A conversation with a friend. An older friend, but not by much. A few days. Old enough to be a bit stiff. Stiff enough to hinder balance.
She’d fallen. Her door step. Right outside her kitchen. On her way out. A moment of inattention. Bang! Down she went.
One knee replaced already. The other probably needing it. No furniture close with which to help lift herself with upper body strength. Crawled and dragged to a deck chair. Couldn’t get up with replaced knee. Had to use “bad” knee in great pain. Made it up by the hardest.
Seemed like only yesterday she was down on the floor with pets, children or chores, then back up to do whatever was needed. When yesterday is measured in years ago instead of hours or days ago, life’s changes catch up with us.
She didn’t ask for my advice, but I gave her some anyway. Wear clothes with pockets. Drop her cell phone in her pocket religiously, every morning, every change of clothes. Every time. Know who she can call for help.
If she is hurt, don’t waste time calling folks who can’t help directly. Call 911. Why watch other folks jump up and down worrying if they aren’t going to be able to get the job done. Family might be wonderful for comfort, but if they can’t help the situation, call them second, after emergency responders.
Actually, my opinion is based this time. Personal experience. Phoebe and I have made the phone rule I mentioned. She has fallen more than once. A little bruising, but no real injuries. Now when she rises from bed, she drops her cell in her night gown or pants pocket. Even if only crossing her bedroom to the bathroom at night, or working around her kitchen or moving around office between computer and books. Cell phone always handy. Always.
[private] The whole burden to comply isn’t on her alone. I have a cell phone too. Either in right shirt pocket or right overalls bib pocket. Buttoned in, reasonably secure. In Moorefield house, farm Big House, or Doghouse. Always handy. I sleep in a reclining chair, fully dressed. I can quick draw my phone and answer or call almost instantly. So far I haven’t needed to call for help up. Close a couple times. Once not long ago, I stumbled in the woods. A taller stump where timber was cut helped me pull up.
Another piece of advice for older folks with problems I do have. Tremors, mine diagnosed as Parkinson’s Disease related. Not just tremors, but small motor control of fingers and hands. I’ve never been good about picking up small objects or flat pieces of paper. I scratch and scrabble around like a pet pawing a glass door to get in or out. Difference is they make a scratching sound and I make cussing sounds.
Get a pocket Leatherman tool. It can fit in same pocket as your cell phone. A good folding knife blade, flat and Phillips screwdriver blades, but most important, a really serviceable pair of pliers. I use mine nearly every day, sometimes multiple times. Today I spilled my morning pills on Big House’s kitchen floor. Two of them are small, oval and slippery, hard to grip in stiff arthritic fingers. Whipped out the trusty Leatherman I’ve carried for years, opened pliers and picked up pills in no time.
Yesterday afternoon, battery in my right hearing aid died. I keep a multi pack of new batteries in my wallet. I’ve spilled several trying to get them pulled out and I’ve dropped some after pulling the little tab away. Yesterday a smooth change, again with my trusty Leatherman.
Think I’d like to have a Leatherman tool with a cell phone blade for Christmas.