Saturday, November 14, 2020

It Could Have Ended Much Worse

 While I was hanging onto the screen door handle for dear life and dangling off the edge of the stair landing, once I was certain that I would escape significant injury, my next thought was, "Gee. Maybe I won't tell John about this...."

My dumb stupid lack of balance had struck again. 

Did I tell you about my latest flirtation with a fractured hip?


Well. Anyone who knows me, also knows that since autoimmune disease made its appearance, my clumsiness has increased exponentially resulting in stitches, broken bones, scrapes and impressive bruises. Wasn't a pretty sight.

But since moving into our home that has a master on the main level, I have avoided catastrophic injury. Woot! Country living AND fewer emergency room visits!

The only issue as with respect to safety for klutzes was the lack of stair railings on the outdoor steps. We debated style and types of railings and whether we should completely reconfigure the entryways for two years. Since it was only two steps up, I figured we had plenty of time.

Until I was lugging three bags of groceries into the house and slipped sideways off the stoop. Which brings us to the dangling incident. 

Two days later, I came to my senses and realized that I should let John know; and by the weekend he had installed two dandy sturdy railings. 

I realized that it was not wise for me to try to hide the fact that my balance issues were still alive and well. Dumb stupid misplaced sense of pride. 

I used to be so embarrassed to use scooters in stores, but once I swallowed my pride and use them when I need them, I am perfectly content to zoom up and down the grocery store aisles without a care.

Well.......except for the time that I took a corner too sharply and took out an entire Foster Grant sunglasses display. Oops. Luckily the staff was super friendly and had things put to right quickly. 

Do you struggle with your pride keeping you from accepting or seeking help? 


Kelly said...

Oh yes, Julia! I use adaptive products wherever possible so I can still do things myself, but I'm on the edge of having to ask my hubby to thread elastic through casings when I sew. My hands are simply getting to weak to do it. That's a bridge I thought I'd never cross, but if I want to keep making things with elastic, I'll have to teach him how to use a bodkin! And don't start me on can openers!

I also have noticed a dropoff in balance lately. I figure it is just a normal part of aging. I begin to understand why older folks shuffle along with both feet in constant contact with the ground as I am rapidly becoming one of those older folks. I fight the temptation to shorten my stride and do things that challenge my vestibular system to keep it as healthy and agile as I can, but it's definitely not what it used to be. Staying upright is no longer taken for granted!

emeditator said...

Hi Julia,
Yes, I can very much relate to both dangling on the stairs AND using assistive devices.
Mid-October, I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk, with a three point landing: forehead, knee, and hand...and broke my pinky in the process. I also smushed the fresh banana nut bread under my...chest. That was more upsetting than the fall, which, by the way, was in front of a dance studio. Anyway, I was smart to get an x-ray rather than take the usual advice of "just buddy tape it". Turns out I had an intraarticular fracture of the distal joint. Lucky that my local hospital has a walk-in ortho clinic!

Then...8 days later I decided to take a photo of the moon because it was so bright. I turned off the light and went down the deck steps and...missed the last one. Landed in the backyard, knowing not to try to walk despite the lack of pain. I called my friend, who said she would be over. I was very casual about it, joking about it.
By the time she got there, I had scooted up the steps on my butt, across the kitchen, snagging a bottle of water on the way.
Had to call the squad. Bets were placed on whether both ankles were sprained or if the left was broken or looked bad. The ER diagnosed bilateral sprains, follow up with ortho. The ortho looked at the films, agreed, so I was told to use ortho boot on left ankle and limp with the right. Follow up in three weeks. Another xray, no fracture according to the radiologist but ortho looked at it and showed me the break.
I have to use a walker now, particularly when out of the house. I didn't like the idea of one, but I bought a kick-butt one on Amazon on Amazon Prime Day. I do feel self-conscious, but the other day in the drugstore, it was rather nice to have a place to sit.
I live alone and don't like to ask for help. Ever. The current Covid crisis has meant I have to ask for help shopping, etc due to both the broken ankle and SS.
Thank you for this blog. I'm so glad I found it. I apologize for the long post; feel free to delete it.
Thanks again!
(Oh, I broke my little toe on the walker last week using it in the house...of course I was barefoot...) I have been checked for osteoporosis.

Liz Jones said...

Hi Julia ~ I hope you are doing well. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.