Month: October 2011

I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!

It was 1989 when the infamous television commercial first introduced many of us to that famous line, “I’ve fallen…. and I can’t get up!” The line found itself even becoming a part of pop culture and was often used in some comical context, even commercially. And yes, even I have surely poked my share of fun at the line in my younger days. Why even “Wikipedia” found it a worthy entrant to its hall of information (see here).

But now as I reach the ripe old age of seventy what was once a source of humor has now become a very serious source of concern. To borrow from yet another old adage, “The shoe is now on the other foot!”

It was around five years ago or so when I actually took my first elderly fall. I was coming down a hidden staircase in my home’s hallway and was about three steps from the bottom when I fell straight backwards seemingly for no reason at all. I landed on my back and was not injured at all but laid there for a brief time on the floor completely puzzled at what had just happened.

Some two years later I was fixing to head out to do a little shopping and as I was opening the door to leave I noticed one of my shoe laces was loose. There was a small table nearby so rather than stoop down and tie the lace I walked over to the table, heisted my foot up onto the table and re-tied my shoe – something I have done a hundred times in the course of my lifetime. As I moved my foot from the table toward the floor I just simply fell right over backwards yet again, coming within inches of my head hitting the corner of the door facing. Again I wasn’t hurt in the least but seeing the corner of that door facing only inches from my head put a bit of a scare in me and I began to realize that there was an issue here that I may have to deal with although I had not a clue as to what that meant.

Then this past week I had yet my third fall but this time I received a few scrapes and bruises but again escaped any serious consequences. But this time after surveying the scene of the fall I realized that I had come within a step of suffering some very serious, if not life threatening, consequences.

I had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, not unlike any other night for who knows how long. As I stood up at the edge of my bed, I turned to my left and began to walk toward the table lamp sitting on my bedroom dresser to turn it on. And a millisecond later I felt the right side of my body crashing into a chair that sat directly across from my bed. Unlike the two previous falls I was feeling some minor pain but remained dumbfounded as to what had just happened. When I finally seem to regain my facilities, I struggled to my feet and got to the lamp and turned the light on.

One is certainly going to be inclined to put a lot of the blame for this particular fall on me for not having a more immediate access to a light or even a night-light. And I would not argue the point in hindsight but…..this is how I have been living my life for years upon years. I have always kept my bedroom as dark as possible while I was sleeping. I have always been able to navigate my dark bedroom. But…. apparently “always” is not “forever”!

Here is a photo showing where I fell, mostly on the chair and partly on the arm of the chair. I scrapped my right forearm up pretty bad from the chair arm circled in the photo. I also have a large bruise on my upper right leg where it landed on the edge of the chair seat which is also circled.

Bedroom Fall 1

But here is what scared me about the fall. Although as previously noted there were no serious consequences to my fall, it is the photo below showing where I would have landed had I managed just one more step forward that send forth a major wakeup call into my little brain. Had I hit and/or landed on that antique ceramic umbrella stand with all those exposed ceramic flower petals and blooms, I think we would have been talking serious consequences – consequences enhanced by the fact that I live alone.

Bedroom Fall 2

Since this last event I have done some serious soul searching with regard to my obvious nonchalant attitude regarding my previous two falls. I have come to the stark realization that neither I nor the love for my independence can co-exist with such a callous disregard of consequences.

Ronni Bennett, who has the blog “Time Goes By”, wrote a couple of posts this past August addressing many of the statistics, issues, causes, and preventions regarding the proneness of the elderly to falling. Links to her blog posts which are quite informative with regard to the issue are below….

All About Falls & Elders – Part I

All About Falls & Elders – Part II

I suppose coming to our senses over this issue is somewhat like coming to our senses as when we were growing up. Mom and dad could always warn us of certain consequences for certain actions or in certain situations but we were always smarter than they were – thinking such things could never happen to us. I find the “falling” issue is quite similar in playing with human nature….

PS – I have taken what I consider appropriate action to resolve the night time bathroom issue in my dark bedroom. I purchased a clip-on light and an extension cord with a switch on the end so that I could have the light switch right by my pillow – not even having to raise up in the bed before turning on a light.

Bedroom Fall 3(The new Night Light)

Beware of the Body Snatchers….

Yesterday I was just sitting at my computer staring at some webpage when I happen to glance down and for no known reason I paused briefly, seemingly not really concentrating on seeing anything, then coming to the stark realization that there was a strange hand resting on my leg. Well I have to tell you I was a bit taken back for just a moment as you can imagine.

It was at that same moment I was summoned back to reality and a bit shaken perhaps at what I was seeing. Staring intensely at the strange hand for some time, I then I laid my other hand next to the hand already resting on my leg and was even more perplexed than before. Whose hands were these laying on my leg? They certainly weren’t mine! I immediately ran into the next room, grabbed my camera and quickly returned in an effort to get a photo of this strange phenomenon while the opportunity was presenting itself. I set the camera up in the self-portrait mode, laid the strange hands now attached to my body back on my leg as before and took the picture….

Body Snatchers(Click on image to see the really scary large version)

Those aren’t my hands people! Goodness no, my hands don’t look that wrinkled and old. They weren’t that way yesterday I can tell you for sure.

I had no explanation whatsoever for this strange occurrence. It had to have been one of those “body snatchers” we often heard about as kids that had come into my bedroom the night before, somehow removed my nice, smooth, young looking hands and replaced them with some old person’s hands. And to make a point of it – some very, very old person’s hands at that!!

This morning when I woke the first thing I did was check to see if the foul deed had been rectified but it wasn’t to be. Perhaps it was someone’s idea of a practical joke? Or perhaps it is some sort of a very misplaced Halloween prank. Well, I don’t mind telling you that whatever it is, I sure don’t think it’s so damn funny! 🙁

The Organ Man….

