Friday, December 1, 2017

Being strong willed can be a very good thing!

We typically talk about someone who is strong willed in a negative way; we equate strong willed with being obstinate and ornery. But being strong willed is an excellent trait when you're 96 years old and have just broken your hip. You'll need every bit of that strong will to get back on your feet!

I'm so impressed with mom's quiet stoicism and determination as she faces recovering from all that she's gone through this week. She's never once complained, she always tells the nurses she's fine when they ask, and she didn't fuss at all when they got her up out of bed and on her feet yesterday morning. You know it had to be quite painful, but the only sound she made was a brief groan -- as they were helping her settle back into bed!

I have no doubt she will recover enough to get back to her apartment in assisted living, where one  of the prerequisites is being able to get to and from the dining hall on your own. She's also motivated to get back to church. When we were filling out the paperwork for the move from independent to assisted living in May, one of the questions was what hobbies do you have or what do you most enjoy doing? Mom's immediate answer: go to church!

Mom's dad was a pastor so she grew up in the church, and then she and her husband served for over four decades as missionaries in Argentina, before "retiring" back to the U.S. and getting very involved in the church she's still attending. There's never been a time when church wasn't an integral part of her life.

The people at her church are as close as family. One special couple was at the hospital all day Tuesday. Others have visited too. It's clear she's dearly loved by her church family. She's equally loved at the retirement village where she's lived for the past six years.

Grace Village has everything from condominiums to independent apartments to assisted living to medical care, and also a rehabilitation center. There was some question as to whether she'd be able to go there for rehab because her old insurance didn't work with them. We've known all year, since her hospital stay in January, that we wanted to switch her insurance but had to wait for the open enrollment period. We communicated with our own insurance agent who said he could set up an appointment to talk to us about our insurance, and with mom about hers. Our appointment got pushed to the end of the month because he was working hard to get those clients covered whose insurance companies were leaving the state. So for several weeks we've known and planned for the appointment by phone on Tuesday, November 28th.

And then mom fell and broke her hip the 27th.

So when it was time for the call on Tuesday, Ivan fielded it alone. Mom was fresh out of surgery, still in that happy place anesthesia takes you, and I was sitting in a dentist's chair in Ft. Wayne getting a root canal (another hiccup in the plans). I had done the legwork and figured out what insurance we wanted, and what mom needed, so it wasn't like I left Ivan hanging out there on a limb. And our agent and his colleague were great! His colleague drove down Wednesday and filled out all the forms on his computer. Mom was still pretty shaky at that point, and embarrassed at how wobbly her signature was, but her worst signature is better than my best. And within about an hour and a half, it was a done deal. Whew! 

So today mom will be transferred to the rehab center at Grace Village and begin the long, arduous therapy necessary to get back her mobility. I have the utmost confidence she'll do it! She's motivated and she's strong willed!

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