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Thank You For Caring.

By Karen L. Whitmore
Posted: 02/12/2024
Tags: support, community

Being a Villager means that you have a community that supports you in a time of need. Here's a brief description of an incident that could happen to any of us. The important thing to note is the description of all the support that this Villager received from other Villagers during a time of personal distress.

From Karen Whitmore:

The Incident:

My anticipation of pleasure became a new experience in patience and healing, the last day of summer 2023. I was on my way to dinner with the Creative Diners group, looking forward to enjoying an unfamiliar menu and exotic cuisine. I had ridden with BJ. We were expecting to meet several others at the restaurant. Standing on the corner waiting to cross the street, I looked ahead to see if anyone in our group had already arrived. I must have turned my feet as well, and the next thing I knew, I had fallen on the sidewalk. Refusing an offer of help up, I knew that I couldn’t raise myself, and that an ambulance needed to be called.

Interestingly, I had recently read an article in the AARP magazine about ways to fall safely. I was aware that I tried to turn myself to land in a different position, but I failed. Landing on my side, my right hip bone, insured that I had broken it. I was unable to use the left leg to raise my body off the cement. 
An ambulance came and the paramedics carefully loaded me and whizzed me off to Arcadia hospital. Fortunately, my daughter lives in South Pasadena and was able to meet me at the hospital. The next hours are pretty much of a blur as I was under the influence of pain and pain medications.

The Rehab and Support:

Healing begins to happen immediately, and the PT had me up on my feet the day after surgery. After spending a week in the hospital, I was transported to a skilled nursing facility for recouperation. Esther shared her knowledge of the facility with me, so I had an idea of the setting.

At the SNF I had PT, mainly walking, baths, meals, etc. I’m sure many of you know the drill. Priyanka came to see me and brought me an orchid to cheer me up. Claire came to visit me also.

After 20 days in the SNF I was allowed to go home. Then the real work began! I had previously been an independent person, and now I was depending on people for help with many activities. A friend and my daughter alternated weeks of caregiving, the bath lady came twice a week as did the PT. I had some prepared meals supplied through my health insurance plan. (Nothing like the meal I anticipated when I fell! But edible.) I needed to strengthen my leg muscles so I could walk again, first with an aluminum walker and then with a rollator walker. First inside and then outside as the weather permitted. 
Sharon sent me really cute and uplifting cards that made me remember that I was not alone. Bj came to visit me, a really welcome change in my now boring routine!

Lora and Dorsey checked on my progress by phone, also welcome interruptions from friends. Before Christmas Village cookie makers and deliverers brightened my pre-Christmas time with wonderful treats, which I immediately scarfed down. I had not had home-made cookies in ages! 

With the increased comfort with using my cane and moving safely around, Claire took me to Trader Joes to shop for groceries. I hadn’t been shopping myself for several months, so I was able to get the things I had neglected to request from my daughters. It was wonderful. Not just the shopping, but the getting out, the ability to do it! More recently Melva picked me up and I was able to ride with her to Triple Zips. Norma accompanied me on one walk with me and agreed to walk with me more frequently around the South Pasadena area.

Recovery so far has taken 6 months. My doctor said 6-12 months until I’m better than I was prior to my fall. That’s the goal I’m working on. The past months of limited activity with infrequent breaks in routine, have been lightened by the cards, phone calls and visits. They may sound like inconsequential events but were a great joy to my stuck self. Thank you again for all your kind attention. I am eager to pass it on! 

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