First we had a party in Idaho:
My sister Karen turned 50 on October 2nd and everyone had a good time celebrating. We even blind-folded her and made her hit a piñata with a stick. Great fun for the rest of us, not so much for Karen but she played along. Notice how healthy and happy mom looks in that last photo……in comparison to this one:
The very next day, mom ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone. When in distress, Livingston Women crack jokes and try to make everyone laugh, as evidenced by the expressions on my sisters’ faces. The hospital staff wasn’t quite sure what to make of us.
My sister Kate and I headed home as schedule on Monday while mom stayed until Friday the 8th to await the return of the Master Blaster machine, which only comes to town every 2 weeks to pulverize kidney stones. That would have been fine if not for two things:
- Mom got an infection and ended up back in the hospital on the 7th for 8 days:
- The Good: she did not die, which frankly was a possibility for a while there;
- The Bad: she had to wait another two weeks up in Idaho for the Master Blaster to come back to town on the 22nd as well as to recover enough to undergo the procedure and recover FROM the procedure afterwards.
- While on leave to take care of mom, Karen ended up in the hospital on the 20th with diverticulitis.
Karen has a high threshold for pain, never complains, gets up at 5:00 every morning, bakes from scratch, works as a mailman in an area covered in snow for half the year, tends to pigs and horses and chickens every day, and never asks for help with anything. When she asked me to come back up to take care of mom and help her out when she, herself, got to return home, well…I may have panicked just a teensy little bit. I was on a plane the next morning, the 21st.
With her fast snap-back and unwillingness to sit still, Karen only had to spend 2 nights at the hospital and was released Friday morning, I suspect because the nurses got tired of her pestering them to let her go home. Mouse over the pictures to see captions.
Karen was already out of bed and dressed by the time I got there, impatiently waiting for the final release paperwork, so I missed out on a shot of her in bed in the lovely gown you see balled up on the pillow. Dangit. She wanted me to be sure to get all the Borg equipment in the shot. Poke. Prod. Trickle. Beep. Here, have some jello.
Mom came through the Master Blaster procedure swimmingly and I brought her home around 6:30 that night. Since then, she has had neither pain nor nausea. She grew noticeably stronger each day and we knew she was really on the road to recovery when she went down the stairs with only one hand on the banister and started to give bossy advice about how to perform mundane household tasks. Before that, she just sat around letting us wait on her and thanking us for being so nice to her. (!!!) Cranky, bossy, and complaining = on the mend.
Here she is sitting on my new sofa back in California on the 29th, continuing her daily allotment of NCIS:
She stayed with me the first night back but I let her spend the night ALL ALONE in her own home Friday night and she was still alive and well when I stopped by on Saturday to install a new dual fixed / handheld shower head.
She can now use the handheld to get into all the nooks and crannies and ladyparts and not have to do gymnastics to get totally clean. I got her a shower bench, as well, but her existing shower is so tiny I don’t know if she’ll ever use it. At least it’s there if she’s ever too pooped to stand up and take a shower. Also good for sitting and washing feet.
We’ll see how the new setup works out. I must say I was a little surprised to open the package and discover the shiny “chrome” was really shiny plastic. Quelle disappointment. Also, the “pause” button on the handheld does not stop the water completely. It still trickles out a bit. Not a big deal but I expected it to completely stop the flow of water like the control on a lawn hose.
So now it appears to be October 31st. If you come across the rest of October, please FedEx it to me ASAP. Oops, I mean send it via US Postal Service to keep them in business so my sister can keep her government mailman job.
Oh, and Happy Halloween. I guess this means I have to get clean and dressed and do something with my hair before short-statured panhandlers arrive at my door begging for candy this evening. Or not. Might be scarier if I answered the door like this.