Monday, March 6, 2017

Legends of the Fall - Part 1

It was Saturday night, January 14th, 9:00 PM. Things were settling down a bit at , my mom's residence since October when the dementia stalking her life and eroding her mind had made it necessary to move her to another facility specifically equipped to handle patients with dementia and Alzheimer's.  

The family had been on alert for two weeks on news from hospice that mom was transitioning. "Transitioning" is a nice word hospice uses in place of saying "getting ready to die".  Saturday ended with my mom continuing to defy death's expectations which surprised no one as mom could be quite stubborn.   Family members who had come to visit, pay their respects, say their farewells had filtered away.  I was the last one left. Mom was asleep as I touched base with the Autumn Care night shift staff and took my leave. 

I had a 40 minute drive back to what I still call "mom's house". A few minutes after turning onto the road towards home, I felt the need to, as they say, "relieve myself".  Or what humans call "pee".   

I stopped at a convenient rest area and made use of the facilities. As I was walking along a sidewalk back to my car, I lost my balance. I tripped over... something? One foot got tangled with the other? Who knows? All I know was there was this immediate sense of dread that I was not in control of my own body. 

So trip, trip, trippity-trip-trip, I stumbled down the sidewalk for a couple of feet when things took a turn for the worse: I ran out of sidewalk. I reached the curb and instead of flailing about forward, I was now falling downward towards the rough hard surface of the asphalt parking lot. 

I hit the parking lot with pretty much my whole body. And I hit it very hard.  

And it hurt.  A lot. 

I fell right in the space next to my car. OK, not far to go once I got myself back up. So my brain sent an urgent message to my right arm to start lifting me up off the ground: "deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet".  

My right arm replied, "That's not going to happen."  

Then my brain sent an urgent message to my left arm to start lifting me up off the ground: "deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet".

My left arm did not reply at all. I was dimly aware of the fingers on my left hand trying to flex but they felt like rubber. 

Back to the right arm? "Deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet".  

Right arm: "No, I don't think so."  

Back to the left arm? "Deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet".  My stomach sank. Just rubber fingers.  

At that moment a car was passing through the rest area parking lot and it stopped.  A window came down and a guy called out to me: "Dude! Are you OK?"   

I shouted back, "No! I've fallen and I've hurt myself really bad! I'm going to need medical attention!"  

"Ouch! Sorry, dude! I'm gonna call 911, OK, dude?"

"Yes, please!"  

"OK, dude!" 

And he drove away.   

Laying on the hard pavement, I turned my head to look upwards as the pale yellow glow of the parking lot lights shattered into pale yellow dust, merging with the inky blackness of the night sky.  

I couldn't count on that guy calling anybody. Alone with one arm that didn't want to work and another arm that didn't work, I was going to have to save myself.

------to be continued------

Jerry Lewis, Comic Book Character

This weekend, Jerry Lewis passed away at the age of 91. In his latter years, Jerry became known more for being cantankerous and ill tempered...