I was headed to Jackson Thursday morning for a series of meetings important to social work education in Mississippi, when just out of Canton, I got a call from my sister. The inevitable had happened, and Dad had fallen and broken his hip. She was with my mother at the hospital for an early morning procedure, the caregiver had been in the room with Dad when he stood up from his chair, and just crumpled to the floor. He was at the Trauma Center, and I said I was on my way to Texas. I just kept going West when I hit Jackson. Of course, when I left home that morning, I did not intend not to be back home that night. I had the clothes I was wearing. I mentally calculated what all I had left at Mom's a little over a week earlier, and what I knew I could borrow from her. Oops...medications. One good thing about using a chain like Walgreen's is something like that. A stop in Shreveport, and in 20 minutes I had refills, and while waiting picked up make-up and my OTC meds.
By 9:30 that night--12 hours from leaving home to drive to Jackson for the day, I was pulling into the Walmart in Graham to get a phone charger, then stopped at the hospital where my sister was staying with Dad. It was a hard thing to see, and anyone who has ever had an elderly parent experience that kind of pain understands that. While he was on pain medication, they were prepping him for surgery, and every movement was excruciating. Finally, they finished and he was able to rest. I stayed a bit with my sister, and then headed out to the house where my niece was with mom. It was a sleepless night, what with the wired feeling of having driven 12 straight hours stopping only twice for a quick pit stop, and worry. I finally drifted off around 2:30 and woke at 5:30. A quick shower and dress in the clothes I had washed last night, and up to the hospital in time to see Dad for a minute before they wheeled into OR.
Today has been a full day with rotating off times at the hospital and times home to take care of Mom. My brother arrived tonight, after having driven from Tyler to Nacodoches and then back to Dallas and here since this morning. A quick shower and food, and he was off to the hospital for the night shift, and hope Sis would come home to get some rest. I will be surprised if she will. We seem to compliment each other though, as I do better with taking care of Mom, the house, and the animals and errands, and Sis does better at keeping Dad calm in the hospital.
When I took supper up to her tonight, Dad was awake and in a good mood, and seemed to enjoy bantering with us for a while. His color had come back, and he was eating well. The worst part will be managing the pain over the next few weeks, and of course, he wants to be home now! My friends provided emotional support via phone and text and email, which helps to make things seem doable in the face of overwhelming circumstances and difficult, unknowable questions about the future.
Once again, it reminded me of how blessed I am, and how fortunate to have family who will do anything it takes, when it takes anything.