Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

I’ve been in Florida all this past week, and although it’s beautiful and balmy (okay, it’s hot) here, this trip is not for vacation. I am here to take care of my mom, who had an anterior hip replacement surgery on Monday. She has officially joined “the ranks of the bionic,” according to one get-well card, and although she has 6 more weeks of lounging around the house to go, her recovery is going extremely well.

The whole experience has been eye-opening for me, for all sorts of reasons. Which is cool, because I love learning new stuff. Here are some things I’ve found out:

1. Bodies are amazing. Holy crap, they’re incredible. My mom is 58. She’s young to be having a hip replacement, but at the same time it makes her an ideal candidate. She had surgery Monday morning and got out of bed to walk around Monday afternoon. I continue to be astonished every day by her progress and her body’s amazing ability to heal itself. There is a piece of titanium inside this woman’s leg, and yet heart, lungs, brain, bones, muscles- they all just keep trucking along.

2. Running a household is a big deal. Holy crap, it’s a lot of work. I have a new found appreciation for mothers, fathers, heads of households, and caregivers everywhere. And truly, my mom is a great patient and not especially needy. But after cooking for 3-5 people, the dishes alone are an imposing sight. It’s taken a few days, but I’ve learned to “let the repetition be the meditation,” as I often say in hot yoga. One plate at a time.

3. My expectations are a bit overzealous. Holy crap, there’s just not time for it all. At the start of the week, I totally overestimated the number of projects I’d be taking on during my visit. I anticipated easily caring for my mom, making dinner every night, working remotely 15-20 hours, practicing yoga every day, and reading a 1,000 page book. Just writing it all down seems ridiculous. I’m generally (re: always) inclined to overdo and take on too many projects, and I am probably not learning this lesson for the last time this week. But, noted. At the same time, it’s been pretty glorious to let some things wait, and to realize that the world doesn’t stop spinning if my agenda is a little (or even a lot) off-track.

4. The people you love are everything. They just are. When my niece comes over to visit, or my sister, or our family friend, my mom lights up. She laughs and smiles, and the dull ache in her leg (perfectly normal at this point in recovery) is completely forgotten. The healing power of love is unparalleled by any pill, tablet, or capsule, and watching it in action is such a gift.

In love and light, Kristen