Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Knee Problems

It's official, my mother in law (mil), Bil and my sister in law will be coming up later this month.  And with that, other news:

My mother in law's knee has gotten so bad that she is talking about checking out a local hospital that has been advertising about their state of the art orthopedic program.

I have knee problems (for us both, the main problem is arthritis) but no where near as bad as hers. And, I am 25 years younger than she is.  Still, when I've had times when I can barely step up on a sidewalk curb without agonizing pain, I think of her, living alone except for Bil, in a split level house.  Her bathroom and bedroom are up stairs, Bil is located down stairs, although luckily for her, not a full flight of stairs either way.  He won't volunteer any help unless she asks. 

She had an entrance built directly from the garage into her house, and that is going up and down stairs, too.  In fact, that stairs is where one of her falls occurred.

But back to my mother in law, the fact that she is even entertaining something like knee replacement surgery is a sign of just how much everyday pain she is in.  It's frightening too, in that I personally know a couple of not so good outcomes to this type of surgery (to be blunt:  one person who ended up fighting c. difficule - which at her age could be fatal-and it took months, and several trips to the ER to recover- and, someone else who did die post op, from a hospital-based  infection that the doctors never quite figured out.  (it could have been MRSA, but before the days when MRSA had a name.)

And, of course, how would we take care of Bil while she was recuperating.  She has had surgery before but it was a long time ago, back when her husband was alive and she still had (teen) children at home.  Now, she would need a caretaker.  And we are 150 miles away.  My sister in law, who lives about 20 minutes from her, would probably be elected once she was out of rehab.

I reckon we will talk more when she comes.  In fact, I don't know if she even attempted to get Bil the colonoscopy his doctor wants him to have.  She never talked to us again.  I have a feeling her physical problems have overshadowed this.

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