Fearless to Fearful in One Broken Bone

Lesson #3: You can take more pain relievers than it says on the bottle, and you may need it.

stairs_scared“You can take as many as eight Advil a day for pain”, I remember him saying as I swallowed my first two on the way home from the ER. Fumbling with my new “assistive devices” (aka crutches), my wallet, reading glasses, water bottle and my left slipper, I tried to get out of the car without whacking my foot on the door. Steve came around and relieved me of all but the crutches.

It was only fifteen feet to the garage stairs and then six stairs to the back door. As soon as I got to the stairs I halted. How do people do this? Bad foot first? Good foot first? Crutches first? The only instructions I recalled were “take small steps.” I mustarded the guts to hoist myself to that first step, but fear overcame me. I stopped and let Steve pass. Again I looked up and decided it was too hard.

I put the crutches down and started up the stairs on my hands and knees. Seemed like a safer alternative. What I failed to anticipate was what I would do at the top. Steve met me as I summited, looking down at me with a “What now?”  I crawled onto the tile floor and flipped over on my butt. That wasn’t much better, except for the relief on my knees.

“Here, let me help you,” and up I went.

I will spare you the details of the trip to the bathroom except to say I has deafened by the siren call of the hazards before me. No handrails. Tight corner. No light in the bathroom. My luxurious fuzzy rug waiting to tangle me up and toss me to the floor. No grab bar. How could someone so fearless hours earlier suddenly be so afraid?

Thankfully, the day ended. Me, my splint, and my two new aluminum friends clipped-clopped to bed with the bottle of Advil.

Kathleen Cody, Executive Director, loves advocacy and education, and believes prevention is the key to a long healthy life. She sorts through the latest scientific and research data for information that can help people make good decisions about their bone health and is focused on providing easy to use and understandable tools and resources for the public. Kathleen is a Tarheel at heart from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an honors graduate of the University of San Francisco’s MBA program.

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