photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, September 17, 2012

How Did "Morning" Become Triage?

The Edna Alarm went off at about 6:30 today.

It goes off every morning anywhere from 5:30 till about 7am and sounds like this-

*pitty pat pitty pat pitty pat shuffle shuffle shuffle*

"Good morning, sweeties! How's momma's babies? Time to go