Since I’ve been falling most of my life, this diagnosis will someday be on my chart. I just can’t see me changing my ways after all these years. One of my spectacular falls I remember in detail. That day will live in infamy. I was assisting a rather large, stately woman to the bathroom. She was using her rolling walker correctly, and things looked hopeful.
This particular patient was notorious for being unpredictable. I was clueless as to what lie ahead. As we approached her bed, I took my left hand and smoothed her draw sheet. This is a good nursing habit, having done it many a time. Well, my patient decided to let go of her walker, throw both arms up in the air and fall backwards. Being a good nurse, I attempted to break her fall with my own body. In other words, I made my body a living sacrifice. Here we both went, down and backward, landing inside her bathroom door. We were twisted together like a pretzel. I thought to myself, “I’ve gone down with Big Bertha!” I tried to free myself, but was unable.
My patient’s face was now inches from mine, and she was smiling. With my breath fogging up her glasses, I tried to yell, “Help!” No one came, of course. There was a patient sitting in the hallway who must have seen the spectacle. She said sweetly, “Bless your heart, honey, I’d help you, but I can’t get out of this wheelchair.”
I tried “Help!’’ one more time and then yelled as loudly as I could for a nurse by name. All at once the room was filled with nurses, cna, even the maintenance man. It took about four of them to pry me loose; I do believe there was a crowbar involved. All the while my patient continued smiling innocently. The funniest thing is that no one was concerned about the patient, at least not at first. All around me I could hear, “Kaye, are you all right? Are you okay? Someone get vital signs on both of them! Do you need to go to the ER?”
I replied weakly, “Just help me up on my feet; I think I’m stoved up, that’s all.”
The lady was sent to the ER for evaluation and was fine, no fracture. I wasn’t surprised, since she took about 2000mg Calcium + D every day. Her bones were probably hard as granite. I will always remember Big Bertha’s sly little smile. One of my best friends and co-workers told me, “I think she did that on purpose; did you see that little smile?”
Kaye Ella Steadman lives in Chickamauga. She is a storyteller, published writer and author of the book “The Girl in the Mirror.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.