It's that time of month when I link up with Deena to share my gratitude in numbers. Except I'm only sharing one number today, but it has a happy ending. Let me explain....
--72 days taking care of my mom and her broken arm. Sigh.
I've mentioned here and there about my mom and her arm saga, but here's the entire story in a nutshell. On July 14th, while camping in Oregon, mom fell backwards off some stairs and broke her right humerus and a few ribs. Very painful. The ER put her in a brace, gave her pain meds, and told her to follow up with an Orthopedic Surgeon. We brought her home with us, and everything seemed to be healing well.
On August 21st she had a follow up appointment because her arm was hurting again. Xrays showed that somehow, some way, it was completely fractured in the opposite direction. Maybe she had jerked it during her sleep? Her bones are strong and dense, so it was a mystery. At that point, Dr. L decided it needed a titanium plate to aid in the healing process.
Ten days after surgery everything looked great, so Dr. L gave mom the okay to finally go back home to Arizona. She had strict instructions not to lift anything, drive, or use her right arm for six weeks.
One month later she called from the ER in Phoenix. Her arm was broken again, the plate was bent, and the screw heads had come loose. How did it happen? I have my theories, but mom and dad aren't fessing up. She says she can't remember doing anything that would have caused so much damage. Another mystery, and I'm leaving it at that.
Back to Washington, a second surgery with double plates this time, and right now everything is looking good. Again. This time she doesn't get to go home for six more weeks, until her arm is completely healed.
So what in the world does this have to do with gratitude? It's more about my "gratitude adjustment".
For 72 of the last 105 days since her accident, I've been taking care of mom. She's right handed and broke her right arm, so I help her shower, wash and style her hair, get dressed, and make her meals. She can't drive, so I take her to doctor's appointments and shopping. After her surgeries, I woke up during the night to give her pain meds and shift her position.
I was being a big baby, and feeling pretty sorry for myself. My sister, husband and boys helped where they could, but still. I was exhausted and frazzled and starting to feel resentful.
And then last week, while I was getting the newspaper and making her coffee for what felt like the millionth morning, I had an epiphany. Two, actually.
First, I realized that I was being SO selfish. As difficult as this situation may be, it's the worst for mom. She has endured pain and disability for three months. Normally, my mother is an independent, healthy woman. To have to rely on others for even the smallest task must be frustrating and scary.
Second, I knew that I needed to adjust my way of thinking from frustration to gratitude. How lucky am I to get to spend so much time with my mom? How fortunate that I still have my mom? And what a privilege to give something to the woman who has done so much for me. I know that one day I will look back on this difficult time and be thankful that I had these days with her. So...
I'm grateful this month for 72 days taking care of my mom and her broken arm. And that's enough, and more.
Please head over to The Blended Blog today, where my friend Carrie is featured in our ongoing interview series. She's an amazing lady with a strong faith, a beautiful sense of style, and a kind heart. I know you'll enjoy getting to know more about her!