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 mid/upper back injury has temporarily left it difficult for me to bend down, carry heavy items or drive - though I can walk and putter around the house - or even complete short errands. 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:
Hindsight is 20 / 20 - A list of things 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. Fortunately, I am fond of the Irish "newsboy" type of cap which is great for walking in light rain. I'll be using it a lot over the next little while since I can't carry an umbrella. Hoods are also out since they force you to turn your neck a lot further than is comfortable when crossing streets.
Own an old 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 brass 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 used to have one good policy - always keep the "parlor" clean - if nothing 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 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. 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
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