The boot is on the other foot

in The LIFESTYLE LOUNGE2 years ago (edited)


As children we are taught to be obedient to our elders and do as they say!

But there comes a time in your life when the roles are reversed and then it's the older generation's turn to listen!

My tiny little Mom Lily will be 90 in September but still is fiercely independent with a will of her own.

This strong little woman always took good care of her health, was an avid walker up till her late 70s and used to put me to shame when we went for long walks!

Five years ago however, out of the blue, her legs turned to jelly and she could not get out of the bath!
Alarm bells started ringing and I knew something very serious was wrong!

To cut a long story short, we ended up in the rooms of an empathetic young neurosurgeon who explained that Mom had an Acoustic Neuroma.
OK, I know that sounds like some musical instrument, but music to our ears it was not and it was the cause of Mom's deaf ear which also would be the least of our worries in the days to come!

MRI of Mom Lily's brain (Anna Elizabeth or Lily of the Valley as her one aunt called her)

This is a benign brain tumour that sits in the lower brain and it already was the size of a golf ball; the specialist suspected it had been there for at least 20 years and that it had grown very slowly.

As Mom was super fit, her body adjusted to having this ‘golf ball’ in her head and coped very well until cranial fluid build-up affected her balance and even her speech.

He explained that there was some hope as an older person’s brain starts to shrink ever so slightly, making more space for the tumour thus causing less damage.

The decision was made to perform a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt procedure to relieve pressure on the brain by draining the cranial fluid.
Mom calls it her own plumbing system; there's a small valve one has to check from time to time but I don't touch it as the neurosurgeon said she would know immediately when it was blocked.

VP Shunt.jpg
This is a very good illustration of the VP shunt procedure. Image Source

Last year just before lockdown Mom had a second MRI which showed that her brain is refusing to shrink fast enough and sadly the tumour is getting bigger affecting her balance in a bad way!

She has tried a number of walking aids; from three legged walking sticks to walkers with and without wheels BUT she discards them all; the latest one has become a towel rail/ clothes hanger even though this was the one recommended by the physiotherapist for her condition!

That will all change from here on though, as she fractured her right ankle last Monday so now is in a cast for 6 weeks!
She initially tried to convince me that her ankle was only sprained, but this pic told a different story!


We have been ultra careful to avoid medical centres by having telephonic consults with the doctor for our chronic meds, but now ended up in the hospital's x-ray department where someone looking very much like a Covid patient with a glass/plastic cage around their upper body was wheeled past!

Second X-Ray being taken at the hospital to determine the foot alignment with the cast on.

Funny that I also fractured my right ankle about 9 years ago and even though my foot is twice the size of Mom's, I have to take my moonboot along when we visit the orthopedic surgeon in three weeks time as he believes he may be able to remove the cast then and place her into my moonboot.


The surgeon would have operated and placed two pins in if Mom was younger as the medial malleolus bone on the tibia plays an important role in the foot alignment. Mom at nearly 90 however refuses, understandably, and the surgeon respected her decision and further told us that the alignment is acceptable for her age!

So now I'm playing Mommy and Mom Lily is having to be the obedient child, or else!

She has already undertaken to never try walking without the aid of the walker or walking stick ever again, as she simply hates feeling so helpless.

Hubby bought a couple of aids to make life a little easier, so each day is getting better as we find different ways of moving from the chair to the ablutions; I am no nurse by any means!


I needed an alert system and this nurses bell works much better than the old-fashioned bell that one bangs and is still found on some reception desks, certainly did not wake me up in the middle of the night!

Nurses bell.jpg


As our property is on varying levels, there are stairs to climb from the parking area down to the house, and when we got back from the hospital and called our faithful gardener Bonginkosi to come and assist, he stopped hubby and simply picked Mom Lily up as if she was a baby.
Mom said she felt so safe and will not let anyone else carry her next time she has to go up and down the stairs;)

Lesson for the older generation - you sometimes need to listen to the kids or even the grandkids, as they sometimes do know better; and that you're never too old to learn!

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I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom, @lizelle. It certainly is tough as they get older. I always chuckle to myself when I'm feeling frustrated that they didn't listen to me. I think to myself...this is what they must've felt like when I was a teenager. My Mom is unsteady on her feet now too and since she's living by herself I want to get her an Apple Watch because it has fall detection but she said she won't wear it. Sigh.

this is what they must've felt like when I was a teenager...

Very true for many of us my friend!
But the unsteadiness must be a big concern especially now that your Mom lives alone. My Mom hid many a bump from us as I would see bruises and she'd try to brush it aside as nothing!
I suppose we'll be the same one day, I'm getting pretty close to it already and would not want my kids to see that I'd had some near misses so I can understand your Mom not wanting the watch;)
Stay warm & take care my friend!

I am truly amazed at your moms resilience and also her amazing attitude toward something incredibly challenging. "Her plumbing system" lol. I really hope that she has a trouble free recovery. I can see where you get your strength of character from Lizelle. What you have both had to go through is not an easy thing!


Thank you for the kind words @jaynie but one thing that really helps, is to try and see the funny side of things, some of the little mishaps has given us quite a few giggles already. But she gets down in the dumps at times, and it's only natural but luckily bounces back quickly:)

All a part ofbthe process and journey I suppose love. You have to find the funny in life.


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Thank you so very much for the support, really appreciate it!

You guys are in our hearts and in our prayers since we met my friend.
But I think that you know this 🌼

I do know that, thank you my dear friend, it's good to know there are people like you and Marion in this world🤗


She does look like a baby in that header photo because of the way the gardener carried her.
For a minute I was wondering how she got a black grandson or even son until I read he was but a gardener.
I am so sorry about your mom's health.
I hope things are getting a little better now?

