‘There ought to be a law’

Posted 11/29/22

Life marches on and in the blink of an eye I just reached my eighth decade.

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‘There ought to be a law’


Life marches on and in the blink of an eye I just reached my eighth decade.

I look in the mirror and I can’t believe I turned 80. My heart and brain keep telling me I’m in my 30s. Then I step on the scale, and that is when I’m certain I’m 80. Things I didn’t even think about when I was younger are now constant irritants reminding me I am definitely in my 80s. I try to stand and I can’t get my knees to unlock. If I manage to stand without wobbling back and forth, my feet are sliding in opposite directions against my will.

Speaking of feet sliding in opposite directions, the other day I was taking a shower. Now, this is a shower we had installed not too long ago to replace the bathtub with sides too high for me to safely step over. This new shower has a built-in seat and two safety bars. I bought an overly large shower mat. I was feeling perfectly safe until I was sitting on the built-in seat, rinsing the shampoo out of my hair and the soap off my body. I was all rinsed off so I started to scoot my butt toward the edge of the bench in order to stand with the help of the safety bars. The bench was soapy and suddenly I was off the edge. I tried to spread my feet apart for balance, hoping they’d give me enough purchase to stand. At the same time I tried to grab both safety bars, but, with soapy hands, I wasn’t able to hang on to either one.

I was running out of luck. My butt slid completely off the bench and bounced, once, maybe twice, onto the shower floor. In the meantime, my feet slid in opposite directions until my right foot was stopped by the shower wall and my left foot held fast to the edge of the shower door.

I was stuck, spread-eagle with no strength in my upper body to lift myself back onto the bench. I called out to my husband, “Gabby, Gabby, help, please help me, I’m on the shower floor.”

My dear husband came into the bathroom as fast as his walker would let him. If I were a decent weight, he would have been able to pull me up. He tried, but alone, getting me off the soapy floor was impossible. He called 9-1-1. Then he helped me scoot to the end of the shower and turned me so I was facing out. He brought a pillow to put behind my back and slid a padded carpet under my calves so the shower door steel rail wouldn’t cut into my legs. He unlocked the front door so the firemen could walk right in.

Only minutes later, four of the most tall, tanned, lanky, good-looking EMT/firemen squeezed themselves into our tiny bathroom. They arrived so quickly after Gabby’s phone call to 9-1-1, we didn’t have time to cover me up with a towel. Or maybe he was so busy trying to get me comfortable, we just didn’t think of it.

One of the four hunks said, “Oh, what a nice bathroom.” Then he and Gabby went to another room to fill out paperwork. Another hunk stepped into the shower, and he kept asking, “Are you hurt?” “Only my pride.” I kept responding. I didn’t realize I was hurt until the adrenaline stopped coursing through my body. However, it was only a pulled shoulder muscle. No big deal.

Then a third hunk stepped into the shower, scooted behind me and secured a belt under my boobs. He told me to cross my arms over the belt. If you are counting, that’s two hunks and one embarrassed 80-year-old woman in one little shower. As the two started to gently lift me off the floor, I think I heard them panting and grunting as though they were out of breath. Dang it, I’ve got to lose weight!

The last of the four hunks was standing between the toilet and the shower, facing me. As soon as I started to get my feet under me, he grabbed me around the waist and helped me step out of the shower. All the while my arms were still tucked under my boobs, which were slapping him on the chin. Slap left, slap right. No wonder my husband wasn’t able to heft me up alone. It took three hunks to get me upright.

I’m maintaining, there ought to be a law against tall, lean, lanky, tanned, good-looking EMT/firemen marching into my tiny bathroom while I’m lying naked and spread-eagle on the shower floor. My gawd, if they’re going to pick me up, they really should take me out to dinner first.

And, if I hear, “Isn’t it fun getting old?” one more time, young or old, fat or lean, male or female, that person is going to need his or her own EMT/fireman. And they better hope the team who come to help them are as polite, professional and caring as the four gentlemen who helped me.

There, ought, law