05 December 2006

My head and my hip

No one talks about the emotional side of the hip replacement. But believe me, there are issues.

No one likes to be helpless, least of all me. But I realized I couldn't do this alone, so I asked one of my children to help. We did our best to pre-plan, especially for the fledgling businesses she and her SO own. All of us are self-employed and decided that a good time for us would be between Thanksgiving and Christmas when our workloads typically slow down. She brought her family so she could stay for a long time without missing them.

We all had the best intentions. And we thought we had planned.
But from the very beginning, there were problems.

Minor: My house wasn't set up for visitors: no TV in the guest room, small bathrooms, and problems with thick plaster walls and wireless Internet. Rental car too small for dogs.
Somewhat major: She got a request from a client for a project just before the surgery. Another client also wanted her to work with him before Christmas.
Very super ultra major: Neither of us was used to the role reversal of mother being waited on by daughter.

After two weeks of me desperately trying to be a manager and make the house more hospitable for her business from my hospital bed (endless calls to Cox, purchase of a TV,etc) and two weeks of her trying to work in between fetching bottles of water for me, emptying the garbage, bringing me food, and helping me dress, our relationship was completely frayed.

She was desperate to get home to an efficient work environment and some quiet time to work on the projects. I was tired of hearing her complain and watching her (after all, she's my baby) be miserable. Her SO wanted to stay in Arizona and be with his family for Christmas. The dogd were still busy nursing me. We had serious agenda conflict.

After more yelling and screaming than has ever gone on in our family before (we are usually not disfunctional) the obvious solution emerged:
last night, she flew home. The SO and the wonderful boys are here making my life easier.

This was all devastating to me until it resolved, and it gave me a glimpse of what old age, with its increasing dependence on others, will bring. The good news is that this is not a serious illness, and by next week I can go out. The other good news is that I have had a few epiphanies about how I ought to plan for my future ( or rather, THAT I have to plan for my future :-) Just in time.

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