Saturday, November 18, 2006

On giving thanks

My mother had a hip replacement operation this last Thursday, after years decades of discomfort. First reports (from my sister, who flew in to stay for a week) are that the operation went well, Mom was sufficiently recovered by the evening to complain about her roommates' habits. If all goes according to plan, she'll be sent home on Monday! I find it amazing - almost worrying - that one can be released into the world only four days after such a massive intervention.

On the other hand (foot), that does appear to be standard practice. G's mother had a hip replacement last winter, and was walking around her hospital room the day after the operation. Short distances to be sure, and that because forced to do so by the doctors, but even so: active recuperation is the buzzword.

Mom has been to a variety of specialists in the course of her life, each of whom pronounced a different cause and cure for the problem. It has been defined at various stages as arthritis, tendonitis, muscle degeneration, bone disease, psychosomatic, calcification, I can't remember what all else. (Interesting that none of them ever said "this has nothing to do with my specialty, go see somebody else.") The only cure which made the least bit of difference was ultrasound, and even there the alleviation was only temporary. I hope this will solve the problem and remove the discomfort.

The problem remained a mystery until this year, when the latest specialist bothered to make a CAT study of her hip and discovered that the joint was deformed: the ball had been pulled half out of its socket, and Mom's body had changed and shifted to accomodate it (as our bodies do, clever of God to have arranged that). She then remembered a long-forgotten accident when she was a child (nine or so) when she and her sister had been secretly riding the working horses out on the fields. This was of course absolutely forbidden: should the horse put a foot down a gopher hole and break its leg, the family would be unable to harvest and would therefore slide into poverty, lose the farm and/or starve to death. Well, Mom's horse tripped and fell - on her. It lay on its side for a few moments, pinning her leg, then shook itself and got up. They mounted up and rode home and never said a word to anyone about it. Because they'd been riding when expressly forbidden to do so, they couldn't tell their parents about the accident, and so Mom lived with a partially dislocated hip for sixty-odd years.

In other news I'm listening to Alban Berg's Violin Concerto ("To the memory of an angel") as I write, having read about it chez Antonia. It's very, um, interesting, yes that's the word; or perhaps unusual. Oh dear. I shall listen to it again tomorrow, perhaps it'll sound better the second time around.

In other, other news read this. Start at the bottom of the page and work up. It'll break your heart.

Eighteen down, twelve to go.


Blogger zhoen said...

Your poor mum. Glad to hear she is healing, though. And, yes, the old canard 'walk or die' has many applications to medicine. Good for her for going ahead.

November 18, 2006 at 9:42:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Savtadotty said...

I wish your mom a refuah shlema = Total Healing.

November 19, 2006 at 9:30:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger brooksba said...

I hope your mom has a swift and complete recovery and finally is allowed to walk pain-free. It's amazing what we'll put up with in life before a solution can be found.

The link - oh, you are right - heartbreaking.

November 19, 2006 at 12:23:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Antonia said...

what sad so long a secret this accident, what a burden....

oh the violinconcert....yes it takes a while to get used to knwo in the begining that chord that is empty strings to signify the short life of that girl and in the second movement he uses some Bach choral...maybe it is good to just have it in the background and do other things like the dishes or so....had to get used to it, too but then it was great....

November 19, 2006 at 3:06:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Oh, your poor mother. OW! I cannot believe it has taken this long for someone to finally figure out what was wrong. My goodness.

November 20, 2006 at 6:48:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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