Mom is still super unsteady with her walker. It's a combo of the toxic anesthesia that will still be leaving her system for months, the vicodin that we are giving her to try to keep her comfortable (a more unreliable witness to her own pain I have never encountered) and her particular charming form of ADD. She is so easily distracted that her hands will fly off the walker in mid step to fondle her treasured red bag, or another pile of her scattered poems.
Anyway, she fell yesterday. It was bound to happen. We've all been prepared, dreading, ready. I have told my caregivers that none of us can be perfect, and that we should do our best every moment but she may fall at some point....
I ran in right after it happened; she had just bumped backwards into the table, the conked her head, but all in all gone down straight. She was lying there quietly, pondering. Strange, as her back and forth between giddy and disconsolate has been constant. I swear for a moment I was hoping that a good bump on the head might just magically re-set her to "normal."
She seemed fine. No new pain, no new complaints. Scar intact. I got a pillow under her head and had to keep telling her to stay still for a few minutes. "We can just rest here for a while, mom, let's catch our breath."
Poor Abi was crying and feeling terrible that she hadn't been able to grab her.
Mom looked up, her eyes suddenly very clear, and with a strange authority said, "It's ok, I don't want you to cry. I'm fine."
For days she has been in an existential black hole. "I need to know who I am. And the pain is just unbearable." She cries and clutches my arm, - "Don't ever leave me, I love you." And then, in this truly scary moment, "real" mom surfaced and comforted Abi. Pure motherly instinct intact.
And somehow, she has already parked the "event" in a spot in back, and never mentioned it again.
How does she do it? Like coming up for air and then diving back into the sticky murk.