Last week was just about the worst week of my life — well, this year anyway. I should have known I was in for it when I fell out of bed late Tuesday night. Yes, I know, that’s supposed to be impossible since I installed the bed rail, but neither you nor I counted on my genius overcoming all odds. You see, when I installed said rail, I needed another person to help me in order to anchor the thing to the bed. Since I didn’t have another person available, I used my brain and figured out that the weight of the mattress, to say nothing of the weight of the person actually in the bed, would work just fine to hold the rail in place. And I was right — sort of…
What I didn’t count on was that each time I used the rail to lever myself out of bed, I shifted the rail a little tiny bit towards the head of the bed. It happened slowly, like the way your hair grows, so I didn’t “see” it happening. But by the time last week rolled around, the rail had migrated just enough that, instead of blocking my belly and chest, it blocked my chest and head. So when my hips headed for the side of the bed in the middle of the night, there was nothing there to stop them from dragging the rest of me off the bed and down to the floor.
It took me a while to get off the floor and check myself over for damages. Fortunately, I wasn’t completely out of the bed, so I was able to use it to claw my way back to safety. By then I had run through my meager stockpile of cuss words and figured out what had happened. After my leg stopped bleeding (I scraped all the skin off my right shin again because I still haven’t moved that plastic box to storage), I moved the rail back where it belonged, and wrote myself a note to fix that, ASAP.
Although the injury was minor, the pain was surprisingly sharp, and I found I couldn’t get comfortable in bed. So I wound up napping in my Lazy-Boy the next couple of days (which is not very restful at all). Therefore I was barely able to keep my eyes open on Thursday when I had to drive to the store and get some groceries. It’s only a couple of miles, but I felt like I was fighting the Sandman all the way there and back. Somehow I made it home safely. I remember parking in my designated handicap slot. I remember hitting the button to open the doors. Then…nothing. The next thing I knew, there was this little old Spanish-speaking granny trying to find out if I was alive. Turns out I’d been sitting there without moving for a couple of hours. Fortunately, my seatbelt was still holding me in place so I couldn’t fall out on the ground. Unfortunately, all my frozen stuff had thawed.
After I managed to calm down the hysterical lady, I took my soggy groceries inside and went to bed. I didn’t even try to figure out why I’d passed out. It could have been low blood sugar. It could have been lack of sleep. It could have been a brain tumor. I really didn’t care. I just wanted to get some rest. She Who Must Be Obeyed offered to take care of Dawg for the evening, so I was free to lay around until the next morning.
That brings us to Friday. As usual, I fed Dawg breakfast at 4:30 a. m. When it came time to walk him, I was feeling pretty groggy, so I planned to just step out on the stoop and let him roam at the end of his leash. But he decided to poop on the neighbor’s lawn and I had no choice but to go clean that up. I didn’t learn much from my grandpappy, but the two things he taught me were: (1) don’t screw where you work, and (2) don’t poop on the neighbor’s lawn. He felt that the first one was variable since you could always get another job, but you really didn’t want to mess with your neighbors. They could make your life a living heck. [Okay, to be perfectly honest, he didn’t say “heck,” but I’m trying to be a nicer person than he was. And, okay, he didn’t say “poop” or “screw” either, but you know what I mean. Work with me here…]
On the way back to my door, I fell. I hit the steps with my right knee, my right elbow, and left wrist. My head bounced off the steel frame of the door and then ricocheted off the metal door itself. As I lay there, I wondered if my next life was going to be any better.
One of the problems of being in my situation is: if I get all the way down, I find it almost impossible to get up without help. If I have something I can use to “climb”, like a bed or a chair, I can usually manage, but I can’t lift myself with my legs. Then my only hope is to get my butt high enough to use my legs as levers and totter to my feet. Because of this, I make it a point to always have my phone with me so that I can call someone for help. But I was so groggy I forgot to pick it up on my way out the door. So, no calling 911, and no calling my wife, who was sleeping upstairs, for help. I tried banging on the door with my fist to get her attention. I didn’t really think it’d work, but I made so much noise that I thought I might at least wake my neighbor. It took awhile, but finally the wife came down to see what inconsiderate SOB was making so much noise. It didn’t take her long to figure it out. Then we started on the second problem: my wife can’t lift me. I’m too big for almost any single person to lift, but on top of that, she’d recently injured her back. 911 was looking better and better, but I couldn’t bring myself to call them and say “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” except as a last resort. That stupid commercial kept going around in my head.
Eventually, she was able to drag my old chair ramp around from the storage room and I sat on that and worked myself up it until I had enough room under me that I could engage my legs. The whole time this was going on, Dawg laid on the lawn and looked bored. (Gee, thanks Dawg.) Then he demanded his after-walkies treat when we got inside. All I wanted was to go to bed.
Looks like nothing was broken, although the swelling in my knee still hasn’t gone down. I’ve got scrapes and bruises everywhere. And my head still hurts in the two spots where it imitated a battering ram. I put off going to see the doctor, since I have an appointment next week anyway. But I haven’t been able to move around very much and I’m getting very tired of looking at the ceiling over my bed.
There was a time when I could have taken a beating like this and bounced right back — literally. Not any more. It really sucks getting old. Just thought I’d mention that…