The Next Big Thing

On Friday the thirteenth (no, we’re not superstitious), I took my mom to our beloved orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Ray. He’s the doctor who fixed my hubby’s broken foot last year and also did surgery on both my dad’s knees, replaced Mom’s right hip a few years back, and has done surgeries on several other family members and friends. All with good results. This time, we were there for Mom’s LEFT hip, the one that had originally been replaced back in 1976.

No, that isn’t a typo. 1976. Her left hip replacement is thirty-one years old. And it’s shot.

So the next big thing in my life is going to be the replacement of the replacement of Mom’s left hip. The surgery is not going to be an easy one. There are lots of unknowns. Not every detail is evident in the x-rays. What is evident is a large amount of cement and a small amount of bone in that hip. The cement will have to come out. Additional bone will have to be grafted. It doesn’t sound like fun.

That’s the next big thing. As for previous and current big things, my cousin Patty is out of the rehab place in Pittsburgh and is back at the Washington County Health Center for a while until she is able to go home. She’s doing great. She’s walking with a walker and mentally is pretty much back to her old self. Mom and I stopped in for a visit today and got to watch her do her physical therapy. Her recovery is nothing short of a miracle. Of course, she thinks she should be getting better faster. But then, patience is not familial trait around here.

My kitty, Sammie isn’t doing so well. She’s still lovable and cuddly and enjoys snuggling, but her tongue is bothering her. I’ve already upped her dosage of pain meds. I’m running out of things to do. I know the end is near. Each day is a question mark. Cancer sucks.

But I try not to dwell on it. I try to enjoy each moment with her. Right now, she is curled up behind me on my office chair. Yesterday, she wasn’t content with curling. She wanted to stretch out on it, so I bowed to Her Royal Highness’ wishes and used the old vinyl chair so she could have the plushy one. She also “helped” me fold laundry yesterday. These moments that used to be humdrum daily life are now precious.

If only we could live each day, recognizing the small blessings in our life as precious without the reminder of imminent death hanging over our heads. There’s a lesson here. I hope it sticks with me.


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