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Through Different Eyes
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I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP
27 October 2017
You know how we have all giggled for years about the old lady lying on the floor whining "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" The commercial made the rounds and then disappeared for several years and lately I've seen it back again...might even be the same woman. I hope someone eventually came to help her!
I bought one of those buttons for my mother when she was living in San Rafael. She dutifuly wore it but didn't have a clue what it was for. Had she fallen, she never would have thought about pressing the button. She also wore one for about 2 years when she first came to Atria, but she finally "lost" it (I found it hidden in a drawer) and I didn't make an issue of it because she was beyond understanding what it was for.
I have periodically wondered if I should get one, then shove the thought away because I'm not old enough to need one, I say, with all the pride my mother would muster if she could.
Today was the first time I ever thought that maybe it's not such a bad idea.
Walt had gone off to San Francisco to a matinee performance of Finlandia by the San Francisco Symphony. He took the train down and I dropped him off at the train station at 9 a.m., then came home to finish my Randomness Journal.
At some point I went to check on the mail and noticed that our Home Chef box had been delivered.
Now you have to kind of imagine our front hall. It's short--the length of a closet with two sliding doors. At one end is the front door. To the right is the sliding door of the closet. To the left is a staircase, which is blocked by a laundry hamper with a heavy weight in the bottom which holds a gate in place so the dogs can't get upstairs To the left of the stairs is a chair, on which this morning was a laundry basket with clothes I had just taken from the dryer and was planning to hang up. Behind me is the bathroom door and between the bathroom door and me is the two dogs, because I had gone to the front door and they wanted to see what was going on.
I brought the mail in and then leaned over to pick up the Home Chef box to bring in, but it was heavier than usual, a weight I hadn't expected and when I went to get it, it kind of flipped over and, in so doing, it knocked me flat on my keester Well, not only my keester, but my whole back and bonked my head on the floor.
So there I was on the floor and had to figure out (a) how to get up, (b) how to get the box inside and (c) how to keep the dogs from running outside while I was doing it. I suspect that the dogs would not have run outside because both were very worried about me. Lizzie kept nuzzling me and Polly kept barking (Walt pointed out later that Lizzie was probably concerned, but Polly was just hoping I'd give her something to eat).
Now, normal people would just bounce up and that would be that. But I'm not normal people. Getting up is a major difficulty because of my bulk and the fact that my knees are shot and don't like weight being put on them. Add to that the fact that the box was still outside and that I was pretty much wedged in among all the stuff in the front hall, all of which were plastic and not strong enough to hold me if I grabbed onto them to try to get to my feet. And I couldn't grab the doorknob because the door was still open and I was trying to keep the dogs inside.
I made three more attempts to get the box, but each time, it flipped over again until I finally managed to get one edge over the step up into the house. This took about 5 minutes and a lot of 4 letter words and a few tears. That was when I began to realize the value of one of those buttons. I knew that I could get up eventually, but what if I had been hurt worse? I have a cell phone, sure, but it was in the family room.
With the box now safely inside, I got the front door shut, which eliminated worry about the dogs getting out. The box also had the advantage of being at the right height (and sturdy enough) for me to hang onto while I dragged myself up to my knees, apologizing to them for the pain I was causing them.
The phone rang about the time I finally stood up, and I tripped over the damn box and nearly fell again. Ginger Rogers I ain't!
I finally collapsed in the recliner, still shaky, and angry with myself for (a) being fat, and (b) feeling helpless when normally I never feel helpless. But I realized how things might have gone worse and how your life can change in an instant.
I stayed quiet most of the afternoon and as I write this (midnight), I am a bit sore and wondering if this is one of those things that's worse after you've slept for a night, or if this is as bad as it's going to get.
I did manage to finish the Randomness journal. I was trying to decide how to decorate the front cover and then had an odd idea and headed to Google Images to see if I could find what I was looking for. And I did!
This is an illustration from "Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics," by Fred Reif, a 650 page text book I typed (3 times) when I was working for the physics Department at UC Berkeley. How well I remember the Random Walk Theory and that damn drunk Fred used to illustrate the problem. When the book was finally published, I found a statue of a drunk hanging on a lamppost and gave it to him as a souvenir along with the teeny tiny nub of a red pencil that he used for editing--it was about an inch long--which I had the guys in the glass shop make a domed cover for.
(Oh, and BTW, I feel compelled to point out that the "it's" in the first line is NOT my typo. Obviously made by the publisher's staff)
So anyway, that is now the cover of the Randomness book. The journal is HUGE
I'm sending it in a flat rate box, and tried to wrap it in bubble wrap first. I had to use two small sheets of bubble wrap, taped together and I am too tired to try to figure out how to describe the contortions I had to go through to do that, since the tape kept sticking on itself, the book kept falling off the surface on which I was trying to work and it was almost more frustrating than trying to get up off the floor...but I didn't think that even an emergency button could have helped THAT situation.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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