  103. My best wishes for a quality recovery for your mom! I know quite a few elderly people who live alone, and yes, even if they don't have a device, they have someone who checks in on them daily (which is not always quick enough if there's a fall)

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  104. So sorry to hear about your mother's nasty fall and I hope she is able to make a speedy recovery. Having just had a total hip replacement (with extra screws in for good measure), and also not being allowed to place more than 25% of my weight on my right leg for 6 weeks, I really feel for her. I got home from the hospital last week only to find the entire home was like an obstacle course, which was very overwhelming. And I'm under 50, with a husband and kids who can help out when they get home, so I can only imagine how vulnerable your mum must feel having to face it on her own, especially after the distress of the fall. Even if she's had a hip replacement before, the no weight business makes a big difference. I for one was very envious of the little old ladies in my ward who'd just had a hip replacement and were practically running on one crutch after only 3-4 days!

    Beyond the trial and error of how to go about ordinary tasks with reduced mobility and limbs, the life saver for me has been getting a little trolley so that I could at least make myself lunch and a cup of tea or coffee. Because as I discovered on the first day, you make yourself a cup of tea, then hobble over to the fridge to get the milk... And then what? You can't actually carry the milk over to the cup while leaning on your crutches... Same for food and cooking even the simplest thing. If your mum doesn't already have such a trolley, I really recommend one which can be pushed easily, one hobble at a time (IKEA a do a cheap, very light bathroom trolley which is really stable and has handles even, which helps me get over the additional obstacle of a step up and down into the kitchen). I can quite understand your mum feeling depressed after the operation. It is painful and demands a lot of effort in the recovery period, but I'm sure she'll start feeling better as soon as she starts seeing some progress and begins to recover her former mobility. All my very best wishes to her in the meantime, from a partner on crutches!

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  105. I'm sorry to hear about your mom. I hope the recovery gets better for her. That is hard, and how scary to have to just wait. Tell her best wishes for a quick recovery and hugs to you.

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  106. Peter, I have never commented here before, but have been reading your blog for Ages! Love it btw!!!
    But what is more important right now, is that your mother gets back on her feet - quite literally.
    I fractured my femur 4 1/2 months ago in a motorcycle accident and can relate to the pain but also to the things going on in your head during the aftermath...
    I can´t imagine how hard it must be at your mother´s age (I am quite a bit younger), with the replaced hip also factoring into this whole mess!
    There will be times, when the successes (however small they might be) outweigh the setbacks, but also vice versa.
    I wish your mother a positive state of mind as I believe this is the most important thing in such a healing process but also the hardest. Especially since your mother has been through the ordeal before. Which probably makes it harder to stay positive.
    Lots of strength and good vibes from Germany!
    Samira

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  107. Good to read others' posts of dealing with similar situations in their families and the highs and lows as well.
    I'm hoping Peter and his brother are able to get their Mom to address how to make her home safer before she returns. Actually I'm hoping Mom will start talking about home and any safety measures of her own accord or if she's willing to consider moving in with family or a residence that can support her. If you have a tea and chat or coffee and chat ritual that you are used to, maybe bring over her mail and a nice cup of hot stuff for both of you and figure out the day or just be present. I don't know if you had a daily check-in ritual with Mom prior to her tumble but it might be a definite ritual now.
    I like the suggestions by others to make something for Mom and getting treats, despite the no gifts part. Is Mom warm enough with the hospital bedding? What about clothing/footwear? Maybe ask if she needs anything from home. Make sure anything of hers has a label attached in case anyone walks it out of the room...put your blog address just in case.

    I heard a relative tell a story of a married man whose own widowed mother lived alone in her house. To balance her needs and life at home, his ritual was to always go to his mother's house in the morning for coffee/breakfast so they can get their daily visit in. After work, he dined with his family. Apparently in some rural neighbourhoods, there are single seniors well past 70 or 80 living in homes with large yards-don't know how they manage it all because there is regular maintenance to do.

    BTW, what does Mom have for something to do when the staff are at their stations, visitors are gone, TV does not interest her and maybe she cannot sleep right away-crossword puzzles? journaling? listmaking?playing with cards? What about moisturizer to help her skin not to dry out?

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  108. Peter, As I’ve been away, I’ve just read your post. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom (and your follow-ups) and hope she continues to do better. I’ve been down a similar road with my mom and I know it can be just as hard for you as it is for her.

    It’s perfectly normal for her to be down and refuse food. I’m glad to see in later posts that she’s eating a bit and is more hopeful. But she knows what age can bring. She’s frightened. Just keep being yourself when you’re with her. Moms can spot a fake a mile away.

    As for the use of antidepressants, the y can take several weeks to kick in and don’t work on everyone. The side effects may not be worth it if this is short term depression. But worth keeping in your back pocket if it drags on for too long.

    She is fortunate that she has many friends. Socializing can be great medicine.

    You are both in my prayers.

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  109. "(and your follow-ups)" was supposed to be after "I've just read your post." Sheesh, so much for my cut/paste skills. I need an editor.

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  110. Hello, Peter
    How is your mother?
    Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
    Wynne B.

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