Fallen and can’t get up


I guess there is no greater fear when people grow old than falling and not being able to get up. And who can imagine lying somewhere, maybe cold, waiting for someone to come along and find you there. That would be horrible.

Now in Ol’ Dutch’s case, I think I could probably survive a good 90 days living off the food I have in storage — around my middle — but might get a tad thirsty by then, too.

I have Miss Trixie who checks on me all the time now and when asked why she does she says, “I wanted to make sure you weren’t dead.” I am not sure what she would do about that but it's nice to be loved at least.

We all know the advertising promo that became famous for using the phrase “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” which came about sometime in the 1980s. And remarkably it's still noticeable today as a trademark of Life Alert, a company that provides emergency help to the elderly at the touch of a button worn conveniently around one's neck.

I do get a little frustrated and somewhat aggravated with their advertising on the television, however, as that poor old lady who falls down the stairs just keeps doing it over and over. I even yell at her when it comes on TV hoping she will finally learn but she is stubborn as the dickens.

And there is also the lady who falls in the basement trying to do her laundry. I used to feel sorry for her but of late I have been telling her that it serves her right to go down there in the first place. She never learns.

One thing I have noticed as I age is I am not as steady on my feet as I once was and so I do understand the fears about falling with the elderly. Some of the problems with Ol’ Dutch is he is a tad top-heavy now and things built that way are a lot easier to topple, for sure.

Just the other night Ol’ Dutch had his own little scare with falling. Having taken Mr. Cooper, the Yorkie, out for his midnight rounds, we were returning to the house, and I had mounted the stairs to come in when I lost one camo house shoe on the top step.

No use asking how I could lose a shoe but let us just say it may have not been properly attached to my dogs. Instead of stopping and taking my time to recover said shoe, I tried to backstep and get it.

This resulted in what is known as “tipping the scales of balance” and Ol’ Dutch suddenly fell over backward off the porch.

They always say that your life flashes in front of your eyes when you are about to die and no, this did not happen so I knew I would live through it. However, I also knew that this was gonna hurt.

Taking a clue from my many years of gymnastics experience which is solely made up of watching the Olympics every four years, I was able to turn and get one foot on the deck three feet down.

And from that start, I vaulted myself into the yard which I knew had to be softer than the deck itself. Now how a person can have the presence of mind to do all that in a split second I do not know but I do recall all the thoughts that went through my mind from the initial “Oh! Oh!” to “wow that hurt.”

Needless to say, I did not stick the landing like most gymnasts, but I survived it albeit with a headache, broken tooth, and more.

Checking myself out for catastrophic injuries and finding none I called for Miss Trixie to come to help me but all I got in reply was some deep snores coming from the bedroom. Mr. Cooper the Yorkie and Bob the Cat simply sat on the porch, ears erect, and looked at me like Olympic judges at the summer games.

No score was given, and I think I saw them look at one another and make some snide comments about technique and lack of conditioning on Ol’ Dutch’s part.

Never, fear, Ol’ Dutch managed to get his bruised and battered body to bed on his own. Miss Trixie, for her part, never roused. Maybe I should look into one of those fancy things call-for-help buttons after all.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]

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