Back home again; it was a bad reason to get together, but at least we WERE together, and we made the most of it. My mom is doing much better, but she's very tired of being tired, and sore at being sore. My dad is pretty exhausted too.
I took a redeye flight home; left my parents' house at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, took the 5 a.m. flight to North Carolina, then had to practically RUN to get to my connecting flight on the FAR END of the airport. I made it just in time, but I was extremely shaky and stiff when I got to the plane.
More traveling tips/observations:
1.) Give yourself plenty of time. Don't book a connecting flight for less than an hour after arriving at the airport. Better yet, fly nonstop.
2.) If you bring a cane with you, other people will understand that you may need help and will generally cut you some slack. I didn't have mine, and I got shoved around quite a bit. Nobody seemed to notice that I was shaky and a little less stable than some.
3.) Bring a small flashlight with you, if you're flying at night. They sometimes make it so dark in the cabin that there is a real danger of tripping over someone's feet in the aisle.
4.) Get up at least a couple of times, even if it's just to stretch in place, but make sure you're holding on to something in case of turbulence.
In general, I'm pretty proud of myself. I managed to get myself to my folks' house and back, so that nobody had to pick me up on the trip to NY. I also managed to get around in unfamiliar territory in an unfamiliar car without getting too lost. I was able to run errands and whatnot without having to get directions. I even drove my brother and his wife back to Brooklyn after their visit the first weekend, and made it back to my parents' house on my own (o.k., I had a GPS, but it still counts!).