Fall

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Fall

Published July 5, 2021 by helentastic67

Fall

I think this gets filed under ‘people say the dumbest things.’ People often ask me about my falls? How often I fall? When was the last fall? When I fall, do I try to land on something soft?

What a stupid fucking question! Here are my priorities, when it comes to falls as anyone with a disability will tell you.

  1. Don’t fall.
  2. Don’t fall and break my one good arm.
  3. Don’t fall and break anything, so I need a 24/7 carer, so they can toilet me. (Also, why I haven’t wanted to get Carpel Tunnel surgery yet!)

BUT LET ME (sorry, shouldn’t yell) assure you, when I fall, you don’t think, there is no plan. It is human nature to put out a hand to try to catch yourself.

This is why a lot of older people break their wrists. That (falls) and Osteoporosis.

However, the last time I had a fall and landed on something soft. I think I got up off my couch and my left foot was tangled in something (I couldn’t feel) and I went down like a sack of potatoes.

My arms were in front of my tummy and I landed on them n the ‘chaise’ part of my old couch. I hit that thing so hard with all of my weight, I bounced back upwards and landed on the carpet on my arse.

So, while not huge (my arse) I did get two soft landings.

If I Go Down, So Do You

Published April 8, 2019 by helentastic67

If I go down

If I Go Down – So Are You, Awkward

There are some days when I’m out and about, where so help me God. Sometimes I think people are going out of their way to get in mine. I get off a tram where I have to take a huge step down and before I get to the curb (2.5 metres away) someone has gotten off the same tram, come around on my left side, then cut right in front of me.

Get in my way

Just a friendly reminder, my worst eyesight is my peripheral on my left side, so I don’t see them coming, but I mean WHY??? Some days it’s every moment I’m out of the house. The last two sets of lights I cross to get from the tram stop to my home, guaranteed people will move into my path to get where they have to be.

Cross my path

One of these days Alice, one of these days, someone’s going to knock me over and I always say “If I go down, you go down with me!” I have been known to say this to kids running around the shopping centre when I’m there.

One of these days, Alice

Fucking kids and these are the ones old enough to know better, I give them my grumpy European stare. My Nona would be proud.

Grumpy Nonna Look

There are also times when I go to get off the tram or train, when I get up early so I can get my left leg to wake up. Rearrange my bag so I don’t have it get in my way and there is usually an awkward moment where another is trying for the door also and they are okay for me to go first. I always let them go first, stating they will be quicker and if I think they can take it, I also tell them, if I fall, I want something soft to land on.

Fall off Tram

If I’m luck to get a startled look from them, I know they heard me and I give them a little smile sometimes, it’s the little things.

Little Smile

Going Out, Then Down

Published April 5, 2019 by helentastic67

Going Out Then Down

Going Out, Then Down

There is so much people wouldn’t realise about my disability, because it’s hidden and because it seems I’m always upright and mobile when they see me.

Hidden Disability

On a rare occasion I might even get out in the evening for some extra-curricular entertainment. No wait! Not like that! (I wish)

Rare Occasion

I went to a theatre production called Kong. It really was a “One-off” adventure, so rare that they are. That night now some years ago, I had also been out and about during the day and had tried to plan for ‘saving’ some energy for the unexpected later that night. ‘Saving energy’ for later – what a foreign concept. The venue had a huge entrance of stairs.

Thearte Entrance

We couldn’t get a park close by, so myself and another, plus our lovely friend who had hosted/escorted us for the adventure, walked us to and from the venue.

Walking to theatre

We had entered the venue through a very upmarket/snobby Café next to the venue and in a lift at the back. (would love to dine there one day).

Snobby Cafe

Afterwards we ended up at a kebab place on Brunswick Street, our host stating many a night had ended there having kebabs. I ate something that came with a fork, just saying. I always go with at least the messiest option.

Kebab Shop

Once more, up the four steps into the unit I lived in at the time and success. Great night out. Good entertainment, good company, good walk in the city even.

Good Company

Door to door service, almost.

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick

Lastly, plan cuppa T and off to bed. No? Too easy. Ba-boom

Standing in the kitchen, put the kettle on and I feel myself losing balance. If all I have to do is put my left foot back, just a little step to support me.

Lose Balance

No!

Don’t know if it’s the message is to slow the brain. It’s just a completely foreign concept. Make a half-arsed effort to grab onto something, but not enough to not want to cause more damage. I’m going down.

Fall in kitchen 1

Timber!

That’s what people don’t see, when ever I have a fall and it’s not that often thankfully, once a year. I lie there and think to myself “This is NOT the time I wish I wore my Mepacs pendant.” Because I refuse and I do what I have to, to roll over and wriggle up.

Roll over

That’s not pretty, but I haven’t been found the next morning on the floor by any of my carers yet.

So Winning.

Winning

Rehab – Part 4

Published October 29, 2018 by helentastic67

Rehab Part 4 2

Rehab – Part 4

Case Study – Part 2

In rolled the stretcher yet again and again the same transport guys. Number four was sitting up on the bed and she was an elderly lady and truly the poor thing. She had a black and redeye and a hand was all banged up and she needed help to move to a chair while they prepared her bed and the guys and nurses did their handover.

Roommate 4

If you had met this woman in the street, you would think by the look of her eye and hand, she had been mugged in the street for her handbag.

Now, you know I don’t normally mention names, but in this instance, I’m going to because I must. I greeted her warmly and sked her name, the transport guy said “this is Elizabeth” she scowled some and said “it’s Betty”. See, kinda had to.

