As dangerous as it is to say that your life is going well (there’s a reason why actors say “Break a leg” instead of “Have a nice day), this has been a pretty good spring, health-wise. I haven’t had to have my knees drained of fluid, and my over-all pain level has been bearable. In fact, things have been going so well that I’ve been using my crutches to get around instead of my wheelchair or walker. And then there was Friday…
When we took Bear to the movies on Wednesday, I wore my “special” hat. It’s a baseball cap with the word “Laird” printed on the front in my clan colors. It was a present from She Who Must Be Obeyed and very dear to me. Normally, when I wear it, She wears the one I got for Her (which says “Lady”), but She didn’t do it this time (this will be important later). During the movie, I took the cap off and hung it on a crutch. At some point during the movie, the hat fell behind my chair. After the movie ended, I retrieved my crutch, but (since my memory is useless and I didn’t have the visual clue of Her wearing Her hat) I forgot about my hat.
I didn’t leave the house for a couple of days because “a day out” like Wednesday really drains my reserves. It usually takes two or three days for me to feel up to leaving the house under my own steam. So Friday, when I decided to go grocery shopping, I stopped at the door on the way out, reached up to my hat rack for my cap and noticed the “Laird” hat wasn’t in its usual place. I immediately figured out what had happened to it. (Great — NOW my memory kicks in!)
A quick call to the movie theater put the management into motion, and sure enough, they found the hat. So I drove to the theater to retrieve it. After parking in a handicapped space, I carefully negotiated the series of curbs between me and the front door. I just as carefully fell on my face. I have no idea what happened — maybe a crutch hit a slick spot, maybe I somehow tripped — but I fell hard. Skinned both knees and elbows and tore a long strip of skin off my right shin (why is it always the right shin?).
I lay there a minute, assessing my situation, knowing full well that I can’t get up off the ground by myself. Suddenly, a car stopped beside me and a couple got out. Then another couple appeared, they apparently came out of the theater. Both guys were reasonably young and fit, and one of them started to lift me off the ground (after first asking me if I was okay to stand). Because I am sooooo heavy, I told him he probably didn’t want to try that, but he stuck his forearms under my armpits and stood me up like I was a little kid. That was a novel experience, to be sure!
Everyone involved offered to call 911, but I assured them I was okay (which was a lie — I was in a lot of pain), and didn’t need the fire department (which was true). I retrieved the cap, drove myself home, and let my resident nurse patch me up. A couple of pain pills later and I was right as rain (whatever that means). In the days since, I’ve gotten better, although I’m a bit stiff and the scrapes still hurt like the Dickens (whatever THAT means). At least I didn’t break anything.
What’s come of this episode is the knowledge that I need to keep using my chair, or at least my walker even if I’m feeling okay. Although I don’t write about it every time I fall, it happens often enough that I’m finally convinced. I’m just not steady enough to be ambulatory any more. That’s a little depressing. On the other hand, I’ve gained a new appreciation of strangers. There are Samaritans on the road to Jericho after all…