Thursday 24 March 2022

Nine Days Post-Surgery and Back to School

I'm very happy to report that my mother's doing well after her cataract surgery and there don't appear to be any issues with healing. We have the critical first week behind us. We are finished with the antibiotic eye drops and will be using the steroid drop for the remainder of the month post-op. It's still four times a day, but without the additional 20-minute wait between the two kinds of drops. I contacted the doctor's office to explain my concern about my mother rubbing her eyes, and was told by the receptionist that the eye should be well healed after the first week (because she had the foldable lens implant which requires a smaller incision with no stitches), and so Mom's patch can come off permanently.

She has finally noticed the improvement and is thinking she would like to have her other eye done after all. It will mean a repeat of the drops and patch but it will be worth it. She seems much more cheerful and can see things she hasn't seen in a long time. For example, she used to forget to water her plants because she couldn't see they were in trouble. I'm looking forward to seeing what other improvements the surgery brings to her.

Her memory is not any better, but then I didn't expect it to be. But I'm so glad she's had this done.

There was a bit of a bump one day when I arrived to do her eye drops and found her chopping away with her snow shovel at a semi-frozen pile of old snow in her yard. She was not supposed to be doing anything to put pressure on her eye, such as lifting or heavy housework, and we had talked about that a number of times. She probably forgot those conversations but when I reminded her that what she was doing could be harmful to her eye, she became very huffy and wanted to know where I got that information. When I said it was in the instructions she had been given after surgery, she switched arguments and said she didn't see how it could hurt, and what did I suggest she do, stay inside all day forever? 

Have I mentioned how feisty my mother is? Perhaps contrary is the word I have used. They both apply.

Anyhow, after a couple of uncomfortably icy visits which I had to make due to the eye drop schedule, she forgot about it and things are fine again.

Once again, I learned something.

To protect my own sanity and my heart, I need to try not to get lulled into thinking that just because she's been in a good mood for a few days she won't get mad at me if I cross her in any way. Her determination to do whatever she wants and to justify doing it regardless of the impact on herself and others is not new to her dementia. But it's trickier now because I can't just step back from her the way I could before. So I am moving ahead with the intent to take the easy days as they come, to be unsurprised by the bad days, and just keep plodding ahead.

Hah. We'll see how that works out :)


So, my people, I want to ask you a question.

Just like in English class in school, when the teacher would give you a quote and ask you to write what you think about it, I'm going to do the same.

The quote is:

"You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving."

(Quote by Amy Carmichael)
What do you think? I'm interested because I can't seem to figure out if I agree with it or not.
Please Note: Unlike school, your participation is completely optional 😀


Meanwhile, a few funnies to carry us through at least the time it takes to read them, I hope:




Note from Donkey: I have actually done this. More than once. What can I say. I guess I had it coming too.


That's it for today. Hope you're having a good one.


Elephant's Child said...

Good luck with being able to take the good days without any expectation that they will set a trend. I failed on that front. Repeatedly.
But hooray for them just the same - and I am very pleased that your mama has noticed some improvement.
The quote? I am still thinking. Mind you it is also prodding me with thoughts about the quote which says that you cannot love anyone if you do not love yourself. Which I don't agree with.
Thanks for the funnies. As always. And hugs.

Mr. Shife said...

So glad to hear that your mother is doing well. Great news, jenny_o. I really love all of the memes but I can connect with the cat remaining calm one the most this week. Take care.

Diane Henders said...

It's wonderful that your mother is seeing/noticing things that had been lost to her before! Here's hoping that it improves her mood and gives you a break from her ire.

I don't know about the quote. One can definitely give without loving, and at first glance I thought the second half of the quote made sense, too. But I can think of some instances where true (and difficult) love is expressed by NOT giving. Not giving in to a loved one's damaging attitudes, not giving money to loved ones who would spend it on their addictions... I think love is a little too complicated to be summed up that concisely.

dinthebeast said...

I have found that it's easy to take eyesight for granted and miss how much more effort small tasks require when it's not good, so a sense of relief is understandable when it improves. I still catch myself trying to straighten glasses that aren't there all these years later.
I guess I think that loving and giving are interrelated, but I don't claim to know which comes first. Does remind me of a compliment I once received from my friend Jack though. He told me that he sometimes admired my toughness, and that being tough wasn't about how much you can dish out, but how much you can take.
I told him that on a good day it's more about how much you can give.
I hope your mom is OK with one good eye and one mediocre one. My doctors warned me that between surgeries the difference could cause headaches, but I never had one. Perhaps because my right eye was already way better than my left?
As for the funnies, I bought a new power supply for this laptop online from Best Buy back in 2016 and I still get ads for laptop power supplies...

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Thank you for the update.It is good news. I hope for more stamina for you.
Re the quote, I'm not comvinced. Can you give without love? If yes, why do it? And is it giving if you do not love? I'm more convinced that the second half is true - that if you love, you want to give.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to agree with the statement, but truthfully I cannot. Love comes in too many forms.

Susan Kane said...

Bless you. You sure have had a load on your shoulders.

Marie Smith said...

The improved vision must be wonderful for your mother. Getting the other eye done will make the world crystal clear again. You are a wonderful daughter, Jenny!

Martha said...

