Grandma's Fall | Teen Ink

Grandma's Fall

October 17, 2013
By Anonymous

Imagine climbing ten feet up a ladder to prep a room for painting; while attempting to prepare the walls, your foot slips and down you come. Each painstaking ladder rung is grabbing at your legs, preventing a free fall that would probably cause a broken neck or worse. As you land there is pain that is unexplainable, there is shock but you must call for help because in that moment you realize that your life is surely in danger without it. Your cell phone is in your back pocket; you reach it and call for help. You call your youngest daughter, she answers and you tell her, “I believe I have broken my leg.” She hangs up and leaves work and comes to where you are immediately; she calls her sister and brother to let them know that you have been hurt really bad and will be going to the hospital by ambulance. When you arrive at the hospital, there is urgency to assess the damage and keep you calm because the emergency staff realizes that you are in a crisis. While waiting on the chief of orthopedics, they take you for x-rays and find that your injuries include a shattered left tibia, broken right foot and that your right wrist is also broken and will require surgeries to stabilize them.

When I got the call from my mom I was in shock that my very careful and hard working grandma had did something so dangerous as to falling off a high ladder and there was no one
there helping her like they were suppose to, it made me furious like I could go fight the people responsible for not watching her. When I arrived at the hospital, November 23, 2011 and saw my grandmother along with my twin sister and our older sister; it was unbelievable seeing her this way I felt so overwhelmed with sadness because I know she would be miserable knowing that she can no longer work the job she loved anymore. My grandmother looked frail and helpless, with her arm and foot in a cast and her left leg in a halo. I had never heard of anyone having their leg in a halo, but I have seen people with head and neck injuries on television with halo’s to prevent further damage. Here is my strong, dominate, beautiful grandmother in the hospital, broken. Can you believe that it is Thanksgiving and our grandmother will not be able to cook our thanksgiving meal? Who’s going to cook the dressing, ham, pies, and all the good things that come with walking into grandma’s house? My mother, aunts and uncles are in turmoil because they are not prepared. As I observe, they are anxious because they want to speak to the doctors and understand what the plans are for helping their mother get out of the hospital. My aunt Coco is pregnant and everyday along with her siblings she has been at the hospital making sure everything is done right. Both her and my mother, are completely stressed out and insist that after the surgeries, granny has to come home and they will take care of her.

My aunt Coco says, “Statistically people who have these kinds of injuries and stay in the hospital, usually do not leave the hospital healthy.” She is working on her doctorate degree in health psychology so she has studied this process in school. “ how long will she have until her bones heal?” I asked Coco. “it depends on her body since she is in the older age probably long” she replied. “will she be able to go back to work after?” I asked concerned. “She might be on disability because of her leg” she responded worried. My mom agrees and begins to make arrangements with grandma’s nurses to prep for her discharge from the hospital, getting the medical equipment and bedding into her house along with her medications. You see, our grandmother takes care of all of us; this includes her children too. She picks us up when our mother cannot, she has our little cousin David over all the time on weekends, and he is only four years old. My grandmother, prior to her fall would take us on vacations and pretty much do whatever we asked her to do. I use to think this is what I expect all grandmothers to do but now I now realize that my granny is special, and I shouldn’t expect her to always do those things.

In the year it took her to recover, my granny had two additional surgeries because while in the hospital she apparently had a bed sore that burst and caused her to get a bone infection. She had to relearn how to walk on both legs; she had to rebuild the strength in her arms and wrists. You see, my grandmother was a journeyman by trade and on a daily basis was lifting fifty pound buckets of paint. She was definitely stronger than the average man, I believe. It was hard watching her look sad and down because she would not be able to do what she enjoyed doing any more. My sister’s and I, would stay over at her house on weekends when school was in and during the summer months we were there during the week days, to make sure that if she needed anything we would do it for her. “ Grandma do you need anything?” I asked quietly. “No not right now but thank you” she said. I now realize after watching my grandmother overcome all of her injuries how important she is in my life; and that I took for granted many of the things she would do for me and my family. I hope and pray that nothing ever happens to her again because in that year, it was scary thinking of what life would be without her.

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