UPS and DOWNS (launches and falls)

My sister is here for five days!  

The first full day she was here, the shuttle Discovery launched for its final time.  For Floridians, this is a bit sad. 

Normally when the shuttle launches, we can see the fiery, orange ball ascending from our front yard.  This time, it was cloudy; from the beach, all we could see was a pale, white bit of plume near the ground...

Just a minute later, the smoke was fading.  My husband took a picture of my sister and me, the last of the smoke above my left ear. 

The end.  I hope they get home safely.

24 hours later, without purses or cells, we went for a walk on the beach...

While my sister and I were at the beach, Mom fell and broke her shoulder.  :-(

Mom was taken by ambulance to the ER.  My father called me immediately, but sadly it was not until I was back in the car, an hour later, that he reached me.  I will always regret this.

Mom's cat scan and neck x-rays were OK; the shoulder x-ray revealed three breaks just under the humerus head.  The splinting of the arm was very painful for mom, and I pray I will never witness her suffering like that again.  

Blood work revealed that Mom is anemic, and her kidneys are not working correctly.  Sobering news, all of it. 

Mom was given morphine and dozed off and on while my father, sister, and I rotated in to sit with her.  My husband took Dad home about 10 pm.  My sister and I stayed until 1:30 am., waiting for mom to get a room.  
In caring for my parents, it strikes me how being ill ages their appearance.  

At 90 and 87, they are still young in spirit, mostly alert and cognizant, compared to most people their age.  But when they are in the hospital, they suddenly look their physical age.  This always throws me, and I have to say to myself, she IS 90.  I forget that.  

Yesterday morning, mom was still in the ER, because they were waiting on a room. (Being in the ER reminds me too that every hour, every day, someone is sick or suffering.  I forget that too.)

The morphine made Mom throw up, so they had switched her to dilaudid.  

By mid-morning, she was feeling better.  She was chatty.  And rambly.  And funny, getting words mixed up and telling stories from her Navy days.  We were all happy with the dilaudid. 

But, she began to throw up again.  Every time she sat up, or the nurse slid her to the bedside commode.  Mom is now on a liquid diet and IV fluids until they can get her to stop "tossing her cookies," as one nurse said.  

"I haven't had any cookies," Mom reminded her.  "I haven't eaten anything for two days, now."  Mom was an English teacher, so correct words mean everything.

My sister and my dad saw Mom this morning.  She was able to eat some jello and not toss her cookies!  Yay!  Hopefully that will last.  

However, when Mom stands, her heart rate goes up to 108, which is not good. She is sore all over from the fall, and after being in bed for two days, her legs are weak.  The doc has told us she will not be released until her blood work is better and she can begin to eat again. 

We are taking it a day at a time here, and praying for peace for mom (who can get a little crabby with the caretakers.)  Dad, who has issues of his own, quietly worries about her.  

Here's a pic of Dad's shirt and his name tag, which he applied without looking. 

I'm so grateful my sister has been here for a few days.  She was certainly here for a reason.  The days are long and unsettling when a parent (or two) is struggling.  

More to come.  Thanks for the prayers....

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