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Carole’s Corner-Gettin’ Around

For many years, the “Corner” was part of the agency’s Compass, and before that, Connections.  Today our newsletter has wonderfully expanded into social media.  Who knew I would one day become a “Blogger?”  Not me…..but alas, times change and so must we.

Actually I haven’t written in a while.  Last year was not kind to me.  Hospitalizations, surgeries, long recoveries—all conspired to alter life’s path.  Then just as I began to feel my ol’ self again, I fell down a steep set of stairs and broke my foot.  The orthopedist called it a “Jones Fracture,” slow-healing and unable to bear weight.

The many stairs in our home proved a challenge.  Crutches were out of the question—and hopping was even worse at my age.  To maneuver I used a knee-walker and much to my husband’s dismay, I often crawled.  Crawling was actually the safest way to get around.  Community Caregivers’ Loaners Closet of Greater Derry graciously provided us with adaptive equipment, including my trusty wheelchair.  Without it, I’d have been totally housebound.  That wheelchair has a special place in my heart, and while I in no way compare myself to someone relying on a wheelchair permanently, I must say those few months were an eye opener.  Some observations:

“Wheelchair Accessible”…………Hmm, but how does one maneuver pushing a loved one in a wheelchair simultaneously with opening massive double doors?  Some buildings provide electronic door opening switches—otherwise, you simply wait in the cold/heat/sleet or rain hoping for a Good Samaritan to lend a hand.

“Handicapped Parking”………This one’s so very convenient, but it too comes with its trials.  Exiting your vehicle in a wheelchair, you realize there’s an impossibly high sidewalk curb to access the building entrance.  So the wheelchair, the “wheelchairee” as well as the wheelchairer” are forced to transit the parking lot in the midst of vehicular traffic—particularly tricky in slush, snow and ice.

“The Stampede”…………Mercifully, I eventually was able to walk—limping and slow.  The eye-opener in this stage of mobility?   Everyone dashes everywhere.  I’m sure I used to do the same.  At my reduced speed, I had a line of individuals and families on my tail wherever I went.  Grocery store, library, restaurant……it didn’t matter.  I handled it by stepping aside with an acknowledgment of being slow and a “please go ahead of me.”  They were always eager to oblige.  What I really wanted to say is, “People, slow down!  What’s the rush?”

There’s always something to learn.  I hope my lesson from this broken foot episode is to slow the pace.  Life is short—the older you get, the more you realize that.  I’m thinking it’s not meant to be a race—but a wonderfully unhurried journey.  Cherish it.  That’s the word from this Corner of the world!