Things are lousy all around, it seems. I have spent much of the last two days worrying about hospitals and medical procedures. Last week, my mom fell at work and shattered her left kneecap, the left knee being the same one that was replaced in early July of this year. So she had a procedure Wednesday night to repair it, using some newfangled screws, or pins, or maybe Krazy Glue. This being a Kaiser Permanente operation, her surgery was delayed many hours - my dad got home around 3 am. Also, the surgeon had his wallet stolen from the doctors' locker room as he was finishing up.
I came home to my parents' house Wednesday night, after finishing my afternoon of Elephant Storytelling and tangrams at the museum. Due to mutual technical incompetence, I wasn't able to reach my dad on his cell phone, and so I was in the dark about my mom's procedure. I had dinner, I took the dog for a walk, I did the dishes. Eventually, I found myself scrubbing the interior of the kitchen stove with SOS pads at 1 am. There's something about the combination of nervousness and helplessness that has recently begun to make me do housework compulsively; I also spent many innings of the Giants' playoff run sweeping, scrubbing, or doing dishes.
My mom has had a lot of operations on her legs in the past few years. I think there were two earlier knee surgeries before ther replacement done this summer, and before that, there was a foot operation. My sisters and I have responded with all of the warm-hearted sympathy one would expect from us, accusing her of faking the injuries to shirk her usual duties as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at her preschool's Winter Wonderland fund-raiser. Megan gave her a Get-Well" card consisting primarily of horrendous knee-related puns. Real funknee, Megan. This black humor doesn't go over well with people outside the family: I have received many dirty looks after snapping my fingers impatiently and shouting, "Get the lead out, Gimpy!" while my mother limps behind me.
So she's back home, ready to spend lots of time in her bed, in a bigass cast, and in an alcohol-and-Vicodin haze. Which, you know, isn't a huge difference from the norm, except that she can guilt people into doing more stuff for her. If anyone wants to sign her cast, or score some high-quality opium-derived painkillers, do stop by the house. Just keep Sharon's martini glass full, and remember to pet Cassidy*. And check out the stove. It really is sparkling clean.
*Or "Butch," to Kristen Larson. Yes, even family pets are not immune to the whims and vagaries of Kristen's aggressive nomenclature.