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.