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Thursday, February 1, 2001

Thanks to everyone who had a good thought about Mom's operation. According to the doctor, it was a success. That doesn't necessarily mean that it will succeed in doing what it's supposed to. It just means that the doctor did everything he set out to do, and he doesn't know of any reason Mom won't be seeing better than ever in a few weeks.

It wasn't the operation we were worried about anyway. Getting through the recovery period will require dedication and vigilance. You don't know how hard it is to keep your head down all the time until you try it. Mom knows what the stakes are, and yet she still has times when she relaxes and forgets. Up bobs the head, until either she catches herself or one of us yells at her, "Keep your head down!"

It's hard on the neck, too. She can sit up at the table, as long as she remembers not to look anywhere but at the table, right in front of her. She can't see well enough to read yet, so there isn't much to keep her from getting bored. And that's when the slip-ups happen. So we try to distract her. Suzanne's better at it than I am, but I managed to entertain her by reading the comics page and narrating whatever was on TV.

When you're with someone whose head is down, it's hard to know what to say sometimes. You lose all the visual clues that make a conversation flow easily. It's an unnatural dynamic, so far removed from use and custom that you have to relearn your social skills, even with someone you've known all your life. But we muddle through, somehow making the best of it.

Suzanne called me about eleven yesterday morning to tell me they were home from the hospital. I got there about 1:30 in the afternoon and stayed until Suzanne came in the evening. She spent the night, and I'm headed back over first thing this morning. It'll be like that for awhile, except that we probably won't have to stay all night, now that we've got her through the first one.

The first two days are the most critical, as far as keeping her head down. After that she's allowed more lapses, but we're still planning on keeping her company as much of the time as possible, just to be on the safe side.

She had a lot of phone calls while we were sitting and lying around yesterday. Her friends knew what was happening, and most of them checked in. Some are bringing food, but most are staying away, at Mom's request. She doesn't want to be tempted to look up at them.

One of the calls was from a woman whom Mom had promised to drive to a meeting today. Oops! Mom forgot to tell her that she won't be driving anywhere for some time. But the woman was calling to say she couldn't make it to the meeting anyway, so we skated through that potential embarrassment.

Mom is used as an on-call taxi service by several of her friends. You'd think a person with suspect eyesight would be the last person everyone would depend on to drive them around, but it just goes to prove something that I've observed from driving in California for 35 years. Good vision is obviously not one of the requirements for getting a license here. Good judgment isn't, either, but at least Mom has that.

Meanwhile, I don't have a lot to say. That was pretty much my day yesterday. The Boss left a message in the middle of the afternoon, but I didn't get home until almost nine, so I didn't return his call. All he wanted was to know how things went.

And I'm still having serious email problems. Every so often I get a message bounced back to me that I thought had been delivered a day or two before. I send notify messages from the Topica website, and those are the only ones I'm sure are getting through. So, again, apologies to anyone who expected to hear from me and thinks I'm ignoring them. Grrrrr. (No problems receiving, just sending.)

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