My mother had a total knee replacement surgery last Monday morning.
(The journal I am keeping, the antique plumb line my father gave me. My little reminder to keep singing.)
The knee? perfect. you've never seen such a beautiful scar, 33 perfect staples, just like you took a gun from home depot and went right up her leg. The doctor's skills? Impeccable. Gold medal. Bedside manner, empathy? negative 100.
Her poor little psyche, her confused and terrified soul? Luckily she doesn't remember some of the more harrowing passages, but I will never ever forget them.
I think no matter how many times I mentioned dementia, anxiety, hard of hearing, to every single person in the chain of her care, I was ignored, so no one ever ever addressed her in a way she could understand. No time for that. No one tried for a moment to put themselves in her shoes, or in her mind. Ok, maybe an empathetic PT worker named Melissa, and two nurses named Jennifer, I give them some credit.....but the rest?
And all along the way, I have seen close up what is happening to those who DON'T have family advocating for them at every turn, asking questions, demanding relief. This week was torture for my mother, and we were with her around the clock. Imagine the absolute hell of trying to muscle through alone.
I'm not trying to be political. Now it's personal. She is home finally, and slowly coming in to some semblance of her former self. I don't think I will ever be the same.