Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The walker's gone! Back brace, not so much

It is an odd feeling, sitting in a doctor’s appointment with your mother and father. Odder still that all the doctors seem to be younger than me. When did that happen?

Mom’s appointment with the neurosurgeon went as well as could be expected. She was very hopeful he would tell her she was done with the brace. Dad and I both tried to temper that expectation with a dose of reality along the lines of, “You broke your back! You're not getting out of the brace right now.” (I did say it nicely.) He was, unfortunately for Mom, on Team Reality, and said she’d be in the brace at least another four weeks. He ordered an MRI for a better look at the spine; that will determine if the back brace is on for four weeks or longer.

That was, of course, disappointing news for Mom, but she did get good news at the orthopedist’s appointment. She was told to shed the knee-high boot in favor of a shoe-bootie type thing. She can now use a simple cane; the walker has been retired! She’ll be in the bootie for three more weeks; after that her foot should be as good as new.

When she was in the hospital in Lansing, I was blown away by the outpouring of love and support in the form of food; my friends brought enough food to feed an army! And now, Mom and Dad’s friends from church and their neighborhood have given them so much food Mom won’t have to worry about cooking for some time. Which is good because she’s still not supposed to bend or twist or lift anything heavy. Which rules out grocery shopping, putting groceries away, or preparing groceries in a form that would resemble dinner. Think about how much you twist when you cook – simply reaching for a pan or ingredients. The not twisting thing is very restrictive. I think I could deal with it, though, if I could quit cooking for a bit…

We still have a laundry issue. Before I leave I’m going to talk to Dad about the washing machine. This man flew jumbo jets over the Atlantic and Pacific; I know he can work the washing machine.

On the in-law front, Sean’s dad is recovering beautifully from his abdominal surgery. Sean’s aunt and uncle are still there helping out. I’m glad I was able to see for myself that he really is doing well.

This is a new phase of life, one that we’ll be walking for many years, hopefully. It is certainly interesting. And it makes me wonder what honoring your father and mother looks like at this stage of the game. Anyone further down this road, feel free to let me know.

For now, I’m doing some washing, some cleaning, some ironing. And before I leave, I’ll be doing a little laundry lesson for a one of the smartest men I know. I imagine it will be loads of fun.