Where do I begin…?

I haven’t blogged since March 23rd. So much has happened. I’ll try to sum it up…

1. On February 23rd, while I was at the NERAASA convention in Atlantic City, my mother was walking up the lawn in the rain. She slipped on the wet grass and landed on a flagstone step edge, her right tibia taking all the impact. She thought she was just mildly cut, and did not go the hospital. Two weeks later she decides to tell me, and at this time The Wound (as it is now known) had become deeply infected. It was very deep, like a large (2 inches long by an inch wide) and bloody scabacious mess. So we go to the ER. They patch her up and tell her to go to her PC doctor in Amenia, who, for the next three weeks treats it incorrectly…That’s a recap.

Then, in late March, she wakes me up, complaining of back, buttock and upper leg pain. Back to the ER we go, they see The Wound is not healing, CAT scan her back (nothing to see) and we make an appointment with a real doctor who puts The Wound on a different path to healing. In regards to The Wound, it has healed very well and is now little more than a large scrape. All good. The pain in the back, however, has turned out to be something far more serious.

The orthopedist thought it was spinal stenosis, a build up of calcium in the internal vertebrae pressing in on the nerves, kind of like a really bad case of sciatica. That’s what the x-ray showed, at least. The treatment: bed rest, physical therapy, and pain management. Three days of excruciating pain later, it was time for the MRI. The results showed two insufficiency fractures in her sacrum, which was the real culprit. The treatment is the same as the stenosis. How she broke this is inconsequential. She could have been doing anything. This is a product of old age and osteoporosis.

For two days I tried to be there for her, do my homework, go to meetings, etc…but it was too much. She could not be left alone. It was not safe. I was going crazy. At one point I realized that I hadn’t bathed in 4 days.

So I made the call to the Caregiving Women and they came the next day and promptly, to my relief, took over. Now they are here when I am not, fixing meals, doing the PT, running errands, doctors, and so forth. I must say that I am impressed. They are also, in their spare time, doing a lot of gardening and the place looks really great. Two weeks after they arrived and after twice daily PT, regular Vicodin, and bed rest, she walks with a walker, but without pain. She is on the mend! This will be a long process and the best case scenario is a six-month recovery.

There really is too much to list, label, or go into. I have had an exhausting semester, but will be finished as of tomorrow night. On Sunday I leave for Europe and my next Balkan adventure. I have decided to not go to school in Slovenia, but rather stay in Bosnia an extra month to do more relief work. I return August 6th, but will be updating along the way, so please, stay tuned….

P.S. I’ll some pictures from the Civil War Residency tomorrow…


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Johnnyboy is a queer recovering alcoholic. For the moment he is also the primary caregiver for his mother, who suffers from age-related cognitive impairment. She is happy as a lark and is surrounded by a crew of sober women which gives him the freedom he needs to get out of town. When he is not at home in Somewheresville, he is searching out the proper path to travel for happiness and joy. He is a photographer who believes in the digital age, but feels that film is still where its at. He has a darkroom and works in it. He is single and is in remarkably great physical condition for all the damage he has submitted his body to. His cardiologist is very happy. Johnnyboy is over the age of 35.

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