It Only Happens to the Living
As I age I have become more fearful of all the things the world tells you to be worried about. And I am not talking about sagging breasts, crepe skin and droopy eyelids. What I am talking about is ladders, showers, stairs and slippery sidewalks. Even raising a puppy in our mature years is considered a risk.
But a chirping smoke detector?
Picture this. Its 12:30 at night and I am up for my first of many potty breaks when I hear the sound of a chirp. I go to investigate and find that Thad had already been on the phone with Alarm Company who stated that the offending smoke detector is “not one of theirs”. We begin to listen and search for one of the many detectors that were installed when the home was built some 13 years prior to the installation of the alarm system. We think we have found it and feel blessed that it is in the guest bedroom hallway which has lower ceilings. Thad’s neuropathy in his feet means he is verboten from climbing a ladder. While I have an inner ear imbalance and afraid of heights; as long as it’s not more than four steps and the ladder has hand rails I do fairly well. Thad sets the ladder up, I climb up, and climb down having removed what I think is the offending battery. You thought I was going to fall off the ladder, right?
Really? So we start looking up at the ceilings in the vicinity to see where the sound was coming from. Looking up for smoke detectors; I walked into the guest room, forgetting that I have leaned a 30 x 6 inch board across the doorway to keep our puppy, Liesl, off the carpet. I proceeded to catapult onto the carpet (thank God!) and onto my left hip (not so good since it has been dislocated twice already). I felt a movement within the hip that made me think the hip ball had come out of its socket and then back in. I didn’t move for a minute and then with the help of Thad and the nearby bed got up to assess the damage.
I could stand! I could put my weight on the left foot which meant my hip wasn’t dislocated! But as I tried to walk the pain in my inner thigh and hip made me wonder if this is what a fracture felt like.
A cane made walking even more perilous so Thad had to climb the ladder (Oh, please God keep him safe!) to get my old walker off the top of the garage cabinets. By now it was 1:30 am and neither one of us were at our finest.
A visit to the orthopedic clinic and an x-ray showed no discernible cracks or fractures in the hip or my pelvis. Yippee! I was amazed at how X-rays have become so much clearer – you can see the muscle and outlining areas with such clarity. What I noticed is that not only am I sagging and droopy on the outside but on the inside as well. You could tell this x-ray was of a 65 year old female and she had been through a lot and folks – needed a lot of help.
I am now convalescing at home with ice, elevation and rest (rest not being my strong suite). Since it appears “Wally Walker” and I will be spending time together I have dressed it up with a walker bag organizer with more pockets than on the space station and all courtesy of Amazon and one day delivery.
I learned a few things from this experience. A. Baby gates make much better deterrents for a wandering and curious puppy. Again courtesy of Amazon and one day delivery – they love us. B. Anything can be a hazard for those in their sixth and seventh decade. C. This is Liesl’s introduction to durable medical equipment – necessary when living with two geriatric people. She’s smart for she accepted ‘Wally Walker” without more than a single bark, a lengthy and significant sniff session, and only an initial attempt at chewing the wheels. Good dog!
As I hobble around, in pain, feeling sorry for myself and missing my playtime and training time with Liesl; I learned one more and most important thing:
This is what happens when you are living life. Life happens. And this is a part of living. And while I will continue to be more aware of possible threats for the aging, I will not curtail living my life. As my mother used to say “It only happens to the living and this sure beats the alternative.”
Besides, I have too many play dates with my husband, daughter, grandchildren and Liesl.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it. Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!
I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.