98 Pounds of Dynamite

Mary-Gray. She’s a Cracker Jack of a lady. She’s my mom.
Give her the opportunity to dance and this gal is snapping her fingers and shaking her hips.

A couple of weeks ago, she had had a wonderful nights sleep, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. She was feeling good. So she put on some Andy Williams, opened the screen door to back patio and started sashaying down the concrete steps. Then boom in the middle of her best Ginger Rogers, my mom fell and broke her hip. 

Although she had her Life Alert button on her, she screamed for help. (She didn’t know how she was going to get herself back inside to the kitchen to answer the call from Life Alert when they would call to check on her. In her excruciating pain, she didn’t realize that she didn’t have to answer the phone and that Life Alert would automatically call the first responders.) So she lay there screaming for help. Luckily two young neighbors heard her. They called my brother and 911. 

When my brother got there, saw her lying under the patio table, he asked her how this had happened. She jokingly responded that it was all his fault. David says “ME?!?” Yes. You bought me that stereo system on which I played Andy Williams, which made me dance down those steps! …And by the way, we never did clean under this table! It is awfully dirty.

Oh Momma.

Immediately, the flying wedge went into action. (“The Flying Wedge” is what my family calls the unity in which we all come together when someone is in need and we take care of things.) My brother followed the ambulance, my sister, Jane got to the hospital within minutes and sister, Laura, who lives in Stone Mountain, Ga, arrived just a few hours later. Due to my foot surgery just the week before, I was not able to go to Columbia. Laura spent the whole week in the hospital with my mom sleeping in a cot by her bed.

After a week in the hospital, mom was moved to a rehabilitation center. Laura, David and Jane got mom settled into her new “home” for the next month. My sister, Susan, from St.Mary’s, Ga, arrived the day after her last day of school. (In fact it was her last day ever from teaching. She retired after 30 years.)

I couldn’t stand it. I had to get down there. Despite what I told you about in my last post, when I got into trouble for driving due to my craft emergency, I put a shoe on my healing foot and drove to Columbia. (Psst….I would appreciate it, if you could just keep that between you and me.)

I walked into my mom’s room and see my sister, Susan. We just started laughing. Even though we live a state away from eachother, we seem to think the same things, watch the same shows, read the same books and wear the same clothes. We visited with mom until she needed her nap from all of the physical therapy. 

Susan and I decided to take dinner to mom that night. We would plan a Memorial Day picnic with Jane, David, David’s daughter, Rachael and her significant other, Jay. Laura even made a surprise visit! We would bring hot dogs, baked beans, watermelon, corn on the cob, slaw, deviled eggs and chips.

Jane arrived from work wearing….blue and white also! Too weird. Susan and I had pulled out some old table cloths from when we were growing up and crockery that held so many memories. We even found napkins that I swear we used at my 4th birthday party! 

Wheeling mom outside, she was so surprised to see everyone. It made her giggle with delight when we showed her the things we brought from home. Coincidentally, a gentleman from my moms church was recovering in the same place. Jane saw him in the hall and invited him to join us. Mr. Allen was an absolute delight! He had so many interesting stories to share and was sincerely interested in ours. Most interesting, is that in the 1950’s, Mr. Allen and my sweet Daddy were stationed together in Cheyanne, Wy.! Annnd they both, through their roundabout lives, ended up living in Columbia, SC  ANNND At. The. Same. Church! Crazy.As we said our good-byes at the end of the evening, we hugged and Mr. Allen smoothly dropped the last beer into the inside pocket of his jacket, he said to get him through his last few days of “incarceration”. With all of his military and world experience, hopefully he found a way to open that pop top. 

With five of her six children there, it was such a special evening.
The next day, Susan and I surprised mom with a visit from her old friend Jessie. Jessie and Jane lived with mom for about 11 years until recently, When they bought a house nearby. Mom has missed her pal greatly. 

Jessie did lots of talking telling Gma all about her new digs. They shared some treats.

They watched the rain just like they used to do sitting on the front porch. 

The following day, Susan left for St. Mary’s and I hung out with Mom. We played her favorite card game, Phase 10. I can’t tell you how many games we have played together over the years. It’s a great game where young and old, new and experienced can play. 

Let’s just say that this little firecracker kicked my fanny. Not only kicking fanny at cards, but in this whole rehab situation. She knows what is expected of her in order to be released, so she’s like putting it in high gear and practically doing the 50 yard dash down the hallway. The Physical Therapist is saying “Whoa Miss Mary!”  while trying to hold on to the safety belt wrapped around mom’s waist. 

Mary-Gray is doing a wonderful job in resting and working hard to gain her strength and stamina. She is a little bit of a rebel in not doing exactly what the doctor and nurses have told her to do, but she’s doing what she feels capable and a little bit more. 

So as I get into the car, to make my way the hour and half home, (in which I am completely disobeying doctors orders), I realize I am so much like my mom. And I’m ok with that. 

When she finally gets released from rehab, Susan will take my mom to live her, her husband and two sweet puppies in St. Mary’s . She will continue to get stronger in a loving environment overlooking the marshy coast. 

