March 30, 2017

My Walkers and My Falls since the Hip Replacement Operation

In my last post, I detailed why falls by the elderly are ominous. All too often, they put a once-healthy individual on an inexorable downhill slide.

I fractured my right hip on January 20, making that day (also #45's inauguration) doubly depressing. I had a hip replacement operation at Sibley Hospital here in Northwest Washington, followed by a week at Sibley's Renaissance rehab center. Since returning home, I've been working with an excellent physical therapist.

Much of my time in rehab was spent learning to use a walker. Before being released, I purchased a walker like the one I used there. I had another walker at home that I'd occasionally used during last spring's shingles attack.

I live in a split-level house. I spend almost all my time on either the ground floor (living room, dining room, kitchen, and screened-in back porch) or the upper level (master bedroom and bath, office, and guest bedroom and bath). I keep a small refrigerator and microwave in my office now, and the closet has become my  pantry, stocked with groceries, juice, and bottles of water.

The lower level and garage of my split-level house were converted into separate living quarters for my Kathmandu family -- Nimesh, Bhawana, and their daughter Nivah, who just celebrated her first birthday.

My Two Walkers
The Renaissance rehab walker is pretty basic, and not really suitable for use outdoors. It stays upstairs, where I use it to move between bedroom and office. Here it is:


We added the basket in the front and hung a tote bag from the side levers.

The tote bag comes in handy when I want to carry something between levels. 

Here I am, starting down the six steps. I always pause to remember the mantra I learned at the rehab center: "Down with the bad." When I go downstairs, I lead with my right leg -- the "bad" (operated-on) side.


And here is "Up with the good":


I use this better walker on the ground floor and when I go outside:


My Falls at Home 
During my first week at home, I fell twice. Both mishaps occurred when I bent over to pick something up off the floor. The team at the rehab center instructed me not to bend over to retrieve something, but to use this handy pickup tool instead:

video

Here's a close-up of the pickup tool:

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After my two falls at home trying to pick things up, I became much more faithful about using this.
But one night last week, as I was getting up from my desk I accidentally bumped into the walker and knocked the tool out of the walker's basket and it fell on the floor. So what did I do? Yep, you guessed it. I bent over to pick it up. So what happened next? Right again. I experienced another fall.

I remember something about old dogs and new tricks.
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2 comments:

Sea Pines Golf Resort said...

very heart touching blog.an also informative and interesting

Anonymous said...

Well, you might have a bum hip now, but I can see that your sense of humor is intact! --Rocketsheep

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