Using a rollator helps us with our balance, which we’ve lost, permanently enough. Physical Therapy can do only so much. Using a rollator has become a habit we’re accustomed to, like eating. We’ve become devoted to the support of our own walker, because of the fragile nature of our hip bone and femur surgery, and the way they’ve been put back together, according to our good friend, Josh, employee in our rehabilitation environment, which is not to be trifled with.
We’ve internalized Josh’s message thoroughly, the rollator is a reflex now. He was so thorough with us, between the use of the rollator and safety precautions, we find ourselves watching others critically, in a senior citizen environment. We are not annoying people unduly here at the retirement community, it’s just that we notice the mistakes other people make with their walking apparatus. If we get it wrong, we spend the rest of our life in a wheelchair, which is worse than you might think.
There is an invisible threshold, beyond which you may not return to walking.
We used to take to our feet, between the bed and the lavatory, in rehab, since neither walker nor cane were made available to us there. Josh, almost unilaterally, gave us such grief about going the distance without help, we are finally convinced. So many others, of the attendants in rehab, would leave us to fend for ourselves, but not Josh. The young man was remarkably dedicated to getting his job. He did his duty like no other. He was accepted at the fire department, he was so dedicated.
Josh’s message was this: falling should be avoided at all costs, because one could break something human, where all the metal prosthesis and bones of our femur and hip where situated. We might fall, and need a wheelchair forever. Now, we’re rather young to be wheeling around in a wheelchair forever, and we’ve got a lot of years left to enjoy or lose, if one or the other ever happens. One has no idea when the fat lady sings.
We didn’t understand for a long time, in a state of shock. We’d gone through the utter loss of our speech, cognitive skills, and that sort of thing, only to fight for getting those things back, along with our use of language, which kept us struggling for a time. Our mind was incredulous of understanding and communication for sometime there, in rehab. Most of our working knowledge of the world around us was confounded beyond description, earlier.
Got through that, then fell and broke our hip.
All our earthly possessions were lost in that fiasco.
People might call the nurse’s station and ask us for directions to rehab. We’d be off the mark by ten miles and didn’t realize it. Enjoyed each visitor, while in rehab, but how they found us, with such inaccurate directs, we’ll never know. The food was good, serving us plenty, three times a day. The staff were really thoughtful, bringing our food to our rooms, since many of us couldn’t walk. We grew weary of our roommate, who never did anything but watch that confounded Television.
A rollator is the more fancy version of walker, used to keep a person more steady when they walk, with four wheels instead of two at the point of contact. One of the most handy features of a rollator is the on-board seat, where one can sit to catch their breath, if there is no place else to sit. Other rollators have a basket for carrying things, but ours does not. All we have in the way of a basket is the on-board seat, which hampers the use of the seat for setting.
We’d been using a cane for quite sometime before breaking our hip, when the need for more support suddenly arose, losing our balance in the act of walking. We found ourselves with a floor and wall knocking us around thoroughly enough to break a hip and bruise everything else on that side of our body. It was one of those Wizard of Oz moments. We fell asleep, while walking, vividly dreaming we were the first human being to achieve flight without the use of an aircraft.
It was a Wright Brother’s moment.
We’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy since that time, and can’t help wondering whether that “flying” dream was an epileptic seizure. In fact, most of our history is consisting of a seizure after another. We were in such a state after that violent fall, all we could do was scream bloody murder, incessantly. We don’t remember much about that ER visit, and should have hours of time to recall, of the glorious proceeds and incidents of interest about such colorful surroundings.
But our memory is a blank there, as usual.
Having gone through two different rehabs – one for our speech problem and our withdrawal from an overdose – the other for our broken hip recovery, learning to walk again. One wonders the sum and substance of reality, after going through such harrowing experiences. The experiences defy the telling. We had gotten confused about how to take our medicines and had taken on too much. That’s the sum total of our overdose. How we ever survived at all, is a marvel too wonderful to behold.
To withdraw off those meds can cause a state of shock so severe it stops the heart.
This has been my lifetime – an endless series of harrowing experiences. Even though I’ve become an author out of desperation, and peck at my keyboard endlessly, I continue with my ineptitude at telling the stories I have lived to tell. There have been the obvious stories I’ve traced as well as I can, repeatedly. Then there are the subtle ones, of driving the Seven Sisters with my car door open, retching on the pavement as I went. What had I smoked, and where did I go that time?
Just exactly when was that, anyway? I realize I was still getting wasted, but on what? Was I alone in that Odyssey? I think another person would not have tolerated such recklessness. Anyone would have been alarmed. I was. I’ve done my level best, in long term sobriety, to glean my teeming brain of every memory it holds, but a continuity for my own life history withholds itself.
For anyone without similar experiences, my dilemma is incomprehensible.