Catching my breath part 2

smurfLast week I posted about my sister-in-law and her broken arm. If you missed it you can find it here.

It was a bad break. My SIL is on the other side of 80 but fiercely independent. (Her 80 is the new 60.) With bad knees and a fracture at the shoulder joint, it isn’t easy.

There were a lot of adjustments to make, like stair glides, high toilets and recliners that lift you out of the chair. My brother has done most of the arrangements. Sometimes I weigh in. (I like to think of myself as eye candy with some logic. Stop laughing!)

There were x-rays and scans and doctor appointments (oh my!). Friday we got the news. BAD, BAD BREAK! She requires a shoulder replacement. We were blindsided assuming that any surgery would be about pins and screws. That was a terrifying solution. Surgery at that age is scary.

The doc had sample joints and did a lot of “splainin” until we got to a point where we could breathe. (We were looking like blue smurfs. Not a good look for eye candy.)

We are getting ready for the surgery with the right clothes, comfy throws and stuff we didn’t think of yet.

Something that struck me was the resilience of them both. I have always admired my brother. He’s not perfect (he got Mom’s stubborn gene!) but he is a kind and caring person.

Where some folks duck and bob when it comes to helping out, he’s right in there with both feet. He knows stuff. He can fix most anything. You can count on him. He won’t ever let you holding the bag. Not ever!

During this whole mess I saw the love he has for my sister-in-law. Her comfort and health is his number one priority. He struggles with decisions, working to make sure each one is the right one. He is her advocate.

This is all stuff we take for granted. What happens when something tragic happens? Are you in it for the long haul? Can you pull behaviors out of yourself that you didn’t know you had?

There are a lot of people out there who are. I’ve heard the stories. Long term illnesses. Aging parents. Handicapped children.

There are so many people who make adjustments to their lives to accommodate others. Makes me feel so humble.

Surgery is next week. I’m sure with two crazy folks (that’s not including me) there will be a post on that. SIL is expected to spend a night or two in the hospital. Guaranteed she will know the name and family life of every caretaker within earshot.

 

42 thoughts on “Catching my breath part 2

  1. Thinking of your brother and sis-in-law. Sending good thoughts that all goes well and her recovery is a quick and complete recovery. Your brother and sis-in-law will make it through this because they have each other and you! Being busy and having things to do and people to see is a great motivator to heal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Eye candy with some logic.” Sorry, but I did laugh at that. 😉

    Your brother sounds like a saint. I’d hate him for being something I’m not sure I can ever be, if he didn’t also sound like a great guy at the same time. I’ll keep your sister-in-law in my thoughts…

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  3. Your description of both your brother and sister-in-law makes me want to know them. It’s so lovely to picture their devotion to each other at this age, and I simply admire people who remain kind and caring when their own lives become difficult. I guess a shoulder replacement is like any other surgery of that kind (hip, knee), but I’ve never actually heard of it. I would think this procedure would be a bigger deal upfront, but then be less complicated for her down the line. Blessings to them both–and YOU, too!

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  4. Your SIL is lucky to have such a wonderful husband and caring SIL. I had the pleasure of observing my brother’s caretaker side when we were caring for our parents as they started to decline. He was always right there with me – and he performed certain tasks much better than I could. I always knew he was a good guy, but I was so grateful to see him in action. I’m sure a shoulder replacement at 80 won’t be easy to recover from, but it sounds like she has the inner strength and support to come through it just fine.

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  5. I’ve had knee replacements, but I’ve never heard anyone talk about shoulder replacements. Please write about it and keep us posted on your SIL. Your family sounds remarkable, and I pray your SIL will mend easily and quickly.

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  6. I always admire the folks who don’t dither and moan — they just jump right in and do what needs to be done. My family is practical.

    There’s a lot of dithering in my husband’s family, mainly because they have to wait for the Patriarch to see the writing on the wall. Sometimes he doesn’t.

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  7. Thoughts are with you, your SIL and brother. He sounds so much like my Hubby, who’s been an absolute brick lately and has his own problems pending.
    Love the Smurfs in your post Kate. Glad to say I’ve got one of my own now!
    PMA rules. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve always said there come a time in any relationship where you find out everything you need to know about someone. Caregiving is one of those times. Your brother sounds like a good man. I pray she mends quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am looking after a friend who is 87, also fiercely independent who refuses home help of any kind, is deaf, fragile, and is seemingly living on books, juices, fruits and one orange cat! her children are abroad! I visit often and am always dreading what I will find. But she is somehow managing, many miles away, always cheerful, always greedy to check out the next book I have got for her. she is rich so is able to afford many books and ravenously gobbles them up which is the happiest part of meeting her!

    Liked by 1 person

      • her children are abroad and concerned and call her often plus she is very brave too and loves life which helps. these days she is able to coax me to get her liquor chocolates and she is a diabetic! but somehow it is that joy of living which keeps her going. I hope your sister in law will come out of the hospital well and fit. Your brother sounds so wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

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