Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer Memories - Independence

Today, I think of memories of independence, not Independence Day.

Were you puzzled yesterday (July 4), the United States' Independence Day, when I blogged "The title of this holiday has a bit more importance to many of us than anytime in the past few years.  More (not political) on that later."

But later never came because sometimes life throws us a surprise.

There's a story behind that unfinished thought, and it has to do with another type of independence - a story that everyone in the world can appreciate.

Two years ago, I had a blog feature called Falling Friday for several months.  I was attending a class designed to teach seniors how to reduce their falling risk.  I am in my 60's, and have fallen several times.  I've seen, first hand, how falls have ended independence for people I know, or for people that people I work with know.  After a few months, I ended the series.

It isn't just seniors who are prone to falls.  Tragically, the son of someone I went to high school with died in a freak fall in 2015.  The son left a child and a pregnant wife, and the death stunned students where he taught.

So, back to my story.

Twice in the past week, my mother in law ended up in the emergency room.  The first visit came about after she reached up into a closet to get some napkins.  The box fell on her, and she fell back, hitting a cabinet and then the floor. Thankfully, the CT scan of her head was negative.

But she hurt.  And it was not getting better. 

The second visit, to investigate the pain, was not a medical emergency, but her doctor was unable to see her and their office recommended the ER.  It was the day before Independence Day, and much of our country closes down on the 4th. So, Monday afternoon, off she went.

An X-ray revealed that my mother in law had broken her coccyx.  It's an injury that can't be treated except to manage the pain  Here, time will have to be the doctor.

Right now, she's not supposed to move a whole lot.  She needs help even to get out of bed and into her lift chair and it will be an interesting next few days.

More worrisome, though, is the possibility of her losing her independence completely. At her age, even a few days without much movement will impact her strength and ability to care for herself.  The longer she can't move, the greater the chance of deterioration.

My memories flash back.  I've known my mother in law for some 46 years.  I remember her as an active woman who mall walked, bowled, and would gather with her friends after mall walking for bagels and coffee.  Those years are long over.

Losing our independence is what we fear the most.  The last thing any of us wants is for our adult independence to become only a memory.

Had falling education been around for my mother in law back then, would it have helped?  We'll never know and I don't speculate.

So that others might be helped, I've decided to rerun those posts.  I still do the anti-falling exercises I was taught.  I believe that if even one person is helped by me rerunning the series, it will be worthwhile.

So, starting next Wednesday, Summer Memories will be replaced by a summer rerun - my experiences with anti-falling education two summers back.  I hope you will join me, and let a friend know, too.

Day 5 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.

22 comments:

  1. I broke my coccyx as a young teen in a gymnastics fall. It took nearly two years for me to start feeling better, but is likely what led to all my spinal issues over the years. I hope today's treatments have improved for your MIL's sake. I had to sit on a pillow in class which was slightly embarrassing.

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    1. I learned from others at work today that the "1 month" may well be total nonsense. My mother in law is going to see a spinal specialist next week and I hope he can do something for her.

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  2. I am so sorry about your mother in law. I've dealt with similar issues with aging parents. It's difficult, isn't it?

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    1. It is and I know my situation is easy in comparison with what others my age face (for example, parents with dementia).

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  3. So, you are emulating the networks. Rerun season!
    Sorry about your mom-in-law; the coccyx is better than the hip, though.

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    1. This is true. Hoping so that this is the last time she falls - that is one rerun I would not want her tuned into.

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  4. Oh. My. Word. This is so scary. And so needed. I, too am in my 60s and the big red 'don't fall' flag has just been unfurled. I think of the crazy stunts I used to pull off (bronc riding, etc.) and wince. Now I go up and down stairs holding tight to the rail and make sure of surfaces before stepping on them. Sigh.

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    1. We all take chances when we are young and invulnerable. Now I wonder how rugs suddenly became so slippery and why there are motel bathtubs that I simply can't get out of. When did that happen?

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  5. Great post. I agree with you.Fear of losing the independence is intimidating. And my prayers are on the way for your mother in law.

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    1. Thank you so much for the prayers.

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  6. I think sometimes you end up falling no matter how careful you are. That happened to me last week. I don't remember what happened, but it took me about fifteen minutes to get back up, even with Mary's help. (I'm not very flexible and don't get a whole lot of help from my right leg.) I'm using my cane in the house now, just to be safe, but even then, I wonder if the cane would have kept me on my feet. Looking forward to the series.

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    1. John, I agree. Those classes are no guarantee of invulnerability but I did learn a lot. It is interesting, too, that almost half the elders in my class had macular degeneration, or medication issues. Or both. Some of them probably had no business driving, either, which is a blog post for another day.

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  7. This is the one thing I worry about with my almost 100 year old mother-in-law. She has a sharp mind but her body is getting tired and has trouble walking. She has lived alone and we finally talked her into moving into independent living. She will be moving in next week!

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    1. I'll be thinking of you, Martha, and hope that the move will be a good one. One of my husband's aunts, by the way, is 105. Her mind (and my mother in law's) are both sharp but their bodies - as you say, another story all together. The aunt is at home, living with one of her sons.

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  8. Scary. And it's so easy to fall, especially when we get older. I hope your MIL feels better soon.

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    1. Thank you, Liz. It is so easy, even in your 60's.

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  9. Falling is never a good thing, Thank you for reposting. We all need to learn how to not fall. BTW - AS a former hospital clown (adults only) the saying is. Entertain the mind while the body heals itself

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    1. It's a good saying. I will have to remember that. One of her loves is cooking, which she can't do until she is able to get around again. She is not a reader, so her entertainment, I fear, will be the TV.

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  10. I am very sorry about your mother in law! I hope she recovers quickly. I was my mom's caregiver before she passed away in 2015. I was so scared of her falling, that was one worry that never went away. Blessings to you for caring for her!

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  11. Anti falling education! That's a first for me. I'm mortally scared of falling and don't ever remember falling even as a child. Perhaps I will watch your blog for these posts

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  12. Great idea for a series. I will attend, that's for sure. I'll also promote your posts. So many seniors need these lessons. A nation of grumblers

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  13. I'm sorry to here about your mother-in-law, Alana. We're dealing with both my parents fighting their loss of independence and it makes me think of how I'll be when my time comes...so much to learn.

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