Bear’s surgery was a phenomenal success!~Time to Celebrate!
Its been a month since we painfully got Bear together for the journey to the Dearborn Surgery Center in Fremont. Her right hip discomfort had become unmanageable. Some nights, I would receive such disturbing calls. typically at the 3 am hour, crying for help to relieve the pain. My brother Michael in Portland felt helpless as well, receiving similar calls. We both knew there were risks involved in replacing the arthritic joint of a 91 year old, but her quality of life had so greatly diminished. On the last visit prior to surgery, Mom’s primary physician, Dr. Vu said “ Beverly, you can do this”. He, like so many others in the medical field, had such great confidence in Dearborn & Associates Institute For Join Restoration. Their professionalism and care has been incredible and Bear’s spirit has remained strong throughout.
To recap, apparently, Bear chatted throughout the surgery entertaining the surgery crew and anesthesiologist. Thankfully, she was not put under full anesthesia which can be problematic with seniors who have “ senior” moments. On her first of three nights at the hospital, Bear’s eyes were alert and she eagerly awaited dinner to be delivered. I “slept” in a fairly comfortable recliner at night while Michael and his partner Dan would relieve me during the day. I would snooze at their hotel, then take a dip in the pool. For a moment, it felt like a surreal vacation as my body was soothed by water and my thoughts were hopeful. The news of the virus was beginning to unfold as we watched CNN from mom’s hospital bed. On March 5th, we transferred mom to Pacific Coast Manor in Santa Cruz for what might have been 3 weeks of Rehab.
Dr. Dearborn could move forward with surgery when Michael and I assured him that we would provide 24/7 bedside observation while in the Hospital and at Rehab. A team of friends rallied together and made this happen. We are so grateful. At night, we were able to hire two amazing women who worked their day jobs then covered for us each evening. Michael, Dan, Nellie and I so appreciate the support so many people gave us. The fund raiser allowed us to provide the level of care and attention Bear needed during this critical stage of healing. The visits, cards, flowers, calls, meals, borrowed vans, Nicaraguan Rum ;) and donations were such a gift to our family.
We look forward to getting back on the water and there are still space on all rosters for our Bear Fund raiser: April 26th(tentative) May 9th, May 24th and June 6th
On March 20th, we moved Bear from Rehab to our humble abode. “Bear” was scheduled to return to assisted living, but we felt she was safest with us, rather than communal living. The adventures continue and our 16 year old mutt, Foxy is thrilled by the Bear news. Foxy stands guard throughout the day, rarely leaving mom’s side. My partner Nellie has stood by me and teams up each day as we navigate care for mom. I would not be able to pull this off without “Saint” Nellie’s unyielding support. Michael and Dan call throughout the day cheering mom on, lifting her spirits and giving those 91 years great motivation to live. When shelter in place is lifted, Michael and Dan are planning a visit.
Bear working hard at Physical Therapy
Ten days ago, when Bear left Rehab she took a step or two. Several people mentioned that she may never really walk again. Bear had a different agenda. We started moving the Porta Potty a few inches further each day. After three days with us, Bear was suddenly panicked regarding the whereabouts of her jewelry. She insisted on walking into the other room and with a hand by her side, off she went! Bear is now walking daily, always with one of us ready to catch. Soon, we will start working on her tap dancing moves!
Mai Tais to Go.....what a Concept!
During these troubling times, our family has found a silver lining. Under our home care and the help of visiting nurses, OT and PT, Bear remains so positive and engaged. Each day she gets physically stronger. Our hope is that our friends and family remain healthy, and soon some sense of normalcy will return to our lives. When Nellie and I get back to work, we hope to transition mom back to Sunshine Villa Assisted living. This will be a new adjustment not only for her but for us. I will miss her commentary from our recliner! However, with her new hip, we can take her for drives along our coast and bring her back to our home for daily visits while I tap away on my computer.
Representing our family, we thank you…..as we now say, it takes a village to raise a Bear!
Check out my facebook page for videos and updates from a near Dancing Bear: https://www.facebook.com/kim.powell.3367
Go Bear Go!!
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
127 Mason St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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