I come from a family of strong women. As with many families, the women in my family make things go. And of course, my best role model for strength is my mom. Sometimes she seems to me as though nothing can stop her, nothing can break her, nothing can make her back down or make her stop being herself. I think my mom is incredible. She loves to laugh and be silly and have fun, but she is a bear when someone threatens her family. Family is the number one most important thing to her; even the next closest thing is a far distant second.
Even incredible moms are breakable, though. My mom has had parts of her broken for a long time – her knees. She has been in enormous amounts of pain on and off for years. More than the pain, she’s hated feeling limited in what she can do – and in what her loved ones can do with her. She’s hated that we don’t plan to go to the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville when they’re visiting because it’s too much walking for her. She’s hated the fact that she can’t always keep up with my 6-year-old niece, a very active child with a huge imagination. That has upset her much more than the physical pain, though that has also been unbearable at times.
She and her doctor finally decided that it was time to move forward with knee replacement surgery. She has to have both knees done, and yesterday was the first surgery. She’ll need to heal quite a bit, if not all the way, from this one before they do the next one. Knee replacement surgery is a scary thing – it’s a very painful and long recovery. Some people have both knees done at once because they’re afraid they won’t get the second one done after living through the first recovery. And my mom was nervous about it; she’s amazing, but she is only human!
Fortunately, everything has gone according to plan. The surgery went off without a hitch. She took a few steps the afternoon after the surgery, though that didn’t last long due to a bad reaction to the morphine. But they have her on a different pain medication today, and my dad tells me she walked 75 feet with a walker today, and bent her leg 82 degrees (up from 70 yesterday), and can straighten it out completely – all really, really good for the day after surgery! They’re hoping to send her home tomorrow, and Daddy says it looks like they’ll be able to. Then she’ll be in therapy for a while until the pain subsides and her knee works mostly like it’s supposed to again. The therapy hurts, sure, but my mom can withstand pain. She’s determined to heal quickly and get the other one done so she can do everything she wants to do with her family. If anyone can do it, she can.