My mother-in-law lives three-quarters of the continent away and she will be 88 in early April. About a week and a half ago she slipped and fell. Nothing new. Old people slip and fall. I slip and fall. And I don’t like it one little bit. I slipped and fell on a rainy street corner in San Francisco six or seven years ago and when Mr. B and Miss B tried to help me up, I told them to leave me there to DIE.
I can’t even imagine what it feels like when you’re pushing 90.
It took them until the day before yesterday to realize that she’d broken a rib. Really? An 88-year-old woman slips and falls and it doesn’t occur to you to do an x-ray? Oh and she fractured a vertebra. I, too, have a fractured vertebra. It’s been fractured for a long time and I knew my back hurt — only now I know why. Oddly, knowing did not help.
Once again, I cannot imagine how that must hurt at 88, along with a broken rib.
They found the broken vertebra when they did an MRI yesterday (I guess the broken rib was enough to kick the level of care up another notch) and right there, putting pressure on the fractured vertebra is a meningioma, which they think is benign.
How do you tell by looking at an MRI whether a tumor is benign? Where were these people educated?
WERE these people educated?
Is it good that she slipped and fell so they found the tumor? Are the broken rib and fractured vertebra worth this new, possibly frightening, information?
Tonight she is being taken by ambulance to the Big City to see a neurosurgeon to see what they can see. I have a million questions, which I would not have had she fallen in California: Are they going to do a biopsy? Are they trying to manage her pain? Are they contemplating surgery? On her spinal cord? How dangerous is that? How dangerous is that for an 88-year-old woman?
She and I had an enormous falling out when Mr. B was going through cancer treatments, but we have done much to mend the fences in the five years since. We’re not the best of friends, but she deserves better care than she’s getting although, to be honest, she’s probably getting the best care available in her corner of the country.
Which frightens me.
We are all worried, but I am the DNA outsider here, so my role is only supportive and I am very careful with not letting my thoughts turn into words — words like, “This is the United States! We have health care here! What’s wrong with these people?”
And my questions have no answers.