A Snowy Adventure, Update

Monday was Mum’s first post-op appointment. She was so eager to have her staples removed. We planned to leave at 9:30 AM. Nature decided to throw us a curve, of course.
The temperature dropped significantly overnight. We awoke to a foreboding chill that the furnace didn’t dispel. Dad and I picked up the pace as the departure time loomed closer (it was Mum who was pokey, which is understandable given how difficult it is for her to maneuver around.)

I ducked into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Thunder rolled across the sky and reverberated deep in my chest. I looked up at the bathroom skylight, toothbrush stuck in my mouth and toothpaste froth dripping down, and I thought, “No way.” Rain drops splattered onto the hazy skylight plastic. A single heartbeat passed before a flash of lightening illuminated the dark sky. The rain turned to hail and then sleet in a matter of seconds. The “microblizzard” had arrived.

Mum asked, “What is that noise?”

I spat out my toothpaste and replied, “We’re having a thunder… snow.” It’s Colorado. It happens every so often. I always enjoyed these freak storms – when I was younger and did not have to drive in it.

Dad and I loaded Mum into the car, hung her wound vac from her visor arm (not exactly safe, of course) and tucked her temporary walker into the trunk. My hair was coated in mini sleet balls (they look like the white bean bag pellets.)

Driving became a chore. Dad did well as he squinted into the dense snowfall and navigated the icy streets. A blanket of grey slush and snow cloaked the black ice, the result of the earlier rain.

Powers Blvd. proved to be the safest route until we reached one of the numerous hills. Vehicles were stationary on the slope, emergency flashers piercing through the almost-whiteout conditions. We were forced to turn right. The road led us out of our way and in the opposite direction from our destination. Still, Dad trudged on.

We reached Austin Bluffs and found the road closed. Three police cars sat in an intersection and people, seeing the futility of the endeavor, tucked into a left-hand turn lane. Traffic flowed in the opposite direction and our procession of cars hardly moved. A snowplow ambled up the hill, fishtailing a bit. The nearest officer began to shunt traffic into the left-turn lane. Dad rolled down the window (Mum began one of her wordy explanations dealing with staples, doctor blah) and I explained that she was on a battery operated pump. Say no more. They waved us through and we followed the snowplow. We arrived at her surgeon’s office within five minutes.

The roads were clear once we left the building. They reflected the blue sky.

As for her post-op appointment:
Things are healing well. She is allowed to discontinue her Lovenox, Lasix and potassium. The incision line looks decent. Dr. Fischer is very pleased with her progress.

Her ankle swelling has gone down. Her discomfort is minimal. Her color looks fabulous, indeed the best I have seen it in two decades.

Her belly is black and blue from her thinner injections (the Lovenox) but I assured her that it won’t be permanent. My friend, Ox, has been on Lovenox for quite a while and was my saving grace when it came to questions. Mum has progressed nicely, as he said she would, and she is tickled to have one less medication in her system.

Her wounds are still mending and the vacuum will remain in place for a while. She did get about sans walker yesterday afternoon. Nurse R was not due until later in the day so Mum, free of her vac, made a break for it. She ambled to the bathroom and also raided the biscotti box.

She is still feeling a loss of coping skills. Her faith in God is shaken. She is depressed. I can’t force her to speak to her doctor about it nor can I force her to “snap out of it”. She has good reason to feel depressed.

I loathe people who use the “snap out of it” mantra. Depression can not always be controlled through sheer will. We can suffer from chemical depression or mental illness. Often, depression can be a loss of coping skills; an antidepressant will help us cope with things as we relearn how to apply our coping skills to those depressant situations.

Mum’s nurse visited today to change the wound vac bandages and take her vitals. Physical Therapy stopped by and set up a program for Mum.

We booked my flight (I return on Sunday) and Dad is going to find me a box. I loathe Denver International’s scales (strange how I can ship things home on my return trip yet my checked bag is always over the weight limit.)

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