Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This Ain't Good

This morning as I was heaped upon the kitchen floor at a client's home, I had a moment of painful clarity. Like most of my moments it got immediately lost. Probably due to my brain coping with the body aches one finds one has when one has fallen onto a hard surface. After assessing my situation and deciding that nothing was broken, there was the monumental task of getting the heel of my shoe out from under the butt cheek that was resting on it. Said task had to be accomplished without blowing the kneecap attached to the leg that was bent in more than the 45 degree angle recommended by my doctor. Obviously I managed to unfold and stand, but for awhile there, I wondered.

This September, I will be 63 years old. That is a fact that I keep ignoring, which is how I wound up in a twisted heap on the floor. Client lives with family. They have a 10 month old baby and they keep the baby from crawling into the kitchen by using a baby gate. They bought a new one which operates differently and from the livingroom side of the gate, I couldn't see what had to be done to open it. So, I stepped over it, caught my foot on the top of it and lost my balance. Normally a little bit of dancing will help me regain my balance prior to falling on the floor. The dance does not work when one foot is on the floor and the toe of a sneaker is resting on top of a baby gate.

Most baby gates have a cross bar you simply lift up on. Not this one. It's a much more solid plastic gate that has a lever which needs to be pulled down and held while the gate is slid back. Since manufacturers like to make things look more impressively difficult than they are, the workings of the latch are not apparent unless one is sitting on the floor directly in front of it. Of course, the assembly instructions would have had that information as well. Said latch is underneath a piece of decorative molded plastic which can't be seen from the livingroom side of the gate.

I would have liked to wrap that gate around the heads of my client's family. Once the baby is in bed, there is no need to leave this gate blocking the kitchen door. Not only that, it's dangerous to do so. They even leave it up when no one else is home. My client has Multiple Sclerosis. She's pretty advanced and while she can still walk, she uses a walker that she keeps a death grip on to keep from falling. Since she is alone at times in this house, in the event of an emergency like a fire or something, how is she going to open that gate to get out of the house? It requires the use of two hands and she would be unable to stand up unless she is able to hold onto something besides the gate. Which might be why they made the change.

There's nothing wrong with the other gate they were using except that my client can open it since it's just lifting up on the bar. It seems that they feel she should stay out of the rest of the house other than her bedroom, her bathroom and the kitchen. Who knew all it would take is a baby gate? Plus, the added bonus of having me fall on their floor.

I'm not hurt badly, just enough to make moving kind of iffy after I've rested for a bit. I think I'm going to break out the supply of Capzaisin and apply it liberally before bedtime. I have to work tomorrow, I need everything in condition enough to do so. Or, what passes for that condition at my age.


13 comments:

  1. Sherry,
    Girl, be careful! As we age the bones don't heal too damned well anymore. I fell on the ice two years ago and cracked three ribs - sore for weeks.
    Heads up on this: The VA moved me from Naproxen to Tramadol and the side effects were nasty...

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    1. Sarge,

      I agree that I'm past the age where I can fall and bounce back as quickly as I used to. I am so sore, but nothing is cracked or broken, just strained.

      So, they tried the first step in creating another legally prescribed junkie. It seems that's all they do these days. Don't fix the problem, throw painkillers at it.

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  2. Kelly McMillen/ MidnightApril 5, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    I am glad to hear you are ok. Kind of sounds like you are wondering just how much longer you are going to do this,at least if I read between the lines. BTW, not to imply you are sue happy, but they have a dangerous situation there with that baby gate. You do not live there, the gate is a deliberate barrier-and a hazard! Hope they have homeowner's insurance!

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    1. Kelly,

      It's a DSS case so there's nothing there to sue for. I'm not sure I would even if there was since the company I work for would put it under Workman's Comp if I was seriously injured.

      I've got 3.5 years before I can retire with full SS benefit and that's not going to be enough to keep me eating, if it still exists then. I can maybe work less hours, but I may need to work until I can't anymore.

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    2. Sorry Sherry. I hope you feel better. Sometimes people are not the smartest, they sound like they need a wake up call.

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  3. Hope you are feeling better today. It won't be long before the gate becomes totally useless at least as to the baby. What do you suppose they'll do with it then??

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    1. I'm actually pretty sore today, but I will improve...EVENTUALLY. LOL

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  4. Sherry,
    Words of advice: you may want to dress like a hockey goalie for your next home visit. Of course your clients may object to having their floors carved up by skate blades, the padding could make standing in the event of a fall more difficult, and you may be tempted to employ the stick on them, but on the up side, you could be a hero should a puck-shooting maniac attack the family. As for me, I probably would have kicked the gate to shreds of plastic after first ascertaining that I had not broken or strained anything.

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    1. Mr. O,

      I duly reported the incident and made out the proper paperwork. One of the questions asked by my oh so caring employers was "What could you have done to avoid this mishap?" Answered it by saying I could have not stepped over the gate, however, since the client was locked in by it, she wouldn't have been serviced.

      My mishap isn't costing them anything, not giving her service would have.

      Her family is young, they're lazy, thoughtless and embarrassed by some of the less desirable things she does. They don't grasp the neurological damage MS does, and they think she wouldn't be like this if she'd do something besides lay around and watch TV all day.

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  5. Take a BC powder - that has been my drug of choice for pain as passed down from my parents - and don't try to hurdle any more gates. Take care
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  7. Hope you feel better! As for baby restricting gates when my son was a toddler the boy learned how to operate the simple gate we had across the doorframe connecting the kitchen with the living room. So naturally we bought a more complicated gate not unlike the one you described. When my son found out he could not open it he soon learned the rush the thing and knock it down.

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  8. Sherry, I apologize for not visiting often enough to even know this had happened to you... mea culpa, mea culpa... Sorry as hell to hear about this, and hope you're up and scurrying around by the time you see this.

    Childproof gates. Childproof pharmaceutical bottles. Childproof parental cable locks. We've built a system of locks and mazes for our own senile asses to deal with in the desperate hope of keeping a child from being injured, and you end up on the couch instead of the kid.

    Thanks for taking one for the team?

    Take care!

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