First off, let me apologize for being late with the post. The last 24 hours have been interesting and not necessarily in a good way. No, nothing dire. Just serious enough to be of concern and to cause some major readjustments to how things are done on the personal side of life. It wasn’t unexpected but, no matter how much you prepare yourself, it can still be a punch in the gut.
Basically, we received confirmation yesterday that my almost 87-year-old mother needs to have a complete shoulder replacement after taking a fall this summer. The fall didn’t cause the problem. It simply made a problem Mom didn’t know she had bad enough it can no longer be ignored. Fortunately, we live in a day and age where this sort of surgery is not the big risk it used to be. Hell, they aren’t even using the “standard” replacement procedure on her. Because of the type of injury, as well as her age, they are going to do what they call a “reverse replacement”. It’s an amazing procedure on so many different levels.
However. . . .
There is no getting around the fact Mom will be 87 by the time she has the surgery next month. That means there are serious complications possible, everything from how she handles the anesthesia to how she manages the recovery and rehab. I won’t lie and say there’s no fear because there is. But, we both have a great deal of confidence in her surgeon and in her PCP, who we will be seeing in 10 days for her pre-op workup. I know neither will let her undergo the surgery if there is any real risk.
Not that it helps the child in me from screaming in terror in the back of my mind.
Add to that the changes in lifestyle both of us are having to undergo both leading up to the surgery and for the months after it. I’m late doing the post this morning because Mom decided I’ve been right to worry about her driving. I don’t want her to stop her volunteering activities because she looks forward to them. Plus, she is active and healthy–save for the bum wing. Last night, she was still insisting she could drive to today’s volunteer gig. This morning, well, let’s say she changed her mind.
This is just a preview of what the three months or so after the surgery. The first 10 days post-op, Mom will be unable to do much of anything for herself. That’s not only because of potential pain, etc., but also because her right arm will be secured to her side and Mom is very, very right-handed. She won’t be able to drive for months. It will probably be 2 months post-op before she can do a lot of things she is used to doing and even then she will be limited.
That means, I have to step in and do not just the chores around the house she’s been doing but will have to be there to help her with simple things like dressing for awhile. Think about how that would impact any of us. My mother is a strong-willed, proud woman and does not like being helpless. So there will be a mental aspect involved in all this as well–for both of us.
Now what does this have to do with writing?
It means I am going to have to adapt. In a lot of ways, it will be like when I was a single mother with a small child at home. Instead of sitting down after my morning coffee and working a regular “work day”, I’m going to have to grab writing time when I can. I foresee getting up early and going to be late. There will be naps when I can grab them. Writing will be done in waiting rooms and whenever I can grab a minute or two.
It means making sure I have the appropriate apps on phone, tablet and laptops and that all of them are set to sync with one another. This is where I love the fact Word and Scrivener are now much easier to sync between machines than they used to be. It means making sure I always have the current projects queued up on whatever machines are with me. It also means making sure I have a simple pad and pen with me because pulling out electronics isn’t always feasible.
It means taking care of myself, physically and emotionally. The last thing either of us needs right now is me getting sick or so stressed I’m not able to do what needs to be done.
It means getting organized. ACK!
Most of all, it means finding time to write to keep sane. What that probably means is less gaming, although that has gown down drastically the last month or so as I’ve been working on multiple writing projects at the same time.
It means, in other words, being proactive and that isn’t always easy.
So if I come here and simply gaze at the lint in my belly button, knock me up the side of the head. For now, I need to sit down and start making lists about what needs to be done to get the house–and the family–ready for Mom’s surgery. Then it is time to write. My goal is to get at least four hours a day of work in once she has her surgery. It might not be all at once. In fact, I know it won’t be. But that is the minimum I can do and still come close to hitting my general deadlines.
That’s the goal, now to see if I can meet it.
Excuse me now while I go do a primal scream or two. Then it’s work–after more coffee–before going to pick Mom up in a couple of hours.
Fingers crossed I manage to keep my sanity between now and the first of the year.