My grandmother’s surgery happened today. It was a total of about 4.5 hours which is, in short, a long ass time. She’s currently in recovery with a group of nurses my mom knows personally so that’s making all of us feel a little bit better this evening.
The surgery was pretty extensive, more so than I originally realized. The truth is this was two surgeries in one, a kind of buy one, get one I guess. The first surgery completely replaced the ball part of her shoulder. When she fell that entire part of the joint shattered so they had to go in there and clean up the mess and then replace that part with a new, shiny one.
The second surgery involved putting pins in her elbow. The pins will give the joint some mobility but it’s kind of a moot point because her shoulder is rendered completely immobile for the time being. The only other information I have is that she will definitely need rehab for the arm but we have no idea how long she needs to stay in the hospital, or whether or not she will be released into my mother’s care or have to go to a care facility.
My mom is having a pretty hard time with this. She got very upset on the phone with me the other night and this is a woman who does not cry. My mom worked as a nurse in ICU/CCU and trauma for a very long time. She’s seen it all and she is the most practical, calm, reassuring person I know. That all breaks down when it comes to her mother however. There is good reason for that and it’s not only because this woman is her mother.
My mom has great respect for my grandmother. The woman raised three children by herself after losing her husband to a massive heart attack shortly after their youngest child was born. My mother was 14 years old when she lost her father and she saw my grandmother take on countless jobs to make ends meet for her children.
My grandmother didn’t stop giving when my mother was a child. When both of my parents were working tons of hours to make ends meet during my childhood, my grandmother happily took me two nights a week. She taught me to play cards, took long walks with me, helped me catch lightening bugs, and still found the energy the next day to make me breakfast. That woman helped raise me and I will never, ever forget that.
I know that my mom wants my grandmother released back to her care badly. She wants to be there for my grandmother the way she always was for her. On one hand I want my mom to be able to help my grandmother, but on the other hand I know that it puts a great deal of strain on her to care for someone else all the time. Hopefully my mother has the answers she needs soon. We’re still not sure how long the doctors are going to keep her in the hospital before making a decision as to where she needs to go next.