Thursday, January 11, 2007

"I Walked!"

"I walked, son! I walked!," my mom blurted out the news as soon as I answered the phone. She didn't even say hello first.

"It wasn't far, I had braces on and was holding on to the parallel bars but I walked back and forth on my own." Her voice cracked with excitement, pride, emotion and, I think, surprise.

Late yesterday, we'd been informed that my mom would probably be discharged from the hospital on January 25 in a wheelchair and as yet unable to walk with any amount of assistance. The agreed goal had become to get to the point that she did not require more than minimal assistance to transfer from the wheelchair to bed or toilet.

My sister-in-law and nephew are with my dad tonight. He will be ecstatic when he hears the news. She's calling my brother now, I'm sure. (He was there the first time she stood on her own - she couldn't feel her feet then or direct any movement but she was supporting herself.)

I'm going to visit tomorrow as planned, and will be there during her parallel bar session. We had planned for me to arrive afterwards, but she wants one of us there to see for ourselves. I'm bringing the camera.

(My mom had intended to tell my dad first, but she spilled the beans when my sister called her tonight before her regular nightly conversation with my dad. And, for some unknown reason, in recent days, her phone has first speed dials me every time she tries to call anyone, so she wasn't surprised to hear my voice instead of my dad's.)

[ADDENDUM] My mother was stricken with Guillain-Barré Syndrome just after Thanksgiving and has been hospitalized since then.

(Photo courtesy Digihound L.L.C.)


chuck b. said...

We need a link back to the beginning of your mom's story. Was she in a car accident? Did she suffer severe necrotizing frostbite climbing Everest? Bad case of bedbugs? The mind wanders, naturally.

You know Billie Holliday had such a big junk habit, she had to melt her junk in a tuna can because a tablespoon wouldn't do. To inject the stuff, she used a small vein in her foot because it was the only one left. Those veins blow, get inflamed, infected. Soon it's all gangrenous it's downhill from there.

I doubt any of this is your mom's story. But the story is anxious to be told. And the listener has a duty that matters too.

Internet Ronin said...

Good point, Chuck. Links back to previous posts have been added. Thanks.

chuck b. said...

I hope your mom's continuing to improve!

Autoimmune diseases are dreadful, but intellectually fascinating. One theory I read about recently proposes that autoimmunity is the evolutionary price vertebrates have paid in order to have a symbiotic relationship with the many different kinds of bacteria that live inside of us.

reader_iam said...

Are you and yours OK?

Internet Ronin said...

Thanks to my sister taking time off work and flying up to assist my mom, we're doing OK. We are all concerned about my father's unexpectedly perilous condition and my brother and I are taking turns assisting with his care as well helping with my mom. The next few days will be critical.

Thank you for asking, reader_iam.