2012

Mom broke her hip and fell on 12/12/12 (also my sister Betty's 64th birthday).  She was just getting out of her chair to go to the bedroom for a nap.  Dad was there but he could not break her fall.  She may have tripped causing her to step awkwardly.  She was taken to the Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) which is one-quarter mile from their home.  It was a bad break but the surgeon told us on Thursday (12/13) that he "can fix it."  They put Mom (bed one) on the third floor with another woman (bed two) who was also waiting for surgery.  KRMC assigns a nurse-aide to each of these rooms.  Treeva is a 27-year-old nursing student (and former used car salesperson) who will graduate in May.  She has a 5-year-old daughter and a live-in boyfriend.  Treeva took great care of my Mom and the other lady, both of whom were mostly confused about their situations.  Bed-two could not have solid food but she was constantly saying: "Can I get some food?" and "These people won't give me any food!" and "You're starving me to death!" and  "I want a ham sandwich!"  Treeva answered her every time explaining that her stomach could not handle food right now.  After a while, Mom joined the chorus when Bed-two would say: "Can I get some food?" then Mom would say "Get her some food."  Treeva said that this would be her nightmare tonight.  Finally, both patients fell asleep.  We were hoping that Mom would get her surgery on Thursday afternoon but it was postponed to Friday morning because of a surgical staffing problem.

Mom went into surgery at noon on Friday (12/14).  Because of the severity of the break, it was a 90-minute procedure.  The doctor told us that it was a complex break that had to be reconfigured like a jigsaw puzzle.  However, Mom came through the surgery without complication.  She will start physical therapy on the weekend and could be home in three to four days.  [JAM 12/14/2012]

My father will be 89 next month.  He and my 88-year-old mother will also celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary in April.  Dad was in the mood to tell war stories when I saw him this week.  I have heard most of the stories but he told one this time that I had never heard.  He said that he had not told this story because he thought that nobody would believe him.  Dad had joined the United States Navy soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  After a brief amount of training, he was assigned to the USS Maryland battleship (that had survived the Pearl Harbor bombing attack) for the duration of World War II.  The Maryland experienced significant damage and loss of lives from torpedo and kamikaze attacks during the war in the Pacific.  In April 1945, a kamikaze strike forced the battleship to return to the naval shipyard in Bremerton, Washington for repairs.  During his time at Bremerton, Dad had befriended a civilian welder on the repair crew and had been buying cigarettes for the welder from the navy base where military personnel could purchase a carton for fifty cents.  On August 3, 1945 with repairs nearing completion, Dad met his friend and told him that he had the last carton of cheap cigarettes for him because the battleship was sailing back to war against Japan.  The welder told Dad that the Maryland would never get to Japan because the island would be bombed soon and the war would be ended.  The Maryland sailed for three days but then turned around when Hiroshima was hit with an atomic bomb on August 6, 1945.   The battleship sailed back to the port of Long Beach, California where my father met my mother during the victory celebrations.  Did a civilian welder know in advance one of the most highly guarded secrets in our history?  My Dad thinks he did.  [JAM 3/20/2012]