I'm overwhelmed with how many people have asked about my mom. I decided maybe I should create a blog where I can update everyone on how she's doing. I'll also use this place for race reports, maybe some book reviews and some general ramblings. But this first entry is all Mom. Subsequent updates should be shorter.
My Mom, Peggy Barton, had knee replacement surgery on Tuesday, September 15th. 12 years ago, Mom slipped and fell on a city street and broke her left hip and wrist at the same time. It was very traumatic. She hurt so much and the recovery and rehabilitation took what seemed like forever. I was even more of a kid than I am now at the time and had no clue how to properly handle the situation. It was difficult to see my vibrant, active mother in so much pain and bedridden. She needed help doing the simplest tasks and was confined to a hospital bed in set up in our living room. Eventually, after weeks of occupational and physical therapy, she was able to move around. She never lost her limp completely though. I believe the years of being as active as she is with her right knee compensating for her left side finally culminated in the need to get the knee replaced.
I took Mom to Everett Providence at 5:30 in the morning. She was understandably stressed and worried about things. I did my best to stay calm around her, although I was feeling the same way inside. We got there and they whisked her away, leaving me to check her in. I was actually doing okay until they started asking me about her living will and the fact I'm the executor of her estate. At that point, I had to take a few extra deep breathes. Once I was done I went back to check on her. She informed me I needed to rush home and grab some paperwork that had her most recent blood work numbers on it. I had to run out of there and try to get back in less than 30 minutes.
30 minutes later, I ran back to her bedside with paperwork in hand. I sat with her and we chatted with her nurse, Laura who took one look at my attire and asked if I was a runner, if I did marathons or ultras. Surprised she even knew what an ultra was, she explained her two boys ran cross country so we happily discussed running and kept Mom distracted a little from what lay ahead. Very soon at about 7:00 it was time to wheel her away. I gave her a hug and kiss and said I'd be waiting by the phone.
Needing to let some steam off, I ran through the parking garage and decided to run some stairs for a while. I garnered quite a few funny stares as I raced up and down the flights before returning to my car to head home and get ready for work.
It was hard to get myself to work, but Mom had insisted. She didn't want me just sitting in the waiting room doing nothing. At least at work, I'd get some stuff done and maybe not obsess. Right. At work, I kept staring at my cell phone, waiting for the call that she was okay. Just after 10:00 the doctor called to let me know things had gone smoothly. Yay! He informed me her knee had been very bad and had more arthritis in it than he'd expected, but he'd been able to do all he needed to do. He expected a long recovery and warned me she'd be in pain for probably a few months. Grateful she was okay, I thanked him and then waited for my day to end so I could go see her. By 1:00 that afternoon, Mom was calling me asking me to bring her certain things and sounded optimistic and thus far pleased with the results. When brother Brad and I saw her that day, she was certainly groggy, yet happy to have the surgery over and seemed eager to start the recovery process. When her head started to tilt back and her eyes closed, Brad and I gave her kisses and left her to rest.
She stayed in the hospital through the week. She received lots of phone calls and a couple of visitors and whenever we spoke, she was in such good spirits. I think we'd expected this surgery would be just like when she broke her hip--painful, incapacitating and difficult. Although this time it still was not fun and still definitely painful, it really wasn't nearly as bad. She was sitting up and moving around within the first day. By Friday, she was ready to get to the rehab facility so she could start the actual work. I was very encouraged by her demeanor that maybe this go around it'd be easier for her.
She's been at the Everett Care and Rehab since Friday. She's already convinced them to let her make it to her bathroom on her own so she doesn't have to sit around and wait for an available attendant. Although she's rolling her eyes about it, she's doing her exercises and her knee is bending at a nice angle. The goal is to get full range of motion, but anything at this point is an improvement. She'll be at this facility for at least the week before she comes home. At home she'll have therapists and a home nurse come check on her as well as me during the week and my brother Brad on the weekends if I'm not around.
I'm excited to see such quick progress and I hope it continues this way. My Mom has such a full calendar of church, Bible study, volunteering, lunches with friends, running around with her grandkids and hitting the slots at the casino. It's been tough for her as her knee got worse and worse. She started using a cane and had to slow way down and was always hurting. Now she's making her way back and I bet I won't be able to keep up with her!