I tell ‘ya, it’s hell being old. And while it may sound like I am speaking about myself, this time I’m not. I spent the day on Saturday with some older neighbors. I had thought that it might take an hour or two in order to get some small chores done, but … well… one thing led to another.
At first, Mrs. T needed some help moving some boxes out of storage. Fine. I went with her to the storage room, unlocked the door, and got the first box. She picked up a very small, light box, and as she was carrying it up a flight of stairs, she lost her balance and fell because she couldn’t see where she was going. I felt badly that I wasn’t close enough to prevent a fall. Fortunately she didn’t break anything. But the fall shook her up, and made her feel afraid to walk any more. I carefully helped her return to her home.
I brewed her a cup of tea, gave her some acetominophen, and just talked for a while. That made her feel better. (Made me feel better, too, because as she recomposed herself, I was assured that there was no physical injury from a pretty hard fall.)
… two hours elapse …
I’m now at my aunt’s home paying bills and reviewing her meds. She had another new med prescribed by a neurologist yesterday. This new med is designed to work in combination with another med she already takes. I was reading the package insert, and it kept saying that the drug combo is particularly well-suited to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Oh sheesh… her diagnosis is dementia, but now the doc changed the meds to treat something more frightening. I didn’t have the heart to tell her. But her memory is so bad (thus the drugs), she wouldn’t remember if I did tell her. And I wonder, does it matter at age 94, anyway?
… an hour later …
I’m back home, learning more about the condition of a friend who serves in local elected office and who was very recently diagnosed with colon cancer, and remains hospitalized. Darn! His wife, who was a very dear friend of mine (and also served in that same office for 17 years), died almost a year ago. This is really distressing news.
… then the phone rings …
Mr. S, one of my bocci-playing buds with whom I converse in Italian so I can keep up my language skills, called and asked me to come over but wasn’t very clear about why. I didn’t press; I just hopped in my truck and went over there. I found him on the floor of his bedroom, wedged between the large queen-size bed and the wall. He was stuck! He said that he lost balance while changing the sheets and fell into that position.
It was easy enough for me to pull the bed away and help him get out of his predicament. But he couldn’t do it himself because he no longer had the strength. He told me that he had been stuck that way for about three hours, and finally decided that there just wasn’t any way he could move. He pulled the phone’s cord that was within reach (thank goodness!) and thought to call me. He said that he called me because my phone number is easy to remember, and he didn’t want to call the rescue squad because he really didn’t have that “level” of emergency (so he thought.) Well, anyway, he’s okay.
But it is Hell Being Old!