Hat tip: Chris Lynch.
… and I’m not even an old Jewish woman!
(My blogpost title is marked as a trademark, as the phrase is now legally linked with Life Alert™, the ad where I stole the phrase.)
(Yeah, yeah, political correctness – watch the original ad!)
One of my jobs is to retrieve the mail. We share one of those communal mailboxes about 100 steps from our front door. (I miss having a house with a mail chute built – in! But I digress.)
So last night I go out to retrieve the mail. Undoubtedly ads, solicitations, bills and perhaps collection notices, all for our enjoyment.
I noticed there was a significant breeze, cool, but not cold.
And no one else was outside to enjoy it.
On my return trip, I did exactly that. I tripped. I suspect ‘Ed Sullivan’ (the really big shoe)* caught on one of those dividers they place in concrete sidewalks.
And down I went, pitching forward, my eyeglasses flying forward.
The ‘good news’ is I reverted to old karate training (from a Bruce Tegner book?) Instead of putting my arms out straight (ensuring a break or sprain), I placed them as if going down in a push-up – to absorb some of the shock. (Having a fused right hip, I am unable to bend all my joints and roll.)
I hit the sidewalk, felt some pain in my palms, and left ribs.
(Ok, so I didn’t do it perfectly. It’s only been 50 years or so.)
I rolled on my left side and began inventory. Hands, wrists, arms, no apparent sprains or breaks. Pain in my ribs, just below my left chest. It hurt a little when I breathe. Palms hurt, but not any abrasions. Glasses unscratched and unbent!
Now for the fun part. For a few years now, getting up off a flat surface has been challenging. To say the least. If I have foot stools, or something low and stable I can pull myself up on, incrementally, I’m golden.
If things are just flat, not so much. (not being able to bend like normal folks, and having less body strength in my arms and left leg)
And, while I did yell aloud upon impact (a kiai?), no one came outside to investigate. It was 1940 hours, and dark.
What to do, what to do?
I considered, for about two seconds, crawling across the sidewalk, to a narrow grassy area to the colored gravel adjacent to the townhouse stucco wall. There, using the wall (I reasoned) I could get a purchase and pull myself up!
Crawling, especially across gravel with sore ribs didn’t have much appeal to me, which is why I only thought about it for a couple seconds.
I know! I’Il call J., my roommate! She had said she was going to join me downstairs shortly.
Of course, sometimes she goes back to her nap, and turns off her phone! (911?)
I called, and she answered. She is recovering from shoulder surgery – there is no way she can pull me up…
I explained to her what had happened, and asked her to bring the aluminum patio chair out to me, that it might work for me to get myself up.
No dice! It was to high for me to get enough leverage. I suggested she knock on neighbor’s doors, until she found some help. Failing that, it was 911 for sure!
I think it was on her third try. Neighbors we didn’t know (and how sad is that?), a nice young man who was active in martial arts and sports medicine (a Twilight Zone moment, to be sure!) came, assessed me before touching me, then lifted me to my feet as if it were no big deal(!) He walked J. and I to our door, not letting go until he was certain I was ambulatory. He asked where all the blood was from – I didn’t know there had been any! He said I should get ‘checked out’ (as if I were in my eighties and broke my hip). I thanked him profusely.
Turns out I led with my chin**. A couple of abrasions that wouldn’t stop bleeding until I shaved off the kung-fu beard! (A disappointment for J.) I may have to grow it back. We’ll see.
And I have had broken ribs a couple of times. These are only bruised. I take pain meds for ongoing conditions, anyway. No biggie. Unless I cough, sneeze, reach for something, bend – you get the idea!
Getting old ain’t for sissies, no siree!
*Ed Sullivan was a variety showman on TV from the late 40’s ’til the early 70’s. He used to say, “We have a really big show – pronouncing it as shoe. Youngsters, ask your parents! I wear a built up shoe on my right leg – hence the clever nickname.
**Faces are VERY vascular (they can bleed a lot).
Being disabled, including a fused right hip, makes raising up from seated, especially of the lower variety chair, difficult, painful and sometimes ne’er impossible.
So, after my roommate’s stepmother passed, when we were tasked with emptying her home for sale, I was most grateful I was offered her ‘lift chair’! Having a fulcrum in the front of the recliner, it lifts one up out of the chair from seated. The process is reversed to sit.
Quite nice, really.
The control extends the chair to operate as a recliner, and even lays out flat, for sleeping!
However, it’s been in regular use for a few years now, and the controller module is failing!
Meaning it will no longer recline, is stuck in one sitting position, and sometimes will not elevate.
A problem for me, meaning my knee often goes out when I get up! Sometimes I can get it back into place in twenty seconds – sometimes not in twenty minutes. Sigh.
And it’s VERY painful.
(And knee braces are not possible, for too many reasons to go into here.)