Betty

I said hello and the guy mentioned the weirdness of the older generation having one name and going by another. I just said “That’s what they do.”

My grandfather was always Jack. He has gone to God now, but when I visited him in hospital years ago after his triple bypass, I was embarrassed to learn he was actually John. WFT people! I never knew.

Anyway, back to Betty.

The arrival of Betty really settled our room. We were a very sociable room. That was my fault apparently, but what can you do.

Betty as a case study (so, non-clinical/medical terms) goes like this. Early eighties, had been in hospital over Christmas for a hip replacement and as this all happened around February, she was just about to go home when she had a fall. She landed on her knee, her hand and obviously her face.

Falls over 1

I did comment to her when she first arrived that she looked like she had been through the wars. She had actually, the second World War, but that’s another story and not mine to tell. Anyway, Betty settled in, in the bed closest to the door next to mine.

I gave her the induction and introduction of the room and like everyone else, when she asked me what was wrong with me, (why does everyone ask me that?) I pointed to the cast on my left leg, but said “Brain Injury”. You know it led to a longer explanation, but that was later.

Brain injury

I should mention, the day I arrived in rehab I had more visitors (nurses and hospital staff) than I think I’ve had friends visit me since getting my disability. Which says much about both friends and hospitals.

The lovely Betty, had a finger she had mangled in her fall. It was her ‘bird finger’. Luckily, she had not broken it, but it was very swollen and sore. The doctors would do their rounds and ask her to straighten it. When she could she effectively gave the doctors The Bird.

Betty giving the bird

Now, my grandmothers died when I was young and while I’m the age of Betty’s daughters, I felt like she was a grandmother I never had.

Now, I think you all realise I’m very cheeky and being around Betty, I got to turn it up a notch. Betty had, had to move into a nursing home early, on account of her husband’s dementia that had gotten to the point where if not contained, he would wonder off.

Grandmotherly

She was living in a suburb called Sunbury, to which I told her my nickname for the suburb was Scumbury. I didn’t make it up, but I’m still using it. It’s the Australian way, I’ll do a post one day to explain. Again, another day.

The nasty bruise around her eye, they gave her some cream, which stung. So, I introduced a nurse and Betty to my Arnica. When the doctors commented the bruising was going away and they would continue their cream for treatment, Betty tried to tell them it was my cream that they were using. The friendly nurse joined in our secret by reporting they would use some more of ‘the bad cream’. We all knew the nurse would continue using my cream.

Arnica

When in hospital, your medication is kept in a locked drawer beside your bed. (not all of them, but most of them) They dish them out into little plastic cups and while I’m quite competent and manage my own medications at home, they weren’t familiar with any of the alternative brands and pills. Often relying on me to do the, one of those, one of each of those, two on those and that one. I collected the little cups, I didn’t have a reason, but they sure came in handy.

One night early on in Betty’s stay, I was sitting in bed with my curtains drawn (we all did) and I heard this weird “whooshing sound”, more than once and I couldn’t work it out. I asked Betty if she could hear it too? She said it was her, she was sending emails on her phone. See! Can you see why I disclosed this woman’s identity? She’s my kinda people. Very tech savvy.

Plastic medicine cups

Those cups started coming in handy also, as when she went to bed, I would go stand beside her curtain and piff one over at her. Yes, you heard me and another under her bed, I would get a giggle out of her and do another until she sternly said “stop that”. You know I followed that with another for good measure. Oh, good times.

A councillor/Social worker type visited Betty once and I saw her approach Betty who was sitting on the chair beside her bed. The young lady, half squatted in front of her, so it looked like they were on the same level. Now, she could have pulled up a chair or even sat on the edge of her bed. I later did an impersonation of her saying she could have even stood up to speak to her. It wouldn’t have meant she was talking down to her.

Falls over

I did hear part of the conversation they had, the Social Worker asked her where she lived and asked if it was good? I couldn’t help my shot, Betty had a little laugh. The curtains were pulled closed as if that helped. I did apologise, but I made myself scarce. I don’t know of any older person who looks forward to going to live in a nursing home. So, I had thought it a ridiculous question.

My last day, I was discharged around 10am, I had slept badly, my mum was late coming to collect me and I’d stripped my own bed. Betty let me snooze on her bed. She was a sweetheart.

Before I left, when Betty was out of the room, I snuck all the plastic cups I had collected into her bed. I swear to God, five minutes after I’d gone she messaged me to tell me I’d not done a very good job, she had found them straight away.

Discharge

 

MRI

Published January 23, 2017 by helentastic67

mri

MRI

I recently received the results from my latest MRI. My GP quickly reassured me “You’ve still got a brain in there!”

Yeah, thanks! Standard ABI humour!

He then proceeded to tell me the technician who did the report for the MRI was so shocked by the AVM he rang my GP the morning he was next at work, to ask if he was aware of what he had just found.

avm-meme

When he told me this part, I smiled a little and mentioned I had told them I had an AVM! And did they not read the referral?

We both agreed they had not!

Bloody Nora!

The MRI was to tell me if there had been any damage from a fall I had, had years earlier and many other things had taken precedence at the time including my maybe dislocated left shoulder.

funny-falling-cliff

Having not seen the Specialist I had meant to see at my hospital at the Specialist Clinic a month earlier.

My GP had referred me instantly to have the MRI under a scheme where if it’s thought to be Cancer, you get prioritized and it was bulk-billed.

When the receptionist had taken his call. She had asked how serious it was? He booked it for me while I pointed to times in my diary that were better.

He answered “Well, it’s the brain! So, it’s pretty important.”

And it was booked amongst everything else the following week.

end-picture

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