My grandmother was born in 1895. Filled with sage advice, she lived just over 100 years. I was blessed with knowing her, well into my adult life. When in her 90’s, Mémère got up sometime during the night for a glass of water.
Filling her glass, she then stood straight up, lifted the glass to her lips, and with head tilted back she took a sip of water. It was at this time she lost her balance, fell backwards, hit the floor and broke her back. Being the resilient and amazing woman she was, in time she healed, and went on with her life armed with another life lesson learned.
During one of our many visits she stated, “If you get up during the night, be cautious. You’ll notice when a dog or your cat wakes up from a sleep, they take their time. They stretch this way, and then that way before they walk away. That’s natures’ wisdom in action, Jo-Ann. Take your time getting out of bed and moving. We’re not fully coordinated in body and mind when just waking from a deep sleep.
Well, I guess I forgot about that particular wisdom. It was early morning a few weeks ago, at about 4:00 a.m., when my enigmatic and spirited Percy (stoma), decided to overact. Cozy in my bed and through the fog of a forgotten dream, I suddenly became aware of number two of the final act of digestion quickly filling Percy’s bag.
A far cry from graceful I bounded out of bed with lights off. In our sleeping house I moved at lightening speed toward the bathroom. As I reached what I guessed was the bathroom doorway, my balance became completely out of control. I lost myself somewhere in the middle of the best or the worse outcome in that split second. You know, when we are free falling and time expands giving us the opportunity to experience lightness, dread and panic, as we hang somewhere in between dimensions of time and space. “Will I be okay, or am I heading for a crash, and what can I do about it?!?”
My automatic response in place, I fling my right hand and arm out to grab the doorframe. At the very extension of my skin I feel the feather touch of the frame. Damn, I missed and now I’m heading into the door frame face and full Percy frontal, accident bound.
In the following instant I decided to do what I thought quite clever of me; I torqued my body counterclockwise in midair, and crashed my right hip into the doorframe, instead. With an explosion of pain on impact, I then gathered my wits about me, and limped into the bathroom.
Later that morning the pain in my hip was so intense, it was off to the “Urgent Care Clinic”, I headed.
“You’re fortunate, no bone fracture”, stated the Doctor. “You have a severe deep bruising and it’s going to hurt like stink for about 2 weeks. I could prescribe pain killers”.
“Nope, I’ve had enough of that stuff since my most recent surgery in the spring. I can handle it”, said I.
“Well my best advice to you”, continued the Doctor, “is like the old joke: A guy goes to the Doctor. The Doctor asks how he can help him. The guys says, Doc it hurts when I do this. And, the Doctor says, then don’t do it”.
“Thanks Doc”, I said as I departed the clinic, and proceeded to limp my way to the car. I crawled into the drivers seat and headed home.
Prepared for right hip pain for a fortnight, I was surprised when 6 days later an intense pain, left of my spine settled in and started to expand across my lower back, left hip and down my thigh. “Oh great, I must of pulled a muscle during my ever so clever torque”.
For a couple of weeks following, I had good and then not-so-good days. As predicted, within 2 weeks the right hip got better and better, finally it’s as good as any hip my age can feel.
Unfortunately, my left lower back, hip and leg seemed to get progressively worse. Finally, a week ago I found myself unable to stand up from a sitting position. The pain in my back was excruciating and I was literally stuck in the lounge chair.
Once again, it’s off to the Urgent Care Clinic, with Percy and I feeling like crap.
“Well, there’s been more damage than originally thought. You have a disk injury. I’m prescribing an anti-inflammatory and pain killer, and here’s a prescription for physio therapy. It will hurt like stink for another 4 weeks”, said my sympathetic Doctor.
Now, off to physio therapy, in addition to the disk injury, upon further examination it is found out that my sacrum , (the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine and at the upper and back part of the pelvic cavity, that is inserted like a wedge between the two hip bones, the upper connects with the last lumbar vertebra, and bottom part to the tailbone), is awkwardly out of alignment.
Percy and I are now attending our physio appointments 3 times a week. We’re responding well to the medication, and we’re looking forward to being as good as new in a few weeks.
Upon hearing about our misadventure, my friend and fellow ostomate Carol reminded me, “it’s frustrating how ostomies complicate even the simplest thing at times, even when it isn’t quite the ostomy doing anything”. Okay, Percy you’re off the hook, you’re no longer in the poop house.
The moral of this sharing is: To avoid the misadventures of things going bump in the night, remember our dogs and cats, with or without a stoma and at any age, take time to orientate your mind and wake your body before bounding out of bed!
Jo-Ann L. Tremblay
“Everyone you meet has a story to tell”