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Away-From-Home Care

This summer has not been turning out as originally planned. The reason is that my mom had knee replacement surgery a little over week ago, so last Saturday I flew out to stay at her place and do anything she needed me to do while she’s recovering.

I spent last week setting up my laptop to be able to work remotely. Not only did I not want to take a bunch of vacation time, but I anticipated that there would be long stretches where I wouldn’t be very busy and I’d want to work to keep me occupied. In the end, it didn’t exactly work out as planned, but it’s worked out okay.

I took the Friday night red-eye from San Francisco to Boston. My flight left over 2 hours late – it’s always fun to not take off until after midnight! – and Boston was at the end of a heat wave when I arrived, so I nearly melted when I got off the plane. I took the subway out to my dad’s place and we had lunch. Then we dropped my bags off at my mom’s house and went to see her at the hospital.

Well, more accurately we picked her up from the hospital and took her to a rehab facility, where she’s been since. I’d wondered if a rehab facility had been in the cards, but didn’t find out until Friday. Getting her there was a bit tricky – I guess most people get transported there in an ambulance, so having us show up in a car was unusual. But she got to her room and got safely settled in. I then came home and picked her up a bunch of clothes and a bunch of books and brought them over to her.

Mom’s surgery – which occurred before I arrived – went very well, from everything I’ve been told, and as the week’s gone on she’s gotten brighter and more cheerful. I think she was really hurting before the surgery, and though she’s still working on walking, I think she feels a lot better afterwards. I’ve been going over to visit her every day, and I’ve been doing her laundry (the center doesn’t have good laundry service), as well as doing things like bringing her mail, and taking care of her cat (Maggie, who I think really misses her). What’s going to happen going forward is still uncertain – it basically depends on how quickly her rehab progresses. Although I met her physical therapist today and she says it’s going quite well.

My routine otherwise has involved getting Dunkin Donuts for breakfast (their coffee is as good as ever, but their donuts kind of suck now; I’ve switched to muffins instead), working in the morning, getting lunch, working some more, then visiting mom, and then working until quitting time. Being 3 hours ahead of my cow-orkers is really strange. Working remotely is, well, not what I prefer. My internet connection is okay, but not great, and working on a laptop is a pain in the ass with the smaller screen and less powerful processor. But I’m getting some stuff done.

Staying at mom’s house by myself is kind of weird. It’s a big old house in the suburbs, so at night it’s dark and quiet, and all I have is Maggie to keep me company. (To be fair, Maggie has been fairly affectionate, and mews at me when she feels it’s time for me to go to bed.)

When not working or visiting mom, I’ve been keeping myself occupied. I’ve been doing a bunch of cleaning around the house, as I think mom was having trouble keeping up with it because of the pain in her knee prior to her surgery. And for a few days everything I tried to do took three times as long because of various factors (cleaning out cobwebs in the basement to get to the laundry, figuring out where the garbage bags are, etc). So I feel like I’m constantly running late. But it’s getting better.

Debbi and I both miss each other a lot – this will be the longest we’ve been separated since we started dating! It’s also thrown a wrench into our summer plans (which included starting to look at getting kittens this month). But, y’gotta do what y’gotta do, and I do feel like I’m doing some good here. It’s not as critical as I’d expected when I first made plans, but it’s still useful, and mom appreciates having me visit and take care of things at home, I think.

More details in the coming days.

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