LIFE MATTERS

I am too young to be sent upstairs

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Someone once said that aging isn’t for the faint of heart. My eyes are not quite what they used to be, which reminds me of a gentleman in despair who called me at work. “I am going blind!” he said. “The words are too small and I can’t see read the newspaper anymore!” The word presbyopia was obviously not in his repertoire. After the effects of this natural aging process were explained, he seemed somewhat calmer. “But I have to wear glasses to READ? All the TIME?” he questioned with a sigh. Yes, my telephone friend, glasses would be needed to read for us older folk. Because I am careless with glasses, I have resorted to buying a whole bunch of them at Job Lot for $2.99. (The $1 ones at Dollar Tree would have been sufficient, but felt I should splurge on such an important item.) The unisex spectacles are strewn throughout the house always within reach in case Hubby or I have a readable moment. (Yes there is a pair on the dryer. Who knows when one has to read the directions on bottle of detergent?)

Because of my age, I feel like the proverbial little old lady that Boy Scouts help to cross the street. People rush to open doors or carry my bags. If I try to hold the door for them, they insist it be the other way around, perhaps with the fear that the extra exertion will cause me to fall over and die. People are nice that way.

My physical condition has seemed a little worse for the wear. Getting up in the morning is a practice in mathematics. At first I am bent over at a 45-degree angle. With quite a bit of groaning, my back straightens slightly to 30 degrees. By the time my second cup of tea has been consumed, my back is once again straight.

Where I used to joyfully skip down the stairs with a bounce in my step, my bounce is now a dud as I must grip onto the hand railing to prevent myself from falling and not being able to get up. I have arthritis and need a knee replacement. Limping badly to one side, I tried using a cane, but couldn’t figure out which side to use it on and almost tripped myself, at which point I would have arthritis AND a broken leg. I had not realized the damage this was doing to the rest of my body and my hip hurts like hell from the strained the muscles. When I took my daughter to the emergency room for suspected appendicitis, I decided to become a patient myself to see if anything could be done for the debilitating hip pain. Lying on the hospital bed, I cried out in agony as the doctor touched the muscles around my hip. He ordered an x ray and a lovely, caring nurse came over and patted me on the shoulder. “It will be alright”, she said reassuringly. “Once the X-ray is completed we will move you upstairs and make you more comfortable.”

As they zipped me off for the imaging, I didn’t have time to think about what she said. When the doctor came back with the results, he kindly said “Good news, you haven’t broken your hip!” Broken my hip??? The nurse’s comment came back to me. My assumption is if one has a broken hip they are admitted to the hospital and made comfortable.

As much as I had enjoyed the food at the hospital the last time I was admitted, this time it was not meant to be. Maybe in another 20 years, but right now I am WAY too young to be sent upstairs!

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