Organ Man 1(The Organ Man)

I recently posted something on Facebook which I thought should certainly appear here, if for no other reason than posterity’s sake, especially given the fact that my record for staying with Facebook is even more dismal than that of my so called blogging career.

When I began my moonlighting career as a ‘piano man’, well in my case I played an organ rather than a piano so I have always considered myself an ‘organ man’. In fact if I may, let me take a moment to address a tad-bit of awkwardness with regard to that situation….

When I began my moonlighting career playing and singing music in restaurants and lounges there was no definitive term or title for my particular expertise. Most musicians who played in restaurants and lounges had come to be known as a “piano man”, which as many may know was so eloquently immortalized in the song by Billy Joel of the same title. But for me and select others who had chosen the organ rather than the piano as their instrument of choice, being referred to as an “organ man” seemed to carry a distasteful connotation of sorts. So those musicians like me had to be to a degree somewhat careful with how they worded and discussed their particular talent.

Case and point – I recall my mother relating a story to me about one of her friends who had shared with her a comment she had made about my organ playing. Seems my mother’s friend had told one of her friends about my playing and told her I could make an organ talk. The friend immediately responded that she would like to meet any man that could make an organ talk! So…. Perhaps that will help a little in understanding just what organ players have to deal with from time to time.

Anyway, back to my subject story! A somewhat similar incident that was a little more difficult to escape occurred while I was living and working in Russellville, Arkansas in the mid-seventies. As was usually the case I was doing a little playing on the side while living there. At the time I was playing at a restaurant whose owners would, from time to time, run an ad in the local newspaper touting one of their weekly food specials and would also advertise the fact that there was live entertainment also at the restaurant appearing at select times during the week.

I awoke one morning to find one of those larger-than-life advertisements greeting me that I just knew was going to cause me a tremendous amount of grief from my co-workers who could be absolutely relentless in delving out good-natured kidding. And the ad which was going to be supplying their fodder for days, if not weeks to come, is posted below….

Organ Man 2(Newspaper Advertisement – Russellville, Arkansas)

Certainly one could easily pass blame around for this fiasco, starting with the newspaper itself. But then if you are in my shoes you have to try and make something positive out of it. Being the single guy that I was I finally decided, “What the heck, a little advertisement never hurt anyone!” 🙂

Ready for a “Double-Dog Dare”?

I have to assume that all of us have a few of those photographs laying around that we would pretty much protect with our lives to keep from public view. Now admittedly with regard to myself, I don’t have that many photos of myself, period! But, a few years ago while attending a school reunion someone who obviously needed something else to entertain themselves with snapped one of “those” infamous photos and published it in his on-line album.

A couple of days ago I ran across that little jewel and it got me to thinking….. it’s time to issue a challenge to those of you who show up here from time to time. Assuming you are familiar with that well-known childhood challenge, I do hereby “double-dog” dare you to post one of those photos of yourself on public display. And keeping with the rules of those childhood challenges, in particular the “dares go first” one, I do hereby submit the following…..

Bad Hair Day(Click to enlarge – if you’re a glutton for punishment)

From my perspective this photo seems to have it all. First there is the ”What the ****?” expression, followed by the visual confirmation that you are having a really “bad hair day” and last but not least, serious indications that you may be pregnant!

Okay, there’s mine – now it’s your turn…. 😀

The Tragic Disgrace of My Beloved October….

I have always been proud and grateful to have been born in the month of October. I just think it is a really cool month. And being a Scorpio has always had an aurora of mystery that has been fun to wear, although admittedly I am not big into astrology – but I have always liked the” sign”. There’s something a bit eerie and mysterious about the month enhanced I suppose by the fact that Halloween falls on the last day of the month.

But for me, all that has been pretty much taken away this past week. There has now fallen across my birth month a shadow so dark that all refuge of light has been lost. The beautiful light of those autumn October days has been eclipsed by a terrible event that begins on the 1st day of my beloved month and does not relinquish its terrible grip until the 1st of November.

I have long been a formidable adversary of the infamous “tree rat” (aka squirrels) and my battles against the evil dealt out by the little schemers has gone on for years. But this past week when I began to read through the local daily newspaper little did I know that all that had been accomplished through the years was to all disappear like a morning fog meeting a rising sun. For a fleeting moment it was if I had become Napoleon and was standing face to face with my Waterloo.

There it was in glaring headlines! October had become designated as National Squirrel Awareness Month. I sat in shock as I stared at the print racing across the page ripping at every life-giving vein in my body. And the newspaper had not just made passing comment of the event but had spread it across two full pages of the newspaper in a flagrant display of journalistic disgrace.

Grey Squirrel in Yard(Click on image to enlarge)

First and foremost, I can assure these “tree rat” lovers that I am aware of their beloved little creatures from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year, year in and year out. So a special day, a special week or a special month is a bit ludicrous in my world. But on the brighter side of this dark shadow perhaps notoriety of this monthly event will eventually gather steam for those subscribing to my philosophy and even the most casual of squirrel haters will be transformed into a serial squirrel hater and National Squirrel Awareness Month will be transformed into National Squirrel Stew Month.

I fear my birthday this month will bring no celebration or cheerful exchanges but will simply shower me with all measure of despair as it does at this very moment. I shall withdraw now from my own personal outcry and wait out the remaining days and hours here in the darkness surrounding me and my once beloved month of October until the morning light finally breaks with the arrival of November.

I have taken one final moment to add a link below to a ‘pdf’ file if one cares to view the tragic journalistic display from our local newspaper that has given cause for the permanent harm to my beloved month of October. A must read for all you ‘tree rat’ lovers… 😀

Squirrel Appreciation Month