LOL, she's a tiny old gal and Bonginkosi is like family to us;)
We're getting into a rhythm but will be another 4 weeks in the cast :(
Thank you for the good wishes!

Oh the I think it's going to be just fine

Thank you @zellypearl, it's just gona take time :)

Now why if I may ask is there so little action on this post?
Especially as we all will hopefully get that age one day.

This is a very well detailed post Lady Lizzy and thankfully I know all about the Tibea and the Thibea bones in the leg due to my many operations.
The brain tumour is a worry and thankfully you guys have sorted out the stairs issue with that kind gentleman.

Thankfully also mom Lily is a strong woman and as long as she uses the walking aids she will hopefully be alright. I also hate the stuff, but at times these things happen to us to prevent more serious damages.

Such is life my friend and please tell your mom that she is in our prayers.

Blessings and !BEER

Thank you so much for that my friend, and I'm sure Mom will listen to the doc from here on as she's not happy ringing that bell for attention;)
So you've also been in the wars by the sound of it!
Take care my friend.

Shame, she is so used to helping herself that ringing that bell must be a real pain.
I can understand how she feels, as I used to drag myself down a long passage to get to the toilet.
The leg will heal in some way, but she is going to feel it for a long time.
I am more worried about that thing in her brain.
All of our prayers to you and her!

The problem is the little bit of independence Mom had is now totally gone and she's not happy! We're just thankful that she's not in pain and at least she'll have to see the physiotherapist who will teach her how to walk properly with the walker. Mom's a real rebel, tried running with the walker which of course nearly sent her tumbling, so it had to be put away forthright!
Enjoy your beautiful world down in the Cape my friend.

Ah, I love your moms character my friend.
I have not yet had the chance to race with a walker, but I can do hand stands on crutches and other tricks, as I spent a long time on them.

So now you have repossesed her walker, but I am sure that she will pull some other tricks, as it keeps our active minds busy 🤣

Blessings to you guys and don't give your mom !WINE
As she might fix wheels to her bed and travel down the Main road🤣

Haha you are so funny my friend, love your sense of humour:):)
No I did not repossess it, Mom discarded it and turned it into a clothes horse. I think she walked like that on purpose as she didn't want to use it from the beginning;)
I have to be firm with her as she's trying to move from her chair to the commode on her own with only 1 good leg! Told her this morning I'm going to give her a spanking;)

Hahaha, only one answer here for mom my friend.
Go down to the police station and ask them for a set of bangles (handcuffs).
Then you cuff the good leg to the chair and voila, problem solved.
Oh, cut a hole in the chair and put the commode under the chair hahaha.

She can then sit and watch her clothes drying on her walker invention 🤣
You will also have to get a set of ear plugs so that you can't hear her irritated screams 😜
Just some sage advice here 🤣

Blessings and !WINE

...cut a hole in the chair and put the commode under the chair...

Hahaha, that would be the best invention yet as my poor back doesn't want to bend anymore! Mom will enjoy that one;);)

I wish your mom a good recovery from the fracture, and as few problems as possible from the tumor because it sounds a bit stupid to say the same about that part. I think it's quite telling how strong she is though if the tumor has been there for 20 years already! Quite the fighter, I'd say! Take care!

Yes that tumour sat there without her knowing about it for many years, the only warning signs were tinnitus and the deaf ear! She's a little fighter but then they say dinamite comes in small packages not so.
Appreciate your kind wishes!

Hey @lizelle, here is a little bit of BEER from @papilloncharity for you. Enjoy it!

Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking your BEER.

Mom Lilly is a tough old gal, makes up her mind and goes for it.

One can only imagine how frustrated she must get realizing her independence is diminishing, thanks goodness for Bonginkosi being around the home to help.

People come into our lives with good reason @lizelle not so?

Have a wonderful day and thanks for explaining the problems Mom is facing.

People come into our lives with good reason...

So very true Joan, I was the one to say we don't need Bonginkosi way back then, but he's proven to be invaluable here at Lily's Cottage especially since the hard lockdown last year!
That final loss of independence is what Mom is finding hard but before this fall, she used to give us many a scare with all the little falls. She used to say that she's learned how to fall but this time all that learning did not help;)
At least Mom will learn how to use the walker properly once she starts physio.
Have a wonderful weekend Joan and thanks for popping in!

Bones just don't bounce back like they used to, older we get the more we have to watch our footing.

Hopefully Mom will be back on the mend, then able to scoot around again. Sure she sits in the kitchen still giving advice 😁 wishing you and your family a wonderful weekend.

She's barking orders just like you say, I told her I'm going to give her a spanking if she continues being cheeky;)
Hot again here!

Yes the few day of reprieve are out the window, back to the heat once again.

Good sign if Mom is sitting and barking orders, be sure she drinks her tea or water!

A good run of bad luck as we say in the USA, but wow she is real survivor. I hope I stay healthy and active that long too. !wine

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Mom's a real survivor indeed @justinparke, she used to be super fit until this tumor got a little too big! We've had a couple of good old laughs with me trying to do acrobatics in moving her around; I'm not a nurse at all;) Fortunately Mom's humor is still there!
PS thanks for the wine;)

So sorry to read about your mom's health. It is no easy road. Was she living with you before? Good luck with everything.

Mom's been living with us for many years already, lived in the granny cottage on her own for 8 years after Dad passed away.
It's been really difficult with the ankle now, but we're slowly finding ways to make life a little easier. At least it's also provided us with some real funny moments, I believe it's vital to keep one's sense of humour at times like this;)
Thanks for the encouragement @hope777!