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Monday, December 22, 2014

A Well-Oiled Machine.

This post could also be titled, "The Importance of Being Flexible".  As I toddled about on Saturday, doing my usual chores as well as a stop at the vet for Scrappy's booster vaccine shot and to pick up a sandwich tray for my favorite guys at my mechanic's, I was unaware that there was drama unfolding at my parents' house.  This was because my dad is now not able to function well in emergencies and was unable to call me.  As I sat in the Midas waiting room having them look at my front tires, and having a delightful chat with my DS Melanie who I hadn't seen in ages, I wasn't in any rush.  When Scrappy and I walked up the path to their back door, my dad met us and informed me that Mom 'had fallen' and wouldn't let him call an ambulance.  I sprinted the rest of the way. 

Long story short, she had tripped over a 3 gal. water jug on the kitchen floor, and went down squarely on her face.  And there she lay for over an hour, waiting for me to arrive.  Seeing as my mother is at least as stubborn as I am - if not more, as she is, after all, the source of the stubborn gene - no ambulance was called and we managed to get her down into the car with Dad.  And Scrappy.  They are very lucky to be so close to a very good hospital with an excellent emergency room staff.  She got right in and CAT scans were ordered.  Miraculously, nothing was broken, but she now sported two shiners and her sighted eye was swollen shut, rendering her blind. 

They wouldn't release her unless someone (other than Dad) was with her 24 hours, so I promised and we went back to their place.  I got them settled, then raced home, did chores and threw the other two dogs in the car.  My DS from New Hampshire came over on Sunday and will be staying until Wednesday, when my youngest sister from NYC will be coming up.  Every time there is an emergency, I am reminded that my mother and father had planned on having five boys.  They quit after three girls.  I feel quite smug that the Universe knew better....

It's important, when you have elderly parents, to have a plan.  Our plan was pretty loosey-goosey, as we have never sat down, all three of us (with or without parents) to discuss what-ifs.  It is also a testimony to the strength and love of our small family that we can spring into action without a thought - and that we love our parents mightily - and we love each other just as much.  I am so happy to have my sisters and parents in my life.  I am a mightily lucky duck.

P.S.  I am also mightily lucky to have my three great dogs - who not only were real troopers, but entertained and calmed the three of us, Mom, Dad and me.

P.P.S.  The moral of this post, if there is one, is to have a plan!

25 comments:

  1. Good grief, I so hope your Mother is feeling better...at least you know where you got your stubborn gene! One thing about stubborn is it seems to equal grim determination as well. Families are such a unique thing and should be much treasured! Pet therapy is a calming thing too! God bless you all!

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    1. Fiona - You and me both. I agree there - grim determination is something we have loads of....that and good senses of humor.

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  2. Thank goodness you were there. Your parents must feel so safe with such good daughters. A large dose of love is often the best medicine.

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    1. Susan - Yes, the timing was perfect, if that makes sense. However, 911 needs to be dialed the next time.

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  3. I hope your mum is doing better today! This is food for thought....have a plan. I am going to discuss this with my dad and my brother. We are a very small family (what's left of us) and its good, as you say, to talk about the what ifs. You are right, sometimes the Universe guides us to what is supposed to be! :)

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    1. Mrs DM - Yes, she is feeling much better, thank you. Our family is small, too, with my parents and the three daughters. But we are a tight little bunch...:)

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  4. Oh Susan my heart stopped there for a moment. I am so glad it was not worse. My four sisters and I are always there for my Mom out of 6 boys only one that really could manage to take care of things for her. Daughters are a blessing in a lot of families. Take care and hugs and prayers to you and your family as you go through this. Yes a plan is a good thing we did not have one the first time either but we are all on the same page as far as this kind of thing. Take care HUGS B

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    1. Buttons - I know there are some of us with elderly parents and I thought it might be a good idea to share this. I know that you are a particularly wonderful daughter - and I am so happy to know you have four sisters! xxx

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  5. Sadly I think some people think of the ambulance bill and won't call. Your Mom was really lucky. Hopefully he'll call 911 and get her out if there's a next time. Laying on the floor so long was probably really stressful and caused even more swelling....

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    1. Nancy - You hit the nail on the head. My mom was worried about the cost so decided to take a free trip with me. Sigh.

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  6. I too was holding my breath to read to the end of this post. Whew! Could have been so much worse. Would it be a good idea for either of your parents to wear one of those medical alert necklaces? ('Course, sounds like your mom wouldn't use it anyway!) We women are sometimes too self-sufficient for our own good!

    I have to say my dear brother really, really stepped up to the plate when our mom went through a rough last two years of her life. He lived within 15 minutes of her and I was 10 hours away, but he was always there when she needed him and never failed to stop to check on her regardless.

    I know it's hard to work out a plan that will cover any and all circumstances, but your parents along with you and your sisters will feel better when something is in place.

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    1. Mama Pea - I am so not surprised that your brother was/is wonderful. I know it runs in the family....

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  7. Susan,
    Stubborn!!!! Why is it Mom's specifically can be so darn stubborn?
    It's good to hear your Mom didn't break anything, and is on the mend.
    Sending hugs and prayers to you and your family.
    Having a plan of action is a necessity when it comes to dealing with elderly parents. My sister and I have a plan for our Mom.

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    1. Sandy - I think they have to be made of stern stuff in order to a) put up with children and b) put up with husbands. Thank you, Sandy... :)

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  8. Oh, dear, I'm so sorry to hear Mom fell!! Scary stuff. I'm so glad that she appears to be okay and will heal. Keep a close eye on her, okay? Merry Christmas and hugs to all of you.

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    1. FFG - We sure will. And Merry Christmas and big hugs to you, too!

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  9. go ahead and smug........daughters are blessings
    It's complicated about sons...they care...but often they have wives who are busy and consumed with caring for their parents.....along with their husbands
    ..no excuse...but it seems that way

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    1. Suz - I know that there are some sons out there that are exceptional (see Mama Pea...) and I think you are right - although daughters usually have to contend with husbands and children, too.

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  10. Wow, what a story! I was so scared that you were going to say she refused hospital care too! So glad she's alright but boy did she take a chance by waiting!!! And you're right about puppy love. It settles everyone down.

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    1. Tami - Yes, I was thinking about always dragging Pepper along. He seems to have a very soporific effect on my dad... :) I also think that we have put the fear of God in my mother and that she will let Dad dial 911 next time. Of course, I hope upon hope that there is no next time.

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  11. Yes, dealing with our own aging parents (though not as old as yours) is teaching us this as well. So glad you are all able to respond and provide that safety net for your parents. But it does sound like their days of independent living may be over....

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    1. Michelle - We are hanging on by our fingernails until my sister and BIL move into the house they bought that's two doors down from my parents! Come on April!!!

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  12. So glad to hear that the story ended well!

    My father was working on the roof of his garage once and fell from the scaffolding and broke his knee. He was alone at home and managed to crab walk into the house - where he sat and waited for some people he knew were coming by that day rather than call anyone for help. Stubborn much??? I am pretty sure he passed that trait along however I'd like to think I'd call someone rather than just sit and wait!

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  13. Amen! Glad everyone is "okay".

    Merry Christmas :-)

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