You Have A Husband, Use It
Your beast of burden awaits your command
My poor wife has fallen so many times in the past six years that we have lost count. I think it’s somewhere between 14 and 18 times, some accompanied by broken bones, but every one adding to her pain and disability.
It started at a garden place. I had stayed in the car on a phone call, and she had walked to the main building. A curbed sidewalk was the same color as the parking lot; she didn’t notice the curb. It was a bad fall, bad enough for an ambulance ride. Nothing broken that time, but enough muscle strain to make her unstable. So, a few months later, down she went in a supermarket while I was at work. Was that when she broke her thumb? I can’t remember now, but the falls continued at home every few months, slowly increasing in frequency. There was a bad one in our bedroom with a lot of bleeding. I was driving home, but was a half hour out. I told her to call an ambulance; by the time I got home they were loading her in.
And then more. I quit work so I could be home to care for her. A broken arm, then a wrist fracture, then six broken ribs after that. That was the worst — a few weeks in a care home, months of new pain.
There was a funny one. Well, we laughed about it later. She was standing a few feet from me reading something on her phone. She fell asleep and crumpled to the floor. That scared me; I thought her hip had given out. No, just exhausted.
I have tried to enforce a “no carry” rule. I feel that if, for example, she’s carrying a glass of water or really anything beyond a piece of paper, a stumble will be more apt to turn into a fall. She won’t want to drop whatever she is carrying, which will interfere with balance and with reaching out to grab something that might keep her upright or at least slow her fall.
So when I find her changing locations and gathering up her stuff, I tell her to leave it, I will bring whatever she needs and wants. I joke, “You have a husband, use it.”
My concern is both empathy and selfishness. She’s been relatively lucky so far, breaking some wrist and arm bones plus six ribs. If she breaks her hip, we both fear that she’ll never recover and could end up completely disabled. I do not…