I have a fortnightly arrangement with my girlfriends C and Z. We meet up on Monday, have coffee or lunch with our kids (C's elder son is in childcare on Mondays so we have three little ones with us). It's like a little support group or a mini mothers' group and it's good for all of us. Last fortnight I was a bit stunned because Jill had called me to tell me that she was leaving my dad and this fortnight my bad news was that my mother is going to have major surgery. More news that was not entirely unexpected, but still managed to throw me.
I've known for a while that she has been having dramas with her back and neck, and that she had seen a specialist who had ordered an MRI and had an appointment to go back and see the specialist to discuss the MRI results. In the morning, just after Asher had woken up from his morning sleep as I was planning my day around my lunch with C and Z Mum called me. She told me that she'd just been to see Dr F and that me that the news was not as good as she'd hoped.
The back-story is that my mother has a metal (Harrington) rod in her back, put in when she was around 30. She has early osteoporosis, fusing vertebrae and bone spurs growing into her spinal chord. The doctor had told her the it was likely that she would have a some physio and anti-inflammatories but the MRI showed that there is spinal chord compression and Dr F feels quite strongly that surgery is the only sensible option now. He even went as far as to say that a blow to the head or neck could relatively easily make her a para- or quadriplegic. She had a terrible time with her original surgery (fairly experimental surgery, a 3 year old, a 6 month old, no local friends or family, a bowel obstruction then month of living with a plaster on her torso) and was dreading the prospect of any further surgery.
Anyhow, mum called me because she couldn't get hold of Jim and she had this new and full-on information and she didn't have anything to 'do' with it. She told me she had to go and get a few more x-rays and a CT scan so I told her that I'd meet her at the hospital so I put the baby in the BabyBjorn (the pram was in the car, which Sanj had driven to work) and trooped through the 31 C degree day to the hospital. I made it there hot and bothered but it was good to be able to be there for mum. We joked around as she filled in a few scary details, she had her X-ray and CT scan and we had coffee and chatted. She always takes so much pleasure in Asher's company which always makes me happy. I then caught the bus up to Crows Nest and met with C and Z and their little ones. Later Sanjay, Asher and I went to dinner at the pizzeria for dinner with Mum, Clare, Tim and his girlfriend and mum processed by drinking almost as much as Tim. Apparently she felt terrible this morning but I think that is was a pretty reasonable reaction to such news.
Her surgery is scheduled for the end of January at North Shore Private. I'm pleased that it's within walking distance but freaking out a bit about the rest of it. Next post will be a happy one - I need to give an update on the little one's development!