Aging Well March 20th – or at least trying!

It could have been worse. I could have landed on my head, torn my rotator cuff, or fractured my kneecap. But instead I just, well, broke my hip (which I have found generates a lot of sympathy. But my own vanity tells me – no way should I – at my young age? – be tripping and breaking a hip!).

Last Monday morning while taking out the recycling, I missed the last step and ended up in the street landing on my side. But as the eternal optimist; hoping it was only a muscle pull, I managed to move around like Chester on Gunsmoke – until Tuesday morning at the Center when trying to get to my car I could no longer put any weight on my right leg without pain.

Stuck in the middle of the Center’s parking lot, I spent the next five minutes contemplating what to do; trying not to look too conspicuous by waving to drivers as they passed by on Ninth Street. (Hi. Don’t mind me. I just can’t move!)

But I was able to get a pair of crutches, (from the Center’s loan closet which ironically was the focus of last week’s column) hobbled my way to the car, and drove myself to the Emergency Room at MCMC.

There thanks to medical advances and Dr. John Schwartz, the broken bone was manipulated back in place, three screws were added and I was back home on Wednesday – as good as any clumsy sixty four year old man with three screws in his hip.

But I found in just one misstep, everything can turn upside down, literally. And now here I am learning to manipulate crutches – while improving my upper body strength, learning how to give myself shots – thank goodness for tiny, tiny needles, and catching up on my reading.

As I look back over this last week, there are always valuable insights gained from any experience. And in case you find yourself in a similar situation, here are my top ten for your consideration.

10) A new appreciation for toilet seat risers and chairs with arms,

9) Any remaining sense of invincibility fell down the steps with me,

8) When you are too old to impress the nurses with your good looks, modesty doesn’t really matter anymore,

7) Sometimes it is nice to be forced to slow down and smell the alcohol wipes,

6) I never use to worry about possible side effects and now I imagine acquiring everyone,

5) My wife will be taking out the recycling for a while, and the trash and – umm – this might not be all bad!

4) There are friends who will graciously fill in when you can’t be there.
3) There is laughter in most any situation no matter how painful,

2) It is difficult to depend on others – but I imagine this won’t be the last time.

And the most important insight,

1) Don’t drink too much water when you have to use crutches to get yourself to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Tonight at the Center, Truman will be singing his Country Gold. And then next week on Tuesday the 27th, the Jazz Generations will get you swaying to the music. The music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.

The “Kamikazie Kids” was the nickname created by Dick Harter (who just recently passed away on March 12th) for the University of Oregon basketball team from 1971 – 1978. (And the winner of a free Cherry Festival Breakfast on April 28th is Jess Birge.) This week’s “Remember When” question is about one of the guests on the “Best of Johnny Carson” which I watched while recuperating. Who was the singer/actress that sang with Count Basie and Cab Calloway, had a top ten hit “Takes Two to Tango” in 1952, and won a Tony for the lead role in the 1968 Broadway revival of Hello Dolly? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with a bag of “lumpy bumpy” Duncan Hines Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Well, it has been another week trying to get back up on my feet without falling flat on my face. Until we meet again, as it said on the Hallmark card sent to me by John and Darlene Lampe, “So can we just forget this whole thing happened, okay?”

“Success is falling nine times and getting up ten.” Jon Bon Jovi

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