Wonderful news that your mom is doing so well. I am going to start saying "fair enough" from now on and get on with my day, especially when dealing with people I don't want to deal with. Has a nice ring to it! LOVED all the funny stuff you shared. I might have to shamelessly steal some of it. HAHA

messymimi said...

Heeheehee! Those are going to keep me giggling for a bit. My microwave, indeed.

Yes, a person can give without loving. People can be guilted into donating money, or do so for attention. Giving can be done as a means to an end, or as a form of manipulation.

Love gives. It can't help but give, and it gives for the right reasons.

River said...

I have done the self-punching thing too many times also. I'm not even going to think about that quote.
Good to hear the surgery has been a success and now your mother is willing to have the second one.

Bonnie said...

It's great to hear that your Mother's eyesight is improving and especially that she notices it. You are so sweet to go over there four times a day when I know it must be difficult. Your attitude to keep plodding ahead one day at a time is a good one. It's not easy to be unsurprised by the bad days but learning to accept them for what they are and then moving on is healthier for you.

I do believe you can give without loving. When you donate food, money, or clothing to a disadvantaged person you are helping them but you don't love them because you don't know them. However, when you love the love in itself is a great gift.

I love the funny on the artists that painted food. I never thought about it but it certainly does compare to all the pictures of food on social media! I guess some people have always worshipped their food! The falling cat is also great. Cats are so good at acting calm!

Take care Jenny!

Steve Reed said...

I agree with the quote!

You may be surprised at how the improved eyesight affects your mom's cognition. I suspect that being able to see more clearly will give her a boost.

jenny_o said...

EC: I'm sure I will fail too, even with the best of intentions :) I agree with you about the quote you mentioned. I think that one is a well-intentioned reminder to love oneself, yet still a platitude. I am wary of platitudes, which I think both of these quotes are. Hugs to you, too, dear friend.

Mr. S: Thank you, and good luck staying calm as your cat tree of life leans to one side :)

Diane: I'm already noticing a difference in Mom's mood and hope it lasts, generally speaking. I know we all have bad days but she was having a lot of them; no wonder. I was thinking the same as you about the second part of the quote. I think at one time it was called tough love.

Doug: I think you're right about toughness. There are so many nuances to EVERYTHING that short phrases don't tell the whole story. That's kind of funny about the ads you're still getting from a 2016 purchase. Maybe it's time to buy something else! Or not :) My mom is already convinced that her other eye needs the operation, too. It's a relief, in a way, and another stressor, in a different way, but the good outweighs the negative for sure.

Charlotte: The surgery has made such a difference for Mom already. She is seeing things she hasn't noticed for years, like the birds outside! Thank you for your thoughts on that quote. I agree, when we love, we want to give.

Andrew: I think you're right, love is too multi-faceted to be reduced to a simple thing.

Susan: It's been hard but seems to be a bit easier lately. Maybe I'm just feeling a bit stronger and that makes the difference.

Marie: Already Mom is enjoying things more, and that makes it easier on me in so many ways too. She can follow a conversation more easily because she can see whatever we are talking about. We have more TO talk about. It's been a very good thing. I try to be a good daughter but I know I have fallen short, maybe because the situation is difficult, maybe because I have more to learn about being good. It's something I think about quite a bit.

jenny_o said...

Martha: I actually do know someone who says "fair enough" when he may not agree with the other person. He does it in a way that makes you feel he really means it, and I've noticed how it defuses awkward situations. I need to use it more myself! And steal away - that's how I get ALL my stuff - lol

Mimi: Those are great points about the quote; thanks for doing the exercise and sharing them. The microwave timer thing really does have the potential to be confusing; I wonder if the inventors agonized over that :)

River: I always find it comforting when other people admit to doing things I do but no one else admits to. Thanks for that! lol

Bonnie: The visits are much easier now - first, they are shorter; second, we have more to talk about because she can see better! It's amazing, really. Thank you for your thoughts on the quote. Good point about love being a gift in itself; so true.

Steve: I wasn't sure whether there could be better cognitive function once Mom was seeing better, but I'm interested to find out. Certainly our interactions are already less repetitive because she has new stuff to talk about as she sees better! That's a big win. I admire your certainty about that quote being right!

baili said...

i am really very happy for your mother that her vision of one eye is better now ,i think the happiness she is feeling right now will keep her calm to some extent and this will come to you in better form for sure .

it makes me happier to think about her and the joy she must be feeling after getting back her eye sight Jenny ,this is such a nice news for me too .

you are exceptionally wise to be careful with her and her temperament , this will surly help you both to spend time together peacefully as things we can't control are better to leave upon higher force (my opinion)

i agree with quote but i will add to it that "giving" is essential part of "love" and when we give someone whom we don't love we still are in live with "goodness" in which we believe or "Maker" in which we have absolute faith and our giving is because we want to make him happy with us . so there is still love in scenario of "giving" in my opinion

jenny_o said...

baili: Thank you for your thoughts on the quote - good points indeed. And it is good to share nice news with others who then feel happy about it too! There is a saying in English: A burden shared is a burden halved; a joy shared is a joy doubled. I have always liked that saying!

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Your mom DOES sound fiesty! I remember my mom arguing like that. Usually, when we got to the point where my side of the argument was irrefutable, she'd end by saying, "That's what I was saying all along!"
I would tear my hair!
I don't know where you find your funnies, but they absolutely make my day!!!