First Daughter, Mary Anna Phillips
After two years of pain, steroid shots, and much research, I opted for spinal surgery. It was not a difficult decision as the situation had become a quality of life issue. On March 22, I had a laminectomy (decompression surgery) and fusion L3-L5 ( two rods and six screws). I spent two nights in the hospital. My Favorite Yankee and I agreed we would need help the first week. First Daughter Mary Anna who could work from her computer drove from Winston-Salem to help. Suddenly our roles reversed. She became the mother and I the child. I cried when she left because I did not want her to go.
From the moment she arrived, she took charge with lists, organizing meals (much food delivered from friends), monitoring my medication schedule, and helping me bathe. I was not the world’s best patient. I was not prepared for the pain after this major surgery. I should have been but nevertheless, as the pain medication wore off, I found myself crying for relief and trying to find a comfortable position. My Favorite Yankee lived through it also but my daughter got up in the middle of the night and tended to my needs. She learned to anticipate when the pain would come and got me through the worst of it.
During the day, she worked on her computer and took care of me. An interior designer and manager of design services with a major health care company, she took an active role in digital meetings. I marveled at her amazing tact in various situations as well as her incredible knowledge of her field. She has arrived professionally. Her mom is proud.
When her week ended, it became very clear that I would continue to need home health care which Mary Anna helped me arrange. It was time for her to go home to her husband and my granddaughter. When she left, I cried like a child. It brought back a memory of the time I had to leave her after staying with her for ten days after my granddaughter was born. She cried as we said goodbye.
I envy many of the Southern mountain families near me who all live close together on the same mountain, cove, or road. They always have each other. I am sure such an arrangement has its downside but it sounds so appealing. Thank goodness for the digital platforms that keep me connected to my three girls.