Martha, the day after her fall.
On January 18, 2022, my wife Martha had a very serious fall. Indeed, for a brief, terrible moment…while I was watching her tumble helplessly through and space and toward the brick wall of the house…I feared we could lose her. A blow to the temple. A breaking of bone. The end…
Fortunately, it wasn’t that awful. In fact, we were quite lucky in what happened. I remember the feeling of enormous relief when the (very nice) doctor at the emergency room explained that all she had were two hairline fractures in her pelvis. It was going to be seriously painful, he explained. It would take her time to recover, he added. But, eventually, she would heal, he concluded.
Happy words, indeed.
Well, relatively happy. Martha could done very well without the pain. And with the long months of using the wheelchair. And of having to sleep in the recliner because she could not lay flat. And of being separate from me at night because we couldn’t cuddle. And of not being going places at a time when we both desperately longed for some sort of diversion.
We knew she would get better. And that the was important thing.
I’m writing this on April 11, 2022, or not quite three months after her accident. She is, now, well on her way to complete recovery. She can walk again, and even, for short periods, do so without her Rolator/Walker, or even her cane. We’ve returned the wheelchair to the rental place. We’ve been getting out more…we even went to a musical performance at Southwestern University on Saturday night. Though, we also learned that she is still healing, and tires easily. (It will pass.)
But the past three months have been important to us…to me particularly. I’ve learned a little about what it is like to be disabled, even in the smallest way, in a culture that doesn’t make allowances for things like mobility problems. I have discovered the joys of battling for handicapped parking spaces…not, that is, competing with other disabled individuals, but with quite capable people who for some strange reason regard handicapped spaces as fair game, and, indeed, as an affront. I have learned, too, a little bit …a tiny portion..to be on the receiving end of those looks, the stares, of those who seem to regard a walker as a sign of moral turpitude.
More importantly, this period in my life has forced me to consider what is coming—inevitably, eventually, if not happily. We can no longer easily call ourselves “Middle Aged,” (not unless, in my case, I live to be a 170). I am not yet old, but the horizon grows nearer with each passing day.
And beyond that? Mortality…
I have, in other words, learned a great deal, indeed.
But this blog post marks the beginning of a new series. I promise, the series will be (mostly) cheerier than the particular piece you’re reading right now. What follows deals mostly with Martha’s recovery, which is a happy subject, and it is amazing how often we found things to laugh about over the past weeks. Even when things were awful, or painful, we somehow discovered a joke or a smile or a moment of affection.
Though, occasionally, there will be moments that are not so happy.
How did the series begin? Well, it was Facebook, or is it “Meta Platforms” these days? Whatever.
Shortly after Martha’s fall, and her return from the hospital, she posted a note to her many friends that she had fallen, but that she was more or less all right. Her friends wished her well and expressed the hope that she would keep them in the loop as to how she was doing.
At that particular moment, it wasn’t easy for her to post to FaceBook. If nothing else, she was on meds that made her groggy, and sitting up in an office chair for long periods was difficult. So, I took it on myself to post for her. That is, I began a series of FaceBook postings in which I wrote her situation, and ours, over time.
These proved surprisingly popular. If there were never the hundreds or thousands of responses that celebrities get with their Tweets and Twits, still, each of my postings about Martha drew a score or two of Likes, Hearts, and comments congratulating Martha on her progress and wishing her well.
Moreover, as time went on, some of our friends began to suggest that I “do something” with the postings—collect them, perhaps, into a little book, or post them somewhere more permanent than Facebook, where postings tend to vanish, buried over time.
I decided, finally, that this was a pretty good idea, really. So, here is the “something” I will do with the posts. I’ll rewrite, expand, and edit them a bit…and I’ll add some some material or material I didn’t have room for FaceBook…and then I’ll post them here as a new series. Maybe, later, I’ll make them into a book or an e-book or something like that. We’ll see. Tell me what you’d like to see me do, if anything.
Okay, so that is what’s about to happen. Stay tuned. Over the next few weeks, I will try to make sense of our little adventures. That will be useful for me, at least, because, frankly, I am still processing what happened and what it means to us.
But, also, maybe it will be useful to you.
For here is the reality. Eventually…eventually!…you will almost certainly find yourself in a similar fix.
Because…alas…in the end, we all of us come to this…to that moment when age, or accident, or whatever…presents us with the chair, or the cane, or walker…
And the only question is the degree of grace and dignity with which we confront it…
Until next time…
Onward and Upward.
Copyright©2022 Michael Jay Tucker