Injury Makes Age an Issue but There's a Way Around It

Kansas Viewpoint

When you don't want to dwell on what you can't do, look for something fun you can do -- and convince others it's really, really helpful

Published on: March 6, 2013

I’ve about had it with infirmary.

Seriously, all I have is a 3-week-old hairline crack of the kneecap and I even talked my doctor into a minimally restrictive immobilizer. Still, there are SO many things I can’t do, or at least can’t do as easily and painlessly as I am accustomed to doing them.

Wouldn’t you know that this would also be the time that one son-in-law is nursing a tear of wrist cartilage – great daddy that he is, he saved the 20-month-old from a dive off the bed at the cost of hyper-extension of his own wrist-- and another (he is a paramedic) is recovering from a work-related back injury . Add in the fact that one family –the paramedic plus wife and four kids -- is moving to a new house, and you begin to get the picture.

All I wanted to do today is help my daughter get stuff packed, scrub down the emptied areas, and load boxes in the Tahoe for the trip across town to the new address. Today, I learned that my ability to carry a box of just about anything down a flight of stairs is, well ... nil.

This all boils down to a great case of feeling pretty darned helpless and that is not a feeling that I am comfortable with.

I love laughing when my friends talk about the frustration of growing older and saying “yeah, it’s hell getting old, but the alternative is so much worse.” But I don’t love it when I’m the one who is grousing about the pangs of aging and how much longer it takes to bounce back from an injury than it did 20, or even 10, years ago.

So, I’m doing my best to avoid admitting how frustrating it is not to be able to be the one hauling the boxes of books and dishes and photos down the stairs and out to the car by pretending that I’m just too caught up in playing with the cute little grandkids to remember that we’re supposed to be lifting and toting.

Even better, I managed to convince the moving crew that my best contribution might be “keeping the kids out of the way” so I have scored babysitting duty at an off-site location for the duration of the move … Ah, a movie, reading books, the zoo, Exploration Place, some coloring and crafts at Grandma’s house. I might even let them grind Playdoh into the carpet, eat the remaining Girl Scout cookies and sail homemade boats in the laundry room sink.

I’ll just kick back, put my leg up, and watch it all go down.

I sure hope my daughter will have us all over to dinner soon, when she gets everything unpacked and put away in the new house. I’m sure I helped a lot, keeping the kids out of the way.