I’ve fallen and can’t get up

You don’t have to watch much television before you come across the advertisements for emergency devices for the elderly in case they fall. We have all seen those ads and generally feature an old lady falling down her basement stairs trying to get to her washing machine.

Every night beginning at 6:30 p.m. I get that same advertisement over and over and over as that poor old woman falls repeatedly during my television viewing evening. Miss Trixie is starting to worry about me as I have taken to yelling at the poor faller “don’t go down there. You are going to fall.”

And as the evening progresses, I begin to get agitated with her and my comments become more and more jaded and end up saying things like “well you dumb woman. You didn’t learn the last time I guess.”

She had fallen down those stairs I guess hundreds of times in the years I have seen the advertisement for the emergency call button she so badly needs. You would think by now she would have learned her lesson or at least her kids or even the first responders would have gotten her one to save them all the work of hauling her to the emergency room.

Just this past Sunday Ol’ Dutch had his own meeting with the ground and let me tell you something. Its harder than I can ever recall it being.

Currently I am building a house and have walked around and over a bunch of scraps and trash to the point I remarked to Miss Trixie how I was going to pick all of that up before I began to work for the day.

About three trips into picking up small boards and other things to the trash can, Ol’ Dutch became ensnared in a piece of plastic I was using to cover the saw at night.

Things suddenly turned into slow motion and no amount of fancy footwork could have saved me from the inevitable meeting with the grass. I saw it coming up toward me fast and remember thinking “this is gonna hurt.” And it did.

It wasn’t so much the fall that hurt but that sudden stop at the end is a real jolt to an old body. Luckily my son Bubs and Grand #2 were close enough to see what happened and ran to my rescue. Well sort of.

What really ensued was an outburst of laughter on their part and I had to join in because I was not gonna let them know I was hurt. That could only lead to them putting me in “the Home” earlier than I want to go.

Ol’ Dutch got pretty bunged up and will be nursing some sore ribs and wrists for a while I am sure. Talking later with the kid and grand, they said I really bounced when I hit the ground and that got me to thinking -- always a dangerous proposition as you all know.

I got to thinking about all the elderly people I know that have taken falls and the resulting injuries they sustained. It suddenly came to me that those of us that are carrying around some extra cushion, tend to bounce and not really get hurt. But you take a skinny old person who falls and they tend to break hips, wrists, ankles, shoulders and other necessary parts.

One of my Dad’s friends remarked one time that he and Ethyl kept about 20 extra pounds on their frame as if they had to be in the hospital they can last a lot longer than poor skinny Irene who would be gone in a few days with no reserves of fat to call upon in just such an emergency.

This comment came about the time his friend and wife were going back for their third plate of food at the buffet and from the looks of the platefuls they had, they were preparing for a long stay in the local hospital.

So in light of all that information, Miss Trixie added home fried potatoes to my breakfast so that I don’t slip into the thin brittle body syndrome. And what better timing to you could there be for learning these safety tidbits than the Holiday Season.

For now you can eat to your hearts content knowing you are doing preventative maintenance on the old body. Eat, eat, eat and be merry. Happy Christmas to all.


Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com.