The flying wedge descends again.

Thanks for dropping by!

It Was A Craft Emergency

I had a craft emergency yesterday. It’s a sickness really. I start dreaming of ideas. I read craft magazines, watch sewing shows and consume myself with the next project. The idea takes over my brain. I don’t think of anything else. My body starts to twitch. I give myself a headache. I start researching sources…Etsy, Craftsy, online stores. I need a hit of fabric! 

It’s been almost three weeks since the surgery, seems like three months. Honestly, I think I’ve been the ideal patient. I put very little weight on it the first week, then a little more as time has gone on. Just like the doctor said to do.
I’ve become one with the boot. (Ok, so I don’t have the shield on, but I do have the boot on.) Every step I take is with the boot. I slept with the boot on. As you can see, I even decorated my boot.

Here is a pile of my left foot shoes, no right ones.

Here is the shower cover I wear to keep my foot dry. Now, this thing is suppose to fit over my boot. Some how, my big ol snowboard-like boot is suppose to fit in that little hole. I realize that the gasket stretches, but in order to fit the boot, I’m afraid the rubber will tear. So I slip just my foot in and SIT on a shower seat. Still, no standing on my foot. I’m sitting.

You see?!? I’m a great patient! Unless you ask Superman. 

The last thing the doctor told us as we were leaving the surgical center was “Do NOT take off the bandage!” When we got home, I went straight to the bedroom to fall into bed. The first thing  I wanted to do was get into some pajamas. Superman left the room. (I’m thinking this is where the problem started.) In my post surgical drugged state, I felt like I needed to take my boot off to get my pjs on. I kinda didn’t realize that I had to undo a second set of Velcro straps, so as I pulled my foot out the dressing came off too! The second that happened, Superman walks in and sees me with the bandage in my hand. Needless to say he flipped! (I’m just sayin that if he hadn’t left me to my own devices, the dressing probably wouldn’t have come off.) From then on, the bandage never held fast. It would slip and swivel around my foot. Every once in a while I just had to have a peek at the stitches. (You would want to peek too!) But I always put the dressing right back on.

Fast forward to my follow up appointment with the doctor and the nurse is carefully cutting the bandage off. I tell her that there’s no need to be so careful, just pull it off. She shockingly asks me if it had come off? Superman jumps in to tell her about what I did just moments after getting home. The nurse can’t believe what she is hearing! “We will have to tell the doctor!” I immediately give Superman the stink eye for throwing me under the bus. 

Let’s just say that the doctor gave me rave reviews! My foot was exactly what he hoped it would look like.😝

So here we are at 2 1/2 weeks and I am feeling great! I have no pain, just a little discomfort at the end of the day. In fact, there have been times when I’ve been sitting in my chair with my boot off (which was ok’d by my PT), and I needed a drink or to go to the potty real quick like. Do I take the time to strap the boot back on? Nay, I just walked very very carefully. No biggie. When I’ve done a bit too much, I listen to my body and throw my foot up with some ice on it. No.big.deal. 

In all this time, I have had to depend on others to drive me around. I’m really blessed to have so many friends and family that have graciously helped me. 

As you can see, I’ve been the model patient. (Ok, a pretty good patient.)

Then yesterday happened. I’ve been watching The Great British Sewing Bee and I just had to make myself a shirt. I HAD to! That afternoon Dagmar was driving me to my physical therapy session, Thomas was at school and Rick was at work. I had no way to get to Joann’s that morning.  (This was an EMERGENCY!) I’ve been using my sewing machine which requires pushing a pedal, much like the accelerator on a car….

 I thought to myself “Mar. You are doing so awesome! You are walkin and talkin. It’s early in the morning, so it’s nice and quiet around town. Why don’t you just drive yourself?” Yeah! That’s a great idea! So I hopped in my car, took off my boot and started on my way. Not 200 feet from my driveway, I see my friend Linda driving toward me with her eyes big as saucers and her fingers wagging at me. Yes, she wagged her finger at me! We pull over, she ran up to my car and asks “What in the world are you doing?!?” I’m going to Joann’s. It’s a craft emergency. And to the grocery store so I can make meatloaf.  I assured her that I was perfectly fine. 

When I was in line at Joann’s, I took this photo to send to Dagmar, my craft sister. This probably wasn’t my most brilliant idea. She texts back “Nice. How did you get there?” Oops. Needless to say, when she came to pick me up for physical therapy, she gave me a talking to. Then I get to physical therapy and Monica my PT goes into orbit when she finds out what I have done. “Craft Emergency?!?!” She then punished me with toe stretches and picking up marbles with my toes. (That should teach me!) When my toe would begin to shake or I’d experience a little discomfort she’d jokingly say “It’s because of that driving!” 

So maybe that idea I had when I was at the stoplight, that I was doing so great that I could drive an hour and a half to see my mom today probably isn’t such a good one.  I’ve learned my lesson. My boot is on. The car keys are put away. And I’m going to have an adorable new shirt! 

So folks….Do not drive with a medical boot on!