Friday, March 07, 2008

Falling Down Isn't Fun Anymore...

Bobblehead hates it when this happens...

I admit it. I am not always an ideal son. No, I never wrecked my parent's car or had to have them bail me out of jail stoned or drunk. I only had to call once many years ago pleading to borrow money. That was when I was just out of school and pretty much broke and in desperate pain. I needed a root canal and the oral surgeon needed a king's ransom up front. The money was paid back very quickly.

No I am a bad son because I do not always answer the phone when my parents call. Sometimes I let the voice mail catch it. I am a dreaded call screener.

Normally it is not that bad. My parents get pissed to hear the DING DONG of the voice mail and when the right moment comes they remind me loudly on how poorly I treat them. Bobblehead bad :-(.

Sometimes it can really land me into deep water.

The Friday night my mom called telling me my father fell. This is not good for my dad. He is frail. His health has taken a beating. He survived a heart attack 14 years ago. He had triple cardiac bypass surgery 10+ years ago. He is type 2 diabetic. And about 2 years ago he had a minor stroke on his left side leaving him just slightly weak and uneven on his right side. To make matters worse he has developed congestive heart failure and is on the “blood thinner” coumadin. Combine all that and you have a bad combination: A tendency to fall combined with a drug that prevents clotting. Not good.

The fear is that he will hit a major organ, or worse, his damned thick skull (which in no way did the Bobblehead inherit from him through genetics) and injure himself severely. In the case of a head injury, bleed out into the brain and die. That would really not be good.

My mom also told me that he was alone in the house when he fell (bad) and could not get up for 30 minutes (worse).


This fall only left him (thank G-d) with a slightly bruised knee and a very bruised ego. Mrs. Bobblehead and I had numerous long talks about this.

(This may sound familiar)....I admit it. I am not always an ideal husband...

Wednesday I came home from work. I was tired and had come off of the bus and was walking (WALKING, NOT ROLLING!!!) into my driveway when my cell phone rang. It was the wife. She asked me when I would be home. I said in about 20 seconds. Good, she needed me.

Yup, Mrs. Bobblehead fell. Li tripped over something, pulled her foot and went down hard. She was in a lot of pain but I saw nothing that looked broken. Mostly the top of her foot was hurting. Lot's of tendons. He ankle was okay. We used the trusty R.I.C.E. technique for injury: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Oh, and Tylenol. Nothing major. Pain. Her pain, not mine. I was okay with that. Actually the pain became less fairly quickly so nothing appeared to be permanently damaged. She is still limping a bit and the swelling has gone down to almost nothing. That is good.

As for the Bobblehead, falling is becoming a way of life.

My imbalance is pretty strong, especially under the right circumstances. My inner ear is not working. To make matters worse, I often still do not know when I am falling. The view of motion and the horizon are misleading to my eyes. If I turn suddenly when I walk, if I look one direction while walking another (looking back over my shoulder while walking), if I stop quickly, if I move laterally, down I go. Luckily I can often catch myself before I hit the ground. Not always. I fell a few days ago in my home before work and hurt my hip. Not much (the pain did not bother Mrs. Bobblehead at all) but enough to make me grumpy for the morning at work.

I know it is only a matter of time before I really hurt myself.

My dad is a proud man. He should be. Heaven knows I am proud of him as well. He refuses to use a cane. It makes him feel “old.” I understand. It sucks. However, one wrong fall where he hits his head can easily result in death. That would suck more. Bobblehead's dad falls to to the right side. A cane should be carried in his right hand. Not to lean on. To help with balance and to have support if he starts to go over to the right.

I fall consistently to the left. I have been carrying my cane in my right hand...dumb. I now am working on getting used to carrying it in my left. Most of the time it is more of a prop than anything. But as I get fatigued or dizzy, it has become very important. I am hoping that I will not need it once (if?) I ever hit a steady-state.

Yesterday, two beautiful canes that I ordered arrived in my home. The first is wooden with inlays of green and blue, a nice brass collar, and a comfortable “Derby” handle. The second, also a Derby, is a slender cane of black and grey with a gorgeous two-toned head. If I insist on being proud, I might as look good!

I [posted by Bobblehead]

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