Wednesday, September 30, 2015


(A reworked post which first appeared in WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME in January, 2012.)

Now that I’m 81, I'm not only clumsy, I’m becoming decrepit.  Which is strange, because I don’t remember ever being crepit.  Or ept.  Or even ane.  You look to be sympathetic.  Let me tell you some of my woes.

I’m diabetic, which has not been much of a problem.  One time, however, I had a sore on my leg which refused to heal.  My doctor thought pure oxygen would help.  He had me go for treatments in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.  This is what divers use when they get the bends.  This is not for those of you with claustrophobia, which I do not have.  You lie in a coffin-like chamber that has a glass top & sides so you can watch TV.  While you’re in there you breathe pure oxygen.  It’s something “normal” people never need.  The treatments take about an hour each, in a series of about 15.  I usually fell asleep.

My main problem has been with my feet--specifically, my toes.  I refuse to wear shoes unless it’s absolutely necessary.  I never wear them in the house.  When my kids were small & they’d see me wearing shoes, they’d ask where I was going.  I used to give small dinner fancy parties with crystal, china, sterling & bare feet.  I have broken several toes by bumping them into chairs.

The first time I ever broke a toe, my husband & I were playing cards at my brother & sister-in-law’s house on a Sunday evening.  My brother-in-law was a veterinarian.  We decided that he would bandage my foot & I would see my doctor Monday, instead of bothering him on the weekend.  Apparently, my brother in law used a LOT of bandage to wrap it, because when I went to my doctor the next day he asked, “Who the hell bandaged your foot?  It looks like a hoof!”  I said, “Funny you should mention that.  My veterinarian did it.”

Another time, I had just had arthroscopic surgery on my knee.  The morning after the surgery, I was in bed when the doorbell rang.  My husband had gone to work.  I grabbed my crutches, which I was not used to using, & started to “run” to the door.  I fell & broke my toe against the wall, trying to protect my knee.  My yelling woke my son, who came out to see what was happening.  He helped me up & got me back into bed, then went to the front door.  The UPS driver had left a package for me.  In it was a beautiful new cane, hand decorated in lace, which a friend had sent me.  If she hadn’t sent it, I wouldn’t have needed it!  Sometimes I feel like the old joke that goes, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”

I had a mastectomy a couple of years ago.  That didn’t bother me too much except that after I finally got my arm back in working order, I fell & broke it.  It still doesn’t work perfectly.  For quite a while I couldn’t pull up my own underwear.  My son, my husband & I were talking about online dating.  I said I should put my name out there with the description, "Old broad who can't pull up her own underwear."  Blake thought that should get me several hits!!

I once bought an embroidered pillow for a friend.  Maybe I should have gotten one for myself, too.  It shows a cow lying on her back with her udder hanging to one side.  It says, with the letters dragging down, towards the bottom corner, “No, really--I’m f   i    n     e….”

Sort of like this:

A meal is not considered finished until I spill something on my shirt----fishducky