Happy New Year!*
I hope you all had a good holiday, however you celebrate. I got to have both Jewish Christmas Eve (Chinese food with a friend's family) and Christmas dinner with another friend. All lovely.
My mom also came to visit. That is where my holiday went off the rails and is the subject of my blog post. My 2014 ended scarily and 2015 started with me appreciating Duke University Hospitals.
My mother, as mothers are wont to do, offered to take on a cleaning project while she was visiting. In this case, my mom offered to clean my upper cabinets. Of course, I accepted this with alacrity and while I was at work on Tuesday, January 30th, she got started. I was only working a half day and I was going to stop at the gym before I went home.
I did stop at the gym and, luckily, before I got out of the car, I checked my phone. There was a voice mail from my mom and a text asking me to come home immediately. When I got home, my mom was lying on the guest bed. She'd been climbing onto my counter (!!!) to clean the top of the cabinets and fallen off. She'd landed on her butt first, then her head had slammed into the drawer pull on the other side of my narrow galley kitchen. She didn't pass out and had made it to the guest room and her phone to call me.
Needless to say, this was very scary.
She didn't have signs of concussion, but when people say head wounds bleed a lot, they aren't kidding. Off to urgent care we went. They bandaged her head, but we learned anyone over 65 with a head wound has to get a CT scan, signs of a concussion or no (and, they said, her head wound was bad enough they would have sent her for a CT scan anyway).
Off to the ER, where we spent 5 hours getting CT scans, x-rays, and stitches. The ER was packed. It's prime flu season in North Carolina and there were lots of people there. They were handing out masks at the door.
The ER only did x-rays because my mom kept complaining about pain in her hips, but we're so glad they did. While she didn't have anything other than a gash on her head, she suffered a compression fracture when she fell and we were told to schedule surgery for the next day. Compression fractures will heal without surgery, but the pain would be too great for my mom to fly home.
Surgery it was. And on December 31st, my mom had back surgery. Not many people get outpatient surgery on New Year's Eve, so amazingly, there were only three other people in the outpatient surgery area.
All of this has a happy ending. The surgery (a kyphoplasty) was amazing. The surgeon said it would provide instant pain relief and it did. My mom was able to walk around the block on New Year's Day and we went to an art exhibit on the Saturday. She flew home on the Sunday, having been scheduled to fly home on the 31st.
She still has to do physical therapy and wear a back brace, but really, this was a miracle of modern medicine and about as happy an ending as I could hope for.
Got your own stories of happy endings, medical or otherwise? Share them in the comments. I'll give away a paper copy of A Promise for the Baby (which relates to the above story) to one random commenter. I'll post the winner on January 24th.
*My library's deputy director said in a meeting yesterday that he learned you have until January 15th to wish people a "Happy New Year." I just made it!