Transitions

It turns out there is free wireless at the hospital (yipee!) so for the next few days, I will be on-line during the day.

****

My youngest child is a junior in high school. Soon all my “kids” will be adults.

I’m pretty sure that the sweat fest I endured at the airport wasn’t merely because of the hot tea. I think I had a hot flash.

And my mother now looks elderly.

It’s like there’s been a shift in the world. “Everyone take one place to the right.” I don’t mind getting older (well, that doesn’t mean that I like sweating like a cold cup of tea in a warm room), but I do find myself conscious of it.

But Mom is doing really well today. She still has the epidural for pain and that is working well. She still has chest tubes pulling out stuff. She gets “air bubbles” under her skin, mostly on her back, but sometimes on her front. She jokes that she has become human bubble wrap and she is going to charge people to let them see and poke. The earliest she might have left would be tomorrow, but that isn’t going to happen. Until the chest tubes stop pulling anything out, they stay and she stays. Once they come out my impression is that she will have to be here at least another 24 hours.

Mom enjoys reading, but it is difficult for her. Her Parkinson’s makes it difficult, though not impossible, to hold things steady. Worse yet, it has started to interfere with her eyes ability to work together and so reading is just plain hard. I loaned her my Kindle (my beloved Kindle) and pulled up a mystery I thought she would like. We moved the font up to something pretty big, and she is reading it! This is a big deal because technologically speaking, my mother never left the 80’s. She not only doesn’t own a computer, she is not quite sure what all people actually do with them.

I told my mother that I would get her a Kindle as a early Christmas present and she could share my library.  She might have said, “Oh no, don’t go wasting your money on that” which translates to “no, thank you.” And she might have said thing like, “Oh, I don’t want you to go to all that trouble/spend so much money” which would mean, “I do want one, you just have to re-assure me.” That is her usual response to offers of help. This time she looked at me a minute and then said, “Okay.” THAT, my friends, translates to “Oh YES! Thank you!”

So I said, “Okay” back and the conversation moved on.

It is a sign of how much the Parkinson’s has affected her. Reading regular books is getting too difficult.

Her sisters, both the elder and the younger, seem so much healthier than she does now. Of course neither of her sisters has just had one third of a lung pulled out from between their ribs.

I’m so glad (though that seems the wrong word) that this happened during the summer when I could be here.

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7 Responses

  1. I know it’s not the same as reading, but if your mom has moments where she just can’t even read by herself but she wants to keep going with the story, there’s that text-to-speech feature in Kindle where it will read to you aloud (and it will show the text and go to the next page). The synthesized voices (male or female) are not terrible. The main drawbacks is you can’t quickly re-read something (I’m not used to audio books, either) without clicking around, the reading is not as “dramatic” as most audio books are, and the biggest, many (most?) purchased books block this feature (so that you’d buy an audio book from the publisher instead). Also, Amazon has tons of downloads of classic works that are outside copyright, for $0.00, and those are not blocked.

    Best wishes to you, her and your family.

    • I’ve mentioned it to her, but she doesn’t seem to be interested. I am planning on putting some of my audio books on her Kindle, just in case she changes her mind.

  2. Hi Yondalla,

    Glad to ha things ae going well.

    Been thinking of you since we bought a Kindle foe my husband for Father’s Day a few weeks ago. Don’t you know, they dopped the price from $250 to $170 the day after the holiday. 😡 But luckily Mike caught it and he found out that you could complain to customer service and they’d credit your amazon account the difference.

    The price is pretty reasonable now, I think. So far Mike has subscribed to the Kindle versions of The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. The electronic version of The Economist actually saves us ~$100~ off the regular subscription price. When you see that, the cost of the hardware doesn’t seem like a very big deal at all. Plus it saves us the clutter and makes catch up reading while traveling oh so much easier.

    I still remember your kindle posts when you first got yours. So helpful.

    I see you mentioned the audio books on Kindle in the comments section. I was going to suggest that. I didn’t know — until Mike read the manual — that the Kindle does audible.com (?) audio books. That is pretty cool. My mom is a voracious reader (she belongs to two book clubs) and she listens to audio books before bed every night. I think we’ll probably get her one for her birthday in September. I was a little concerned for the same reasons you mentioned — she is not super techno-savvy. But like your mom, she seemed open to it.

    “It’s like there’s been a shift in the world. “Everyone take one place to the right.” … I do find myself conscious of it.”

    I know what you mean. Although I’m still dabbling around with little kids … so it’s a little more mixed up for me.

    Cheers.

  3. Just wanted to say your mom is in my prayers – it’s tough right after surgery! Here’s hoping that a year from now she’ll be right there with her sisters again.

  4. Laptop in hospital, I remember those days. You and your mom are in my thoughts. Hang in there, as she gets stronger all will get better!

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