Let me explain how I got on the Senior Watch List. You want to know what that is? It is when you have any kind of health event and your adult children deem you a safety risk and begin purchasing senior safety stuff. Uh-huh.
One month ago, I was minding my business and doing what I always do, which is normally too much, okay? I have the usual aches and pains that come with my over seventy life but nothing serious. Well, after an unusually stressful workweek that involved physical and emotional stuff, I was home, having my youngest son take pictures with his phone, when my head went woozy, and I collapsed, unconscious to the floor.
When I woke up, I could see my son, “the baby” (he is 45) swim into view and one sniff let me know I was lying on the dog’s blanket. “Get me off the dog’s blanket” I demanded, and tried to stand up, only to find that my whole body was like overcooked spaghetti. “They’re on their way,” my son explained ( his eyes were filled with tears) and before I could ask, “Who?” the doorway to my apartment was filled with EMT workers w asking questions, mostly of my son, while still on the dog blanket, I wanted to yell out, “Yoo-Hoo this happened to me so anybody want to ask me anything?” They were quick to notice how hot the apartment was, and I shame-facedly admitted I was trying to not have a high electric bill. I caught the silent glances that said, “Silly old lady, do you not know that our two digits, plus the humidity is equal to three digits?” Okay, so I was silly but I had been out cold for a few seconds, so straight to the ER we went.
“May I wear my slippers?” I asked, remembering my un-lotioned feet. A female attendance looked in the corner where my pink, pig shaped (complete with curly tails) slippers sat side by side and shook her head “No”. “They will just get lost” she said, then asked, “Do those pigs have wings?” Of course, that was the beauty of my Walmart sale slippers, the little joke, “When pigs fly”. Still, the answer was no. I imagined that I would be carried out on the stretcher, my feet (now growing larger) sticking from beneath the sheet like something from a horror movie. Gargantua: The Crusty footed Senior Monster!
Miraculously, no fellow seniors was hanging out in the hallway. The arrival of an ambulance is something like the circus coming to town and speculation runs high. Since I live and work in the office here, my assumed diagnosis would run the gamut of assumed ailments and some would not be pretty. “I heard she died” would be one most likely, because we have lost a few people in our building to COVID19. I was happy that no one was around to add to my story.
After the ER, I spent two nights in the hospital being tested, tweaked; jostled and hooked up to machines. The chart in my room announced in big red letters that I was a “Fall Risk” and could not go to the bathroom alone. “What?” Well, you know me, Miss Independent. I tried sneaking off to the bathroom. I swung my legs out of bed and attempted to stand, but the IV thingy attached to a very loud alarm brought a trio of attendants bursting into my room like the Keystone Cops. There was much head shaking and tsk tsking as they admonished me to “stay in bed” and if I really needed to go, they would provide a pair of underwear suited for just that purpose. I was packed into a Baby Huey sized diaper that taped on each side and returned to my prone position. Let that be a lesson to me!
I am home now, no longer able to work on a regular basis, and I saw it coming. I am a bit weak but getting my strength back.. The company is keeping me on to do my charitable work and I am fine with it. My age and increasing need to rest and take off days merits that I go ahead and retire from the office. (Sigh) I sure will miss it.
If this sounds a little too amusing to some, I wish I could apologize but even during this pandemic and world unrest, we must find humor in life. It’s the reason seniors are survivors. Oh, speaking of the pandemic. I took the mandatory COVID test while hospitalized. I tested negative, but that Q-Tip on steroids, wow!
Take life one day at a time ya’ll, and fill your glass to the rim with joy!