One day you’re hiking the Appalachian Trail and rafting through the rushing waters of the Nantahala River in North Carolina.
You have that heady feeling that you’re at least five steps ahead of old age and gaining ground. You chat with your adventure team about climbing Mount Everest next year.
The next thing you know, your son is pushing you in a wheel chair into the emergency room at 5 a.m. You have been struck by a sudden and horrific pain that was worse than the day you gave birth to said son.
He parks you in the corner, leaving you to writhe and drool in pain, while he goes to get help.
Enter the cutest doctor ever – he looked about 16 and Doogie Houser came to mind. He did a quick examination and gave me a delicious cocktail of Demerol and steroids. Lordy, that was almost worth the pain!
So now I’m sidelined with a compressed nerve that calls for long hours… in my recliner… in front of the fire… with a good murder mystery and a box of chocolates. Hey, what’s wrong with that? No more laps at the track or running up and down the stadium. Sounds like answered prayer, doesn’t it?
Well, everything is wrong with that. Christmas is here and I haven’t put up my decorations, much less purchased a single gift. All there is to watch on television these days is sappy holiday movies on the Lifetime network. (I must get someone to bring me a new box of tissues before the day is over.)
Now, the whole situation has turned into a horror movie. My neighbor brought over her mother’s walker so I can get around the house. It’s a souped up model on wheels. It has a little seat so you can sit down when you get tired (tired of what?) and a storage bin for hauling your medicines around the house.
At first I refused to use it until I got tired of crawling around on the floor like a toddler.
I’m also going to borrow a set of crutches so people will think maybe I had a skiing accident instead of being injured by a sack of groceries or whatever benign movement caused the condition.
Last night I rolled the walker into my bathroom and caught a glimpse in the full length mirror. There, right before my eyes was the spittin’ image of my dearly departed grandmother.
I looked up and winked at her, and she winked back. Oh well, I might as well enjoy this little period on the sideline of life. My condition isn’t serious and I’ll get back into the fray soon enough.
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who lives in Starkville. She edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at www.deludeddiva.com .