Archive for Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Helping out Mom

February 18, 2009

Health care never entered my mind of possible careers when I was younger, but I’ve found myself assuming the role of novice nurse during the last few weeks.

You see, my mother had knee replacement surgery in Manhattan nearly a month ago and I’ve been visiting her these last few weeks. Some of that time has been spent at the hospital where the surgery took place, and then her hometown hospital, where she utilized a swingbed until she was released to go home.

I’ve not done a whole heck of a lot as far assisting my mother. Truth be told, I’m a wimp when it comes to blood, incisions and so on.

I’ve never watched a full episode of “Nip/Tuck” and I never will. Any surgery scenes leave me looking away or peeking through my hand until said television surgery is complete.

I had a knee surgery a few years ago and it pained me to look at the staples that were inserted along the incision on my knee. Same went for the staples in my mother’s new knee when they were punched into her skin.

But I feel it’s my duty to help her out as she continues to rehabilitate after surgery.

After all, she did go through labor and give birth to me some years back.

I made sure she had her walker ready for when she got out of the vehicle whenever we headed out for a meal or errands.

In fact, that seemed to be the extent of any assistance. Oh, I would grab ice packs for her knee and help with any of those routines, but thankfully I didn’t have to change any dressings on the operated knee.

However, one chore seemed to be the most demanding — or humiliating.

When we left the Manhattan hospital a few weeks ago, my mom wanted to pick up an extra housecoat or nightgown for her stay at the hometown hospital.

There, however, was one problem.

With just having surgery, she wasn’t able to actually go into the stores to try on the slumber apparel.

Instead, she sent me into stores with a current housecoat to match up in sizes.

I was a bit apprehensive walking through the women’s clothing area of the Manhattan Wal-Mart sizing up these women’s garments.

Part of me wanted to ask the Wal-Mart greeter for a sign that said: These clothes or not for me — they’re for my mom.

Ironically, my mom had a somewhat similar experience a few years back when I was throwing an 80s themed party. Some friends of mine and I went as the girls from “The Facts of Life.” I, a dead ringer for Mindy Cohn’s “Natalie” on the show, asked my mom for some help. She found a plaid skirt in Manhattan for me. The clerk complimented my mother on the pretty skirt.

“Oh, it’s not for me,” my mom replied. “It’s for my son.”

Thankfully I was not there for that conversation, but now it was my turn to search for clothing for my mom.

She even told me to hold the gowns up to me to check the size.

Are you kidding me?

First of all, no way.

Second of all, I’m a big man, a former football player. And although we’re of German descent, my mom is not some Olympic hammer thrower. She’s nowhere near the same size as me.

As I bypassed putting the housecoats up to my waist to measure, I hoped to find a gown or house coat that would work — soon.

However, no luck at Wal-Mart. We moved on to JC Penney where an associate had me speak to someone in “lingerie.”

Feeling this adventure couldn’t get worse, I finally found the perfect nightgown, as well as some nice slumber pants on the clearance rack — both for my mother.

In the end, it all worked out, and I was happy to help Mom out.

But I won’t be quitting my day job.


suzyshoup 9 years, 2 months ago

Shawn - The thought of both your mom buying the skirt "for you" and you doing the shopping for dear Regina has me laughing all the way down here in Dallas. Keep up the great writing! - Suzy


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