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The Cold Dish

November 13, 2015

So I’m unexpectedly in Cape Girardeau, where I grew up.

Last Wednesday morning I got up as if it were going to be an ordinary day and found out that my mother, who lives in an apartment in a retirement complex, had fallen in her kitchen at 11 pm on Tuesday night and lay on the floor until 7 am on Wednesday, when she called out for help as her newspaper was delivered to the front door. She is in the hospital with an arm broken just below her shoulder, and as of Friday morning is stabilized in terms of her heart medicine (blood thinner) but waiting for Monday to have surgery. This is because orthopedic surgeons can’t be bothered to operate on 80-something year old ladies on the weekend, but require that they lie around in pain with bone splinters poking every which way for two days.

Anyway, I drove here from central Ohio and I didn’t listen to an audiobook, but played the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat. The whole way. We’re talking a 9-10 hour drive, depending on traffic and stops. Now that I’m sitting around in the hospital I’ve been reading a book my friend Miriam sent me, The Cold Dish, by Craig Johnson. It’s a pleasant-enough murder mystery, but I suspect the real reason she sent it is that on page 108 the author has the audacity to work in this sentence: “I had to smile at the importance of being Ernest.” That is actually not a reflection of how good the writing is, generally. Just a brief and spectacular spot of self-indulgence.

Everyone needs a little indulgence when hanging around a hospital.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy permalink
    November 13, 2015 5:15 pm

    So sorry about your mom’s fall- I will pray for her full recovery

  2. PAJ permalink
    November 13, 2015 5:50 pm

    I’ve spent way too many days hanging around a hospital. They are long days with lots of waiting for medical folks to do what they must do. The hospital schedule rules all; never think the schedule is for the benefit of the patient. I’ll say a prayer for patience for both of you and healing for your mom. (It’s distressing to learn she was on the floor all night. The next time I see her, we’re going to work on her pig-calling voice. Or perhaps she should take lessons from Susan!)

    • November 13, 2015 10:46 pm

      I read this to her, and she hooted with laughter at the pig-calling voice part. You always know the right thing to say.

  3. November 13, 2015 7:46 pm

    Good heavens, your poor mom. She must be one tough cookie. Hoping by the time you read this she will be out of pain, at least, and that her surgery goes smoothly and her recovery will be complication-free. Also: l affirm ALL your coping choices.

    • November 13, 2015 10:48 pm

      She is tough. Also intrepid, she has instructed me to say.
      And thank you for the affirmation!

  4. November 14, 2015 7:14 am

    How awful! I’m always worried about this kind of thing happening to my mother as well because she’s been falling and breaking things for the past 10 years now. I hope your mom gets well again soon!

    • November 14, 2015 10:11 am

      This is the first time she’s ever done anything like this, and I hope the last. My sister-in-law is going to get her a button to wear around her neck. Many of the other people in the retirement home wear them.

      • November 14, 2015 1:16 pm

        Lots of older people over here wear those as well. Except when they’re too stubborn for it, that is…

  5. November 14, 2015 8:20 pm

    Hospitals are tiring for the patients and the families. Hope you are able to get your rest–at least your mom has drugs (right??).

    • November 14, 2015 10:12 pm

      My mom won’t take drugs. I prevailed on her to take tylenol this evening, when she was uncomfortable and grouchy, which she didn’t process as pain.
      I’m sleeping at her apartment, which is better than a sofabed in her hospital room but a bit spooky all by myself.

  6. November 16, 2015 11:33 am

    Oh no Jeanne! I am so sorry about your mom. I hope surgery goes/went well and she makes a speedy recovery.

    • November 17, 2015 8:20 am

      The surgery went pretty well yesterday, so now at least the hospital time and the pain are going towards healing.

  7. November 16, 2015 11:40 pm

    Oh dear, I am just seeing this post! Jeanne, I’m so sorry, what a nightmare. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a fast and thorough recovery, and give your mum my best!

    • November 17, 2015 8:22 am

      Thanks. One of the things we were doing in the hospital before surgery was listening to…the Hamilton soundtrack. I had mailed her the CDs before her fall, so I got them out of her mailbox and took them to the hospital, where she was holding up the lyric sheet with her good hand and following along.

  8. November 18, 2015 9:56 am

    I’m just catching up on blog reading, so just now seeing this. Bless your poor mom! I hope she is feeling better. And I hope you are able to get some rest and peace as well.

    • November 18, 2015 8:34 pm

      I drove home today, and she is being discharged tomorrow. My brother will be there Friday afternoon, and she has friends helping out in the meantime, so things are okay for now.

  9. November 22, 2015 10:59 am

    I see by your comments here that your mom is doing much better. I hope the rest of her recovery is speedy.

    • November 22, 2015 12:51 pm

      It turned out that she wasn’t discharged until Saturday afternoon, but she’s at a rehab center now and doing a lot better.

  10. December 30, 2015 10:53 am

    I’m so sorry about your Mom! I hope she heals quickly. I’m constantly listening to audiobooks, but there are times when my mind needs to just drift to something else and I need to turn them off.

    • December 30, 2015 10:55 am

      My friend who sent me The Cold Dish just sent me an audiobook of one of the other books by this author!

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