So, it’s been 5 weeks since my mother died.
She passed on a Saturday and the very next day my stepfather fell again at the nursing home. He was so distraught about my moms’ death that when he tried to get up from his wheelchair to go to the bathroom, he forgot to lock the wheels and the chair slipped out from under him when he stood. This caused him to fall to the ground and he landed – hard – on his freshly postop left hip. The one that had necessitated this entire lifestyle change for both my parents barely 2 weeks prior.
The nursing home called me to tell me he fell and they were sending him back to the hospital for xrays. He was filmed, then sent home.
For the next two days, he lay in bed, alternating between crying about my mother’s loss and the pain in his hip. They finally sent him back to the emergency room, and a CAT scan was done. Long story short, he’d broken the rod holding his leg to his hip and shattered the ball joint.
The surgeon who performed the first surgery did not want to repair it because the repair was too involved, so my dad was shipped to the nearest tertiary care hospital in Hartford, CT.
Can you imagine what it was like for him? Already infirm due to the first hip break, he’s just lost his wife, very unexpectedly, and now he’s heading to a strange environment for another major surgery, less than 2 weeks after the first one.
The poor man was so despondent, especially because he was all alone in the hospital, with no family, no one who knew him. I drove four hours every day for a week while he was there ( 2 going, 2 coming back)just so he wouldn’t feel so alone.
All he did was cry.
In pain. In grief. In loss.
Once the leg was finally repaired and he was sent back to the nursing home, his depression was stark on his face and in his voice.
Whenever I visit him or talk to him on the phone, he cries about my mom. More than once he’s said, “I just want to hold her one more time.”
My heart breaks anew every time. Every. Time.
In the span of two weeks, this poor man lost his physical independence, his home, his wife of 57 years, and his way of life.
I’d cry too.