Two years ago I was the one-arm bandit (having broken my shoulder falling off a stage with microphone still in hand as I was starting a presentation). Today I am a peg-leg pirate. I fractured my patella (I never heard the word before) while running–yes, I know, I should not run at 90 years of age, so okay, I won’t any more.
At the orthopedist appointment, I was told I needed to wear a brace in order for the bone to mend. Although I told him that I tend to have a non-compliant personality, I decided to give in and wear my brace all day, everywhere. This is to avoid the surgery he threatened me with if I weren’t compliant.
Even though I am considerably slowed down, much to my frustration (slow is not my thing), I do not want to miss out on all the events White Sands offers. So our events planner, Pat, got me an aisle seat for the symphony. With my leg rigidly encased in a full-length brace, it will not fit under a regular theater seat. My leg needs to be elevated, so I got a small, square cardboard box, decorated it with a ribbon and voila, a portable footrest. The only problem is that my leg acted like a barrier to anyone entering the aisle. So as each person approached, I told them only people with long legs could get in the row; happily, the two men who still needed to be seated were able to get over my leg although somewhat awkwardly. I mentioned that I had called the box office and requested that only long-legged people were to be in my row (I was kidding). After a wonderful Mendelssohn and Brahms concert, I was lifted onto the White Sands bus by way of the wheelchair platform and found a seat at the back.
I had always wanted to ride one of those electric scooters; I had to break my knee cap to finally be able to rent one. It is indeed fun, but not easy to control. I ran into my 97-year-old friend, but only gently; she wasn’t hurt. I also hit a small buffet table in our dining room which happened to have wheels, so it and I rode a couple of feet together, much to the dismay of diners who were witnessing the event in real time.
My scooter was quite large–made to fit a person weighing up to a 300 lbs. and, I believe, was over-powered. This meant that even when I entered the elevator on its slowest setting, I ended up crashing into the wall, again to the dismay of the frightened people already in the elevator.
It is interesting how one’s perceptions change with a disability. I had often impatiently thought that all elevator doors opened too slowly and then stayed open too long. Guess what? Driving my scooter into the narrow cage, those doors opened too fast and closed too quickly. In fact, I even got stuck once with both doors closing in on my scooter. As no one was around, I couldn’t get in or out. Eventually the doors opened, and I was released from the trap.
It seems that several people complained to our Executive Director about my lack of total control with my scooter. He gave me a warning to slow down. A few days later he was told that I still drove it too fast–not my fault, it has a lot of speed on its lowest setting. The next day he arrived at my apartment with the news that I am no longer allowed to use the scooter because I am endangering the lives of the residents as well as my own. No pleas or promises of slow, careful driving dissuaded him. I am now scooterless. In hindsight, he may have been right. I am using my late husband Herman’s cane and walker. It still has his name on it, and that gives me a comforting feeling of connection.
The next cultural event was the San Diego Opera’s Cinderella. The kind lady from the box office told me I could have a front row seat. I had never sat in the front row at the opera before. I turned out to be wonderful seeing the singers’ expressions up close. They are all not only great singers, but equally great performers. The entire front row learned to go over my rigid brace-encased leg, still acting like a barrier.
Although my peg-leg could have been an obstacle to my life as it was, it is turning out to be another interesting adventure and fodder for a column. So there you have it!
— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News