bunt sign

Friday, February 2, 2001

Yesterday was not an easy day for any of us. Mom is feeling well enough to get up and start doing things for herself, but she's not supposed to do that yet, not for another day or two. And she's having neck and back pain, from keeping her head down all the time — or most of the time, anyway.

She did have her post-op appointment yesterday, and the doctor was pleased with her progress. The macular hole seems to be trying to mend itself. That's the object of all this torture. She doesn't go back until next week, so the next objective is to get her through the weekend.

Suzanne spent the night before last with her. Neither of them got much sleep. Suzanne was up checking on Mom every hour, and Mom was trying to find a comfortable sleeping position. She didn't like the cushion she was lying on, so she tossed it aside and substituted a regular pillow.

The worst problem, though, was the special pillow with the hole for her face, so that she could lie face down. Her nose was so close to the sheets that she was breathing her own exhaust fumes. It was hot and awkward and not conducive to a restful night's sleep.

I was supposed to be at her house yesterday morning to help her take a pill. I was two minutes late, and she had just taken it on her own. She was up fixing her own coffee. This is what we're up against. It's like trying to tame a tiger. Or at least de-claw one.

I asked her about the night, and she told me how miserable she'd been. At least Suzanne was here to help, right? No, she didn't want to call Suzanne because she thought she needed the rest. "Then why was she even staying here?" I asked her. That didn't make any sense.

Then later, when Suzanne got back from work and heard this story, she scolded Mom mercilessly. As far as she knew, Mom had had a restful night, because she was in the same position every time Suzanne checked. I think between the two of us we got it through Mom's head that the reason we were spending so much time with her was to make sure the operation turned out successfully, It wasn't because we wanted to have a sleepover.

The doctor prescribed Darvocet for the pain, and to relax her. She didn't want to take it during the day, though. In fact, she didn't really want to take it at all, but she took one before bed last night. That's why I spent the night on her couch, just in case of a reaction, or in case some other problem came up.

The doctor also suggested a new sleeping arrangement, one that would let her breathe. She discarded the special pillow and used one of her own, doubled up. She slept on her stomach, with her good eye pressed into the pillow and her head down. She said it was much easier to sleep that way than with the gas-mask variation she'd tried the night before.

If this keeps working, we won't have to rent a massage table. That was the other suggestion.

When I checked on her at 4:00 this morning, she was awake. She asked for another Darvocet, and that got her through the rest of the night. I left at 7:30 this morning, but both Suzanne and I will be in and out throughout the day. Mom is at the point where she doesn't want to be helped as much. I don't blame her.

On top of everything else yesterday, the big TV set in Mom's living room flickered and died (right in the middle of the Ashcroft vote). Just because a person can't lift her head doesn't mean she can do without a television, to keep her connected with the world.

As we watched ER on the small set in her bedroom last night, I was furiously trying to keep up with the action so that she would know what was happening. Of all the shows on the air, that might be the hardest to describe and still make sense of it all.

This afternoon, Suzanne and I are headed to Best Buy to pick up one of the sets from this week's ad. We'll try to get it set up for her in time for Judge Judy.

This might not be worth the interminable download, but it's the closest I've been able to come to photographing actual birds in my actual yard.

birds in trees

I took it through the window looking out into the garden, so that the little darlings wouldn't be disturbed by the presence of their benefactor, who makes sure fresh, nutritious wild bird food is available to them.

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Latest recommendations:

Bev, Funny the World, February 1, View From the Soap Box

Nance, Dysfunction Junction, February 2, Is today Groundhog Day?

Citizen Rob in 2004

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You cook so well, all nice and French.
You do your brain surgery, too, with a monkey wrench.