8 Jan 2011, Comments (9)

He

Author: Helen

Fell at the bus stop September before last and broke a hip.

He lay for twenty minutes on the pavement in the evening cold. Thankfully two other oldsters saw him and raised the alarm. The surgeon didn’t think he was in good enough shape for a hip replacement, and pinned it instead. A year and a half on and he was on so many painkillers he was hardly with us.

He deteriorated in December so much that she sought a second opinion. The operation was go, but there was no hundred percent guarantee that he’d survive surgery and an anaesthetic. Then, more deterioration and he went into hospital just before Christmas.

He woke up in HD (Intensive Care as they used to call it.) That was planned as part of the surgery, but of course, he assumed he was about to die. I thought that was perfectly logical. If I was ninety and I woke up in a hospital on various machines, and I was having trouble retaining things I’d been told that day or the day before, I’d assume I didn’t have long to go. And he was a bit of a wraith, those first two days.

Christmas in the hospital: he’s always been a scoffer, so I didn’t worry that he’d be devastated by missing out on the festivities. Neither am I one to make a big production out of Christmas. But the slabs of turkey in the covered lunch plate suddenly made me sad.

Am I dying? No, you’re getting better. You’ve had a hip replacement. Oh yes. Do you remember how much pain you were in? Was I in a lot of pain? Was it because of my broken leg? Yes. You’ve got a new hip now.

He’s in rehab now. Onward.

Comments (9) »

  • Deborah says:

    So the cricket was just a bad dream then?

    I hope his recovery is going along well, and that he will be back with you soon.

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    Oh poor thing – pain medications cause mental confusion and also I have great sympathy/empathy for anyone waking in a strange room (as I have woken this week in three different postcodes).

    Despite frequent terse exchanges with an octogenarian who refuses to use a walking stick because “I can walk” and failing to convince him “the stick is so you don’t fall over” –
    I wish yours a speedy thorough recovery.

  • genevieve says:

    I do hope I’m as brave if and when I am ninety. All power to your dad.

  • Helen says:

    So the cricket was just a bad dream then?

    I wish.
    Wonderful time, Australian Cricket team, to break his heart, although fortunately it seemed as though he’d fallen out of love with you already, so it was more “meh, more failure” than sorrow.

  • Chris Nailer says:

    Hope your dad is recovering well. I vividly recall the joys of hip surgery, though 19 was different from 90; everything heals quickly then. My mother also had a hip replacement in Nov, though not due to any fall, just wear and tear after 80 years of landscape gardening; recovering well.
    All good wishes.
    CN

  • Kath Lockett says:

    I wish him a fast and effective recovery. I’ll admit to having a giggle when I hear that someone elderly is in ‘rehab’, picturing a wrinkled old Russell Brand trying to kick the drugs.

    I remember my nanna going through the anaesthesia-induced confusion when we visited her in hospital as a child. She spun me some wonderful stories about slipping out at night to go ten pin bowling and then smoking a hookah pipe with a nurse afterwards. Dad had to gently explain to me on the way home that Nanna was as high as a kite.

  • Fine says:

    Hope your Dad improves rapidly Helen. I have parents in their late ’80s and I’m waiting sadly for those sorts of moments to occur more and more frequently.

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