Granny OlympicsPosted: April 8, 2014 | |
It was Mom’s bedtime and, as is our nightly ritual, she wheeled to the doorway of the Arizona Room and said “Good night,” and I replied, “I’ll be back in a few minutes,” to which she responded, “Okay then,” and wheeled away.
I usually give her time to go to the bathroom before I join her to help her get into her PJs and tucked into bed. But last night things did not go as planned.
As I came into her room, she was parked in front of her dressing table, which is in a short hall to the left of bedroom entrance. On one side of the space is a walk-in closet. On the opposite wall, next to the bathroom door is a floor-to-ceiling linen closet. Attached to that is a built-in dressing table with a kneehole, flanked by 3-drawers.
Mom was bent at the waist, leaning down from her seat on the Red Menace, obviously trying to pick something up from the floor. In the micro-second it took for me to grasp what was going on, I noted two problems. The first was that she was using her ‘good’ right arm to stretch diagonally across her body and reach down to the floor. The second problem was that whatever was on the floor was apparently difficult for her to pick up because she was grasping around like a claw hook in a carnival toy machine and coming up just as empty handed.
As I opened my mouth to ask her what she was doing, it happened….
She continued to dip farther and farther towards the floor until her head gently came down on the carpeting, followed in slow motion by the rest of her body, until she performed an almost perfect somersault out of the wheelchair. Like a snowball rolling downhill, she continued to tumble until she came to rest a foot from where I was standing.
“Are you okay?” I asked, more than a little alarmed, as I knelt down to help her up.
“Mumpfff,” she replied as she tried to untangle herself from the fetal ball she’d manage to land in.
“Does anything hurt?” I asked, as I slowly propped her up into a sitting position.
“No, I don’t think so,” she finally managed to say. “But look at my wrist,” she continued, holding out her right hand. “It looks swollen.”
“Can you move it? Is it painful?”
“No,” she replied, moving her hand in a circular motion. “It doesn’t hurt at all. It just looks funny, like it might be broken or something.”
“It isn’t, Mom,” I replied. “That’s the wrist you broke years and years ago and that’s how it healed. Remember?”
“Oh, right. When I fell on the golf course.”
As I helped her to her feet and then back into the wheelchair, I asked, “What in the world were you doing? Did you drop one of your hearing aids?”
“No, they’re still in my ears,” she said, popping out the right one to make her point. “There was something shiny on the floor and I was trying to pick it up.”
I glanced down and saw two tiny hearing aid batteries lying next to the small waste basket that was tucked into the dressing table’s kneehole.
“It’s just a couple of used batteries,” I told her, picking them up and holding them in the palm of my hand for her to see. “They probably fell out when I was emptying the trash today.”
“Oh, okay,” she said, taking out the left hearing.
“It certainly wasn’t worth you taking a tumble like that,” I continued. “You’re a little past your prime for somersaults, don’t you think.”
“Probably,” she sighed, returning both units to the hearing aid case. “But at least I didn’t break anything.”
“That’s true,” I said. “I’ll give you an 8.5 for that.”
“You’ll give me what?” she shouted, as she started to motor into the bedroom.
“8.5 points,” I repeated louder. “You know, like gymnastic scores.”
“Did you say Jim?” she yelled, already 10 feet away. “Did Jimmy call?”
“No, Mom, Jim didn’t call. I said gymnastics. Oh, never mind. Let’s get your PJs on,” I sighed, as I trekked after her and the Red Menace. “Before you decide to do a cartwheel or something else crazy,” I muttered under my breath.