A problem for my roommate (besides having to listen to me yell and whine) because SHE will need the chair soon to sleep in (post shoulder rotator cuff surgery). (I’ll be sitting in a straight chair in the interim.)
And a replacement control unit is almost $100 !
Funds are always tight, even more so now with her working less with the bad shoulder. She hasn’t worked a ‘regular’ work week in over a year, with her many health issues.
I don’t usually bleg, but contributions to my PayPal account (on the right sidebar) in any amount would be most appreciated!
Failing that, a good thought or prayer if that’s what you do. She will probably miss 12 weeks of work.
The surgeon says if she doesn’t have the repair surgery soon, it will become a replacement (!)
And please don’t tell her I asked – she’d have a fit. (she doesn’t always read the blog.)
Thank you for your kind consideration! 🙂
The Art of Manliness blog is my go-to place for such esoteric knowledge as how to dress, conceal a weapon or wrestle. IOW, manly things! 🙂
Being mostly disabled since age 12, physical pursuits were largely left behind to childhood. And now damn near elderly and infirmed, the idea of participating in COMBAT seems laughable.
But, in today’s political climate, with conflicts developing between States and the federal government, who knows?
At least I know how to shoot!
For those of you (like me) who never made it to the U.S. military, AoM offers a taste of what is required for combat readiness.
If social order ever breaks down where this is necessary, I suspect I will be holed-up somewhere making tin foil hats and praying. Leaving only to forage for stores I cannot make – like fresh water and TP!
For the rest of you…
In Greek mythology Sisyphus (/ˈsɪsᵻfəs/;Greek: Σίσυφος, Sísuphos) was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity. Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean (/ˌsɪsᵻˈfiːən/). (Wikipedia)
I’m on Facebook less (under my real name) since I’ve been producing a daily blog. Not to mention, the idiocy encountered on FB (especially in the realm of politics) is astounding.
STILL, I do sometimes visit there, and less often participate in political commentary. Because, sadly, there are some folks schooled in courtesy and debate, but many are not.
One of my FB friends is a guy I’ve known since grade school. We also went to the same junior high and graduated in the same class in high school. And attended the same Sunday school.
He claims to be an NRA member and a hunter, but sometimes repeats the time-worn arguments used by the anti-gun-rights community about controls over semiautomatic firearms and magazine capacity.
Not understanding the whole nose-under-the-tent thing, or, for that matter, The Second Amendment.
Regardless, he has a right to his opinion, and to post the same on Facebook.
I mostly just read others postings, occasionally adding my two cents worth. Or just clicking ‘like’.
Unless I am directly attacked!
So this guy mentioned me by name and strongly suggested I knew nothing about the issue, law or history, and should understand HIS interpretation of The Second Amendment! (the whole militia meme).
I took a deep breath (to slow my roll) and responded politely that he read The Federalist Papers and Madison and Tench Coxe to obtain a better perspective! I also recommended reading about how the first efforts on gun control were to stop freed slaves from firearms ownership (in 1809) and continued to the Sullivan Law in NYC (1911) to prevent undesirables (read immigrants) from having guns.
Then, I took another breath.
No response was posted.
BUT, in about a week, I saw another friend’s pro-gun Facebook posting generating a response from this same guy. THE SAME RESPONSE, ALMOST VERBATIM!
Obviously, he had not taken my suggestion to do further research.
I will continue to ‘like’ his comments regarding his new retirement home in Prescott, or his new prosthesis (he is an amputee), but I won’t bother responding any more to his screeds on restricting all our rights.
‘Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.’ – George Carlin
I’ve been ‘disabled’ since I was age 12. Legg Calve’ Perthes disease destroyed the cartilage and bone in my right hip, and was starting to attack my other hip and both knees. After much failed experimentation, ‘they’ were able to stop the advancement. ‘They’ decided the best course of action was to cast me, fusing my right leg at the hip. In 1966.
So my right leg is substantially shorter than my left, and fused at the hip.
I’ve lived my life this way. I’m used to it.
And, anyway, a hip replacement is elective and expensive.
In spite of this (in my youth), I ran, played, jogged, walked, took Kenpo karate, lifted weights…all manner of things!
Sadly, this disability kept me from joining the military or becoming a cop. Childhood dreams dashed.
But, in spite of my limitations, I never felt, well, disabled.
Yes, sometimes ‘it’ got in the way (like needing leg room to drive – straight leg, and all), but it never kept me from most things. I usually avoided wearing ‘Ed Sullivan-the really big shoe’* when I was younger, because I thought it made me look crippled. Which I was.
And I rarely felt sorry for myself. Well, sometimes.
But Life brought the addition of a serious car accident, diabetes and lymphoma, all potentially more lethal.
And Diffuse Type B Cell Lymphoma is listed as the ‘official’ reason for my Social Security Disability Income.
As of age 58.
And I am still here, now approaching age 64. Wearing ‘Ed’ more often.
My roommate J. has been having her own health issues for many years. They needn’t be enumerated here. Surgery pending on some. Suffice it to say we don’t get to gun shows much, anymore. Too much walking.
But she never asked for one of those disabled mirror hangers! I obtained one a while back, and we kept in in her car, as she does most of the driving, her car being in better shape then mine.
She finally remembered to ask her primary care doc for the form to get one! And got hers!
This meant I got to have and use mine for the first time the other day!
It’s official – I’m a gimp!
I’m more tough than I used to be – but hardly a marathon-running spec ops guy. I’ve beaten cancer (2x) and a serious car wreck.
Frankly, most days just walking is a challenge. 😦
But, I read about these bubble-wrapped snowflakes in colleges, demanding safe spaces to share their feelings, because they say a chalk writing on the pavement in support of a presidential candidate with whom they disagree distresses them!
And that makes me sick!
THEN, I read about THIS guy (courtesy of my friend Borepatch)
(from Into The Fray – USCCA Blog – Kevin Michalowski)
I know this is the second week in a row I have talked about comments to Into the Fray videos, but I feel it is very important to point out that when it comes to defensive training, there is no ONE single way that people must do anything.
Every situation is dynamic. Every person is different. We are trying to present broad-based information from a variety of sources. What we present here is not THE way, it is A way. If you disagree, please do so politely and logically. We can all learn from each other, share knowledge, and exchange ideas. Nobody knows it all, but the more we share, the safer we will all be.
Yeah, it is a cliché, but every cliché starts with the truth somewhere along the line. If your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Broaden your firearms knowledge by listening, thinking critically, and exchanging your views. We are all in this together.
I’m a big believer in the Bruce Lee modality. Essentially, kata, like standing still and punching paper, is not a survival skill unto itself. Sifu Lee called kata ‘vertical death’. So is doing the same thing, the same way. If you are under attack, you could lose more than your lunch if you are trying to get into a specific fighting stance. I’m a big believer in The Weaver Stance. This doesn’t mean I don’t know how to shoot Isosceles or one-handed or weak handed.
Or while laying on the ground, on my side or my back! Sights will line up, even if you are upside down!
Being disabled, and having a fused hip, kicking someone in the head is not good for me tactically. Knees are better, as are sticky and trapping hands – close quarter work. Rapidly ‘going prone’ is also probably not an option for me. Neither is sprinting 50 yards to find cover. Ambling sometimes presents a challenge.
Use the tools and skills available to you, specifically! Change it up, as necessary.
I was able to communicate with one of the many Bobs in my life last night. (Long-time readers know I’ve many friends named Bob and Dave. One childhood friend was even named Robert Davidson!)
The dear friend with whom I was a private investigator, and later worked together in a firearms emporium.
The one who lost the lower 12″ of his left leg due to diabetic complications. And almost lost his life.
Fortunately, things are going well as can be for him.
He’s been using a prosthesis now for about six weeks! He still has need of a wheelchair or a walker for some life activities.
The most important thing is he is active, continuing to test his limits, and has a terrific attitude.
One daughter is preparing to graduate from a local university; the other from Northwestern.
He is most proud.
I’m proud of him for his ongoing attitude. I’ve my own health issues – And he continues to show me that attitude is everything.
Thank you, Robert!
The really big shoe, the sequel!
I’ve been in need for a replacement big shoe for over seven months, now. Bought the shoes, but simply didn’t have the funds to get the orthopedic build-up needed.
Until a couple weeks ago.
I now present to you, Ed Sullivan II, the sequel! 🙂
I’ve never liked referring to myself as disabled. Or the politically-correct differently-abled. Even now that the State and my private insurance have labelled me as such. I’m just uncomfortable so doing.
I haven’t even bothered to get one of those disabled license plates or mirror hangers. Other people need them more than I. 🙂
I’m just me.
But, there are some things difficult and nearly impossible for me to do without some kind of assistance.
One of my ‘problems’ having a fused right hip (and imperfect right knee) is putting on socks. I have been known to perform a kind of modified hurdlers stretch, bending my leg back and reaching behind me with a sock one-handed.
Believe me when I say doing this isn’t quick, easy or comfortable.
Enter The Sock Thingy 2.0. This is the name I’ve given it.
One curls the black part into a sock, which holds it open, then dangles it to insert the foot in the opening, and pull up on the straps – viola’!
My only complaint is Sock Thingy 1.0 was made of thin plastic and terrycloth, and eventually broke. It was quite comfortable, but replaced with the 2.0. The 2.0 model is hard plastic. Much more durable, but less comfortable, too.
At least it helps!
(It occurred to me while dressing this morning that some others of you might have a need for such an aid(?)
FTC – neither Amazon or Duro-Med have given me anything. Put on your own socks!