Sometimes life lands you literally "flat on your back" and out of commission for a few days or weeks. In such instances, you may need to rely almost exclusively on family, friends and caregivers. But what if your ability to move around is only partially affected? For me, an unexpected middle back injury has temporarily left it difficult for me to bend down, carry heavy items or drive - though I can walk and putter about the house - or even complete short errands ... but I can't lift anything or turn my head easily. This has caused certain things to jump into sharp focus. Beyond facing any personal assessment and conclusion of this incident; day-to-day life still carries on! I believe in being prepared, but hindsight is 20/20. Here's what I have learned, and a list of a few things that might help you to prepare in advance of a (knock on wood!), similar situation occurring:
List of household items to ALWAYS have on hand:
Own a button-up shirt
I prefer to wear shirts and sweaters that pull over my head. It never occurred to me what is involved in that simple action! Fortunately, I did have a couple of button-up shirts, way in the back of my closet and I guess I'll be living in those for the next little while!
Own a cap or hat
It's also useful to own a cap for walking in light rain. Fortunately, I am fond of the Irish "newsboy" type of cap so I already had a couple of these. I'll be using them a lot over the next little while since I can't carry an umbrella. Hoods are no good with a back injury since they force you to turn your neck to see when crossing the street.
Own an old brass bell
Meadow Sweet Grove currently has two charming brass bells. One is a goat perched atop the bell and the other is a little girl with a full skirt. The goat is an obvious bell, but the girl could simply be seen as a decorative figurine - but for the clapper under her skirt! How useful are these in a three-story house when you need to summon help from someone other than the fairies?
Keep the receiving room clean
I have a bad habit of letting the housework slide ... piles of laundry, vacuuming, stuff laying around that I've been meaning to swap, sell or donate ... and general clutter! But I have one very good policy - always keep the "parlour" clean - if nowhere else. For us, that's the first room guests enter and right off the front door. My logic was that even if the rest of the house was a disaster area, there was always at least one clean and tidy room that I could usher unexpected guests into ... and maintain some sense of pride.
Unfortunately, I let that wonderful practice slide and the front room has seen a few unexpected guests lately! And I haven't been able to tidy it up. My advice - ALWAYS keep the room nearest your front door clean and tidy - you never know when you might not be able to - and that could also be when more people than usual will be showing up!
Stock up on heavy items
Lately, I have been quite good at stocking up on non-perishable food items and emergency items such as candles, matches, duplicate keys and the like. What I didn't think about was heavy items. While it might be easy to walk down to the local store and buy toilet tissue ... it is quite another to lug home a bag of cat litter!
Last, but not least, and most indispensable: cherish the loved ones who will care for you!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2018 / edited 2019
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