When your parent reaches a certain age, like 69, you start to wonder about their health and well being. Well due some events in the past year my Dad, I affectionately refer to as “The Old Man”, had a life changing event take place. He became an amputee.
So, let me tell you…when someone becomes an amputee the number one thing that you are always thinking about is if they are going to fall and or when are they going to fall and how will you react. While they are going through therapy the hospital and rehabilitation staff will try to simulate drills where they have a controlled fall to make sure that the amputee knows how to get up.
This is all well and good until you think of your parent falling and possibly hurting themselves.
My Dad started wearing his prosthetic leg at the end of last year and I saw him walk for the first time on Christmas Day, with a walker. So each new improvement, from a stationary walker to a rolling walker is a mini victory. Until you hear these words….
“I was walking into the hospital for my appointment and I fell on the floor”
Immediately, I went into “Mommy mode” as if this wasn’t my parent. (Thinking about how hospital floors are hard and an injury may have occured) “Are you ok? Did you hurt yourself? Did anyone help you up?” Literally I grabbed my shoes, and was headed to the door.
Then I stopped and listened to him. He didn’t sound in pain, he didn’t change the tone of his voice and he was saying it like it was a matter of fact thing. So I calmed down, sat down and listened to the rest of his story. He says, ” I got up by myself, noticed I wasn’t hurt and kept on going”.
So I sat back down in my chair with the phone and had to think of how parents are when they see their children fall. If you make a big fuss, then the kid gets upset. So I treated this like that situation, he probably knew that I was on edge though.
So I said, “You were able to get back up on your own, without help, GOOD JOB!!” I also realized that if he could fall and get up all by himself that we are definitely making some major improvements. He also said it with confidence, so I won’t be afraid if I hear this again, unless he is injured.
Moral of the story: If you fall down and you can get back up then you are in good Shape.
I am thankful for the lessons I am learning while going through this process.