Not sure where to start but I had a few minutes this evening and wanted to update my readers about what’s been going on at Casa de Carpool. A four-month absence is quite a bit of time and while some can be attributed to my brain cells being occupied with managing the planning committee for this spring’s women’s conference, the bigger truth is that I’m still in a wee bit of a shock processing all the thoughts about what happened last fall.
In October, my parents popped down to North Carolina as the last stop of a several-weeks’ trip through New England celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed a few days of visiting, cooking favorite meals, taking walks around the neighborhood, doing laundry (Mom always catches me up while she’s here – it’s a blessing upon blessing) and going to the mall for some shopping at stores they don’t have in Oklahoma.
Wednesday, October 22, was the day they were scheduled to leave. About 6:15 that morning, I was in Travis’ room, helping him get dressed for school while Craig was in the kitchen making lunches for everyone. I was surprised when Craig poked his head in the bedroom and said, “I think you need to go upstairs and check on your mom.” I asked if she was sick but he said he didn’t think so. “Your dad is acting very strange. He told the boys that Nana wasn’t coming down to say goodbye because she didn’t feel well and when I asked if she was sick he said ‘Not exactly’ and told me that she’d fallen during the night and couldn’t get out of the bed.” I took off running past my dad who was still standing at the kitchen counter and ran upstairs to the guest room to check on Mom. Her breath was shallow with pain as she told me of falling down two stairs leading out of the guest room while trying to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She thought she might have broken a rib because she was having a lot of pain and asked me to help her sit up on the side of the bed but when I tried to help roll to her side to do so, it was clear that she was in too much pain to be moved.
I was afraid that she might have broken several ribs (or her hip given her inability to move) so I told her I was calling an ambulance and we’d get her to the emergency room. Being Mom, she told me to wait until the kids were off to school so they wouldn’t be frightened and I rolled my eyes and ignored her. By 6:45, I had a house full of firemen getting her strapped to a backboard and I was trying to answer EMS worker’s questions about medical history and medicines, all the while realizing I didn’t know much about anything. My beloved neighbor Rachel texted when she saw the ambulance and offered help with the dog (who was still in the midst of potty training) and so I put Stella in the crate, sent Dad with Mom in the ambulance and then threw on some clothes and poured travel coffee BECAUSE PRIORITIES and met them at the hospital.
We waited several hours for CT scan results to tell us the good news that she’d not broken a hip but the bad news that she’d instead broken her back. They transferred us to a larger trauma center for further evaluation by a neurosurgeon to see if she’d require surgery and after a couple of very long days, they determined that the break was fairly simple and would not require additional medical intervention other than pain management and rest. They discharged her into my care with very few instructions and I drove her home on a Friday night, got her settled into my bedroom, and together our family started a long road to recovery.
We never knew simple would turn out to be so complicated.
To be continued….