Updated: Jun 3, 2021
This is my mom, Linda Keaton, on September 3, 2019, the day we were registering for her total reverse shoulder replacement overnight/outpatient surgery. This was it. The beginning of a recovery journey with a timeline that would ultimately lead to a better quality of life. We were ready for it and had prepared the home for our fast return and her then 24-hour care by us thereafter while shoulder healed. It was going to be tough but we were ready.
I snapped this picture of her as she was talking to someone else in the waiting area. She was so tired and weary on this morning having not slept a wink the night prior from the uncontrollable pain of having a fully separated shoulder, arthritis, and bone spur agitating it even more and no pain meds since the day prior, yet she's still smiling and wanting to be kind and social.
We couldn't have known when I took this picture that 20 days later we would still be in the hospital. There was no way to prepare for this in advance, as it came on literally in a flash making all plans of recovery put on the back burner and engaging a fierce will to live and blankets of comforting prayer as she fought through nights that seemed to me like I might wake up from my bedside station alone in the room with her spirit removed. She was so close. There were waves and waves of love and support keeping her aware that she was loved, needed, and relevant to life in the Keaton household. Me being scared to sleep, yet keeping her awake with my exhausted snores night after night, we were in the trenches together. We have, day in and day out been together on this deal, me and mama, mama and me. Thankfully tag-teaming with my sisters and nieces making sure all the right decisions were being made in real-time because there were times in these past twenty days that there wasn't a second to waste when it came to making decisions for her from the conversations I was having bedside with a family member via text messages and we would all together come up with questions to ask the doctors when they had the few moments a day with your room # and allowing me to ramble, rant, and rage without a word from anyone...well once. The sentence began with a "Paige, you know we love you..." well you know it is gonna be a balloon popping kind of experience when the convo starts there. They each have helped me regather myself multiple times. Wiping the sweat off my brow and giving me fluids, patting my tush, and sending me back in the ring to referee this boxing match for life my dear sweet lover not fighter mom was trying to fight...When I took this picture it was after a week in the hospital together and a transfer to Hospital Rehab and we are at Day 1 again. She is so tired here and I was now leaving to go home at night.
This was the worst night I have had in many years due to feeling what she is feeling right here in the picture. I cried an ocean of tears that night howl with emotional pain after a week in isolation at the hospital. Offering me a shoulder and words of encouragement to get me back in the fight with her. Oh mama was I hurting for her suffering and continued medical issues. and today, September 22, 2019, is the first day I can say I feel we are stepping out of the woods and can begin to see the path to going home. That is a huge statement coming from me as I have had to fight to keep her in the care of the hospital. I needed to see that she was stable and we were not being set up to fail once home. She had not been stable up to this point if I had to be honest. There was never a time I felt comfortable with seeing myself trying to care for her at home due to there being so many unexplained loose ends with her declining condition. They had not ever been able to get this far. to recover from the major surgery that's been simmering on the back burner. The list of diagnosis, remedies, medicines, and procedures have been overwhelming, to say the least as I try to keep up with this crazy amount of information coming my way and somehow having to turn that around and share a message with the line-up of people we have waiting. We have this networking family that when one sibling is at a Dr. appt with a parent or in this case an outpatient surgery, whoever is with the folks at the time sends updates nonstop. Blood pressure, heart rate, Dr. recordings (because I forget everything) pictures of randomness. It is just something we do in order to be connected to the situation with our parents' health.
Thanks to everyone that has shown concern for my mother and her situation and as soon as I get her hind end home and safe and comfortable, we will party. We are already planning a celebratory non-hospital food dinner for FRIDAY!!!! This Friday could be our release date and then home to start getting back to what she likes to do. I can not believe she fought so hard and I know for sure she was underestimated by a few, then carried by your prayers through the thick of it all. She is thankful for you praying for her. She loves her some Jesus and has always believed in the power of prayer. Keep them coming as although the trees are clear the path once home could be a rocky start for us but..we are home and I will make sure my 100% is committed to allowing her to heal properly and regain all the strength she needs to carry on.
We still have a long way to go but that is okay we can handle this and will. Thanks, everyone for keeping my dad full of food that is one less worry we have to be concerned about so we could focus our attention on mama. Thank you, thank you, thank you. #CHIStJosephsHealth #Narcan