Wednesday, June 10, 2009

they might not let me back

my mother went into the hospital with dirty hair. and you know how that makes you feel: ugly, gross and lumpy (well, it makes me feel lumpy). so by text message at three in the morning, my mother requested that i bring my shampoo, my conditioner and my hair dryer. well, i did her one better; i brought the curling iron, too.

i arrived ready to style, but had to wait while the physical therapist (who i like) did her thing with my mother and totally wear her out. this is how low my mother's muscle mass and therefore strength is: she walked two feet down the hall and then she had to turn around and go back. and she was out of breath. it's times like those when i realize my mother has spent so much time in bed and so little time moving about that that has actually become part of the problem: she has no stength to get up and move.

then i had to wait for the dietician, who i was interested in hearing and all she said was, "try to have snacks. some snack ideas are: yogurt, an apple with peanut butter, crackers and cheese. . ." it was depressing because she told us nothing new. i thought there was something that could be done, something new to learn, i was ready! ready to be inspired! ready to change my life and my mother's life and watch her walk around with vigour and vim!

no such luck. so when i saw her later and she told me she'd stop by to talk to my mom again, i told her not to worry about it. this made my brother laugh really hard.

"she was looking at you like, 'who doesn't want to hear about nutrician?'" he told me in the elevator.

then the nurse came in. then the physical therapist came back. then the nurse came back to tell my mom to get ready for an mri. so we knew we had to hurry (plus my friend sara was watching my kids and i couldn't just leave them with her indefinitely). i got in the shower, looked around, then called for the nurse.

"how do i wash her hair?" i asked.

She looked shocked. "you can't do that!" she exclaimed.

it took a great amount of convincing that we could. she finally agreed on getting me a wheelchair. so we got the wheelchair and then i had to wheel my mother into the shower, which meant she had to hold on for dear life while i pulled it over the dam. then i had to get in the shower, roll my pant legs up and let aaron hand me whatever i needed.

i did not control the water very well.

getting her out was a bigger problem since i was all wet, but with aaron pushing and me pulling and my mother holding on tight, we managed to pull her out.

so, question: do people not shower in the hospital? because no one was treating me like this was an idea that someone else had had before.

in the end, we laughed a lot. and i was able to do something for my mom that wasn't just trying to keep her household from imploding. this felt more like helping. and it was like therapy, i felt better about everything. i walked out of the hospital feeling lighter.

8 comments:

Morgan said...

Hmm I've never thought about that one before. I'm glad to hear that the whole ordeal was a success! YAY for clean hair! I'll be praying for your mom that she'll be feeling better soon.

Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I'm glad to hear that there's someone else who loves film as much as I do. I, too, have a dream of someday having my own darkroom. It's a must in my dream house.

Aria Bethards said...

I love how close you are with your mom. She must be so happy to have you around. I hope she gets better soon -she's in our prayers.

Also, Sydney and I just booked a flight to visit the fam from June 22-30th. If you're still up for photos or to hang out, I'd love to see you!

Manda said...

I wish I could be home to help out. I think mom being in the hospital has made me homesick because I feel so useless here.

I talked to her yesterday and she told me about the hair washing experience. I think she enjoyed it.

Also, I love Ava's comments about Barack Obama. They're hilarious

pillpotblankies said...

I am so amazed at your attitude of life and the love you share for your mom. I hope that one day I can too love my mother in the same way.

redstarmama said...

I love that you went and waited to wash her hair! I think I'd appreciate that service more than just about anything if I was stuck in the hospital. And I'm glad that there was laughter instead of tears.

taradise said...

I don't have an answer to your question. I'm curious as well. But what about dry shampoo? It's not quite the same, but I find myself using it a lot.

I wish I could give some of my strength to your mom. She does so much for your family. I hope she gets on the up-swing soon.

Amber Marie said...

what is with your daughter and barack obama???

that is a pretty funny story about just washing your mother's hair! hospitals are so weird.

Krista said...

What a great story!!! I do think people must not shower in hospitals. Because when I tried to take a shower while in the hospital after having Brooklyn, there were no towels, and the nurses seemed to have a hard time finding one for me. A shower, but no towels... I didn't think to bring my own. Hm.