I had to leave.
A team of three nurses was moving Mom from the emergency room gurney to the bed in her new hospital room, and I knew it was agony. She is a strong woman. She never screamed. But I knew it hurt. Earlier the emergency room nurse had been asking mom for to rate her pain in a scale of one to ten. She said the pain when the moved her from the gurney to the x-ray table and back was "darn near ten".
So I just walked down the hall for a minute until it was over.
Mom fell yesterday morning while she and Dad were walking to Loyola's, a neighborhood restaurant, for breakfast. It's the place the cops hang out, and three of them rushed out, called an ambulance, and covered her with their jackets and stayed with her while she waited to be scooped off of the sidewalk and into the bowels of the medical system. It is remarkable - she broke her hip before 9 a.m., and before 5:30 p.m. they had given her a new one.
So Lissa, Dad and I spent the day in the bowels of the medical system, trying to help Mom cope with unimagineable pain and eating ice cream. And quietly thinking about and tentatively starting to talk about what happens next. People around us in that emergency room were in far worse shape, suffering from things that could end their lives. Mom's problem is closer to being a huge hassle than a threat to her life. Now we have to think through the hassle.