Friday, September 17, 2010

March of the Old People

Now if this were a romance novel, it would be an entirely different type post. But life is not a romance novel. I'm settling into life here at Parkwood and if it was a romance novel, many of the other residents would be athletes who had hurt themselves while doing super sports. Or they would be CEO's who had accidents with their beemers. Or possibly there would be a few bad boy types who crashed their motorcycles. And life would be very interesting on Floor 5, Wing A.

But instead, just about every resident here averages 30 years older than me and are having hip replacement operations or just plain fell. My room mate for example, a very nice lady, is 33 years older than I am. I'm just starting to emerge from my cocoon of a room as I get walking safely with a walker and don't need a 'spotter' for heading to the washroom and back. But even in the brief glimpses I've gotten, I realize I have nothing in common with anyone around me. In fact I find it very surreal. We are all expected to get out of our beds and eat our lunch in the main floor lunchroom. So far due to different reasons, I've only managed this, what I dubbed 'March of the Old People' twice now. The first time I was seated at a table with two old men, both had to be in their 80's. I can't even begin to describe the oddness and hilarity of sitting at a table with two guys wearing matching custom made I'm sure flannelette plaid bibs. And man! Do these people know there meds. Listening to their conversations, many seem to be intimately acquainted with their pharmacists and can roll out those latin names like nobody's business. And crotchety some of them???? Good heavens they are cranky.

I couldn't make it for the March of the Old People yesterday, but today when I got to the lunchroom, they were playing toons and having a singalong. There's nothing quite like hearing a room full of people belting out 'How much is that Doggie in the Window'? Some of the men really had fun doing the barking after the one line. I'm afraid I didn't guess any of the name that tunes. I'm not really up on my Patsy Cline, George Jones or Big Band era music. Now if they had played some Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert or Beyonce I might have stood a chance.

It's been interesting times here that's for sure. The one day I had a sad day and was in tears most of the day. Telling myself this is actually a good thing and it's the best opportunity to get healthy and sort out whatever health issues I've had over the years just wasn't cutting it. I miss my cats. I was tired of even the simplest things being mountains without a single hill in sight.
I miss Ron so much being here.

But then a day can turn on a dime. Yesterday started out bad again. I had to go back to the other hospital for a follow-up visit in the ortho department. One of the medications they are giving me is water pills to make me pee. And boy do they ever work. Real well! They work very, very well! I had to have a family member accompany me to the hospital so Ryan got drafted. We were sitting there waiting for the transpo when they medication kicked in. And then the logistics set in. I was in a wheelchair and didn't have my walker with me. Ryan found a washroom and wheeled my into the womens', but then I was stuck. I don't know how to work a wheelchair!! I couldn't get it moving forward, I couldn't get it moving backwards. And I had to go - BAD. Thankfully there was a health person in there who wheeled me into the stall and by being very careful, I managed to do what needed to be done, but this person had left and I was in the washroom by myself. I had to yell out for Ryan to come in and get me. And we hadn't even left the hospital yet!!

I had 4 more nightmare trips to the can - every 15 minutes over the next little while. Ryan was very good about taking his Mama to the can so often, but still I could tell it was frustrating for him as well as for me. And neither of us thought the appointment wait would take so long and he had to get to work. So by the time I got back to my room, I was ready to hurl a chair through the window. Instead though, I channeled my frustration into my physio and really went way beyond what the physiotherapist, a rather nice young woman, not a hunky gorgeous guy, had planned for me. So I was feeling pretty darn good by the end of it.

And Andy, my room mate from the other hospital, made it here this afternoon. In fact, it turns out he's in the room next to the one I'm in. I just found out I'm going to be here at least two more weeks - so who knows what might happen. It will be nice to have someone my own age around. And doesn't that seem odd to say - someone my own age - when up until I came here, I was thinking I was getting up there in years. Now I'm feeling like just a very young whipper snapper.


azteclady said...

Well, young grasshopper... er, whipper snapper, I'm sure you can still those grouchy, medication savvy old peeps one thing or three, no matter the age difference (I'm thinking you should play Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video in the common room... :very evil grin:)


Marcella said...

Just to say hi and hang in there.
I'm reading but not so much posting at the moment (been in/out of hospital myself past week) so I've not forgotten you!

Kwana said...

You hang in there youngin'. I know it's hard but keep those spirits up. Keep fighting through.

Kate Diamond said...

Sending good thoughts your way. Hang in there!

Karenmc said...

The nurses should love you. I had a hip replacement when I was forty-four and the nurses were thrilled that I was agile enough to participate when they turned me in the bed.

Sounds like you're doing great, considering the social surroundings. Just try to hang out with Andy as much as possible.

nath said...

LOL Kristie, you are a hoot :) I didn't realize it would be filled with so much older people. And you singing along with Lady Gaga... you're so good. I suck at remembering lyrics :D

Hopefully, you and Andy will be able to bond through this experience! :P

Anonymous said...

Child, let me tell you something my mother once told me and I found to be painfully true.

You will never feel older than you did in your twenties. The problem is that your body will no longer behave itself.

All those old people there? Many of them think of themselves as no older than you, and some may be younger.

Dev said...

Awww Kristie! I say you lead the next round of "Name that Tune" with songs you know! Wouldn't that be funny?? Then again, it would probably just make the crank folks even crankier.

orannia said...


I hope the two weeks will fly by! In your physio sessions perhaps a photo of Guy of Gisborne would help? *grin* Thinking of you!