My mother before I was born.

“My mother will be fine with physical therapy”

I went to meet my mom at an appointment with the same orthopedic doctor she saw for a “second opinion” a month ago. He was very nice.

He looked at all the x-rays, and showed both my mother and me where the x-ray indicated her fractured hipbone was healing. He said it would only continue to become stronger over time.

My mother demonstrated movement by easily lifting both her legs without any pain. I mentioned that it was the “weight bearing” exercises that worried the physical therapist at her facility so much because my mom “grimaced.” He said a grimace was understandable and part of the process.

The doctor said that my mother would be fine with 50% weight-bearing exercises for two weeks and then full, weight-bearing exercises after that. He said it might be hard to do the 50%, but even a little at 100% would be okay.

He said the risk was slight, and he wanted another x-ray taken in two weeks time to make certain there wasn’t any displacement.

My mom was crying when she arrived at the appointment due to extreme confusion.

I was able to calm her and bring her back to reality, but it wasn’t easy. When the doctor explained to her that her hip was healing, she understood the implications. After the appointment, she was beaming.

I was really glad to see her relaxed and happy again, despite her struggle with dementia.

Who is this couple? Oh yeah, my parents!

I’ve decided the aging process is unbelievably painful for the entire family when it involves dementia.

“I could feel her grief”

I was definitely wearing a “Super Daughter cape” as I left my mother following her appointment. I wrestled with the “demon of dementia” and had won. My mother went from tears to joy as I steadily convinced her of the reality.

As I drove home, however, I still had the familiar, gnawing pain inside me. I wondered why I wasn’t more joyful that my mother had beaten the odds and survived her hip fracture without having surgery!

I decided that although I had a lot of things to do at home, I would stop and treat myself to a manicure. Since I bit my nails almost all my life, I marvel at the nails I started growing last July. Having a manicure is a way to reward myself and appreciate their beauty.

I realized with the difficult economy, the nail salon was certainly suffering since many people would consider a manicure a luxury to do without. It was one reason I had put it off.

I wrote a story a few months ago about a certain manicurist at the salon near my home. Her name was Thao, and she was Vietnamese. WHAT IS LEFT SINCE YOU DIED

Sure enough, the salon was empty when I went inside. Thao raced over to me, and I was glad to see her. She told me she had listened to the CD I had given her, but her player was now broken.

She was still very sad. Her eyes were large and despair was deep within. I could feel her grief.

As she worked on my nails, I asked her to tell me about the brother she loved so much who had died. She told me how he used to sing and play guitar. I asked her if she liked to sing too, but she said she couldn’t because it was too painful for her.

It turned out the date of his death was in a few weeks and that had certainly intensified her sadness. She said it would be two years since he died.

I asked her what she planned to do on that day. She said she would cook his favorite meal; she missed cooking for him. Then she told me in her halting English, “I want to cry all the time, but I don’t.”

I told her that those tears were important to release. I remembered that well. I said to her softly, “You know, letting those tears out allows for joy to come in. Not allowing pain, does not allow for pleasure either. Plus, it takes so much energy to hold tears in!”

Before I left, she ran to the back of the salon and brought out a picture to show me of her and her brother. Then, she insisted I take something home for lunch; it was a container of fried rice. I didn’t know what to do, because even though I don’t usually eat rice – I didn’t want to say no.

I also realized she had probably given away her own lunch. But she said to me, “Judy, you’ve done so much for me and I want to do something for you!”

I came home and tasted the rice. Steam started coming out of my ears, but I was grinning.

I could taste her appreciation.

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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