Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Not the Beginning of the End, But the End of the Beginning
It's time to take the weight off and down my calcium supplements. The extra pounds can't be good for my joints, and my only dietary calcium intake comes from ice cream. Why?
Because I refuse to end up like my grandmother.
She was taken to the hospital yesterday. Her hip and T-12 vertebra is broken. She didn't fall...but arthritis and osteoporosis have eaten away at her bones. They're like Swiss cheese. There is literally nothing left of her hip to repair. She probably broke both by just trying to get up out of a chair.
Stubbornness is a trait that runs on both my mother's and father's sides of the family, and it can be a good thing sometimes. But my grandmother has taken it to ridiculous extremes. She has refused these last three weeks to take any of the Lortab that was prescribed for her even though she was in excruciating pain. She has insisted these last three weeks that she could go home and take care of herself, even though she could not lift a glass of water to drink. Three years ago her doctor told her her bones were fragile, that she should be using a walker and not going up and down flights of stairs. I moved in two and a half years ago. No walker until about six weeks ago. Still going down to the basement to do her laundry. When I moved in, I offered my help with these things, but all I got was an insistent N.O. I stopped asking. It was a frustrating waste of breath to try.
But NOW she wants my help. Because, you see, she believes that her hip and back will be fixed, she'll get some rehab, and she will come back home where I am going to care for her for the rest of her life. She has told all the nurses at the hospital this. I should make it clear that this is not expected of me by anyone except her. She wouldn't let me dust the lamps in the living room but she wants me to do this?
Me. A woman who doesn't have or want kids because of that whole cleaning up after their bodily fluids situation. A woman who can't do that fake nice, sing-songy thing that nurses do with old people, as if they were toddlers ("And how are you today Adele?" Gross.). I can't even do that with toddlers. A woman who's own back hurts enough because of the ginormous boobs her cursed genetics passed down to me. A woman who should have left Buffalo ten years ago. A woman on he cusp of a much needed life change.
We're all dying. But in Western New York it just seems like everyone is doing it right this second. Outside of a few blocks in the Elmwood Village the city is aging and cranky and set in it's ways. I will not join them. I will take my calcium. I will take the weight off. I will do what I can to be that 90 year-old who goes skydiving for the first time.
I will finally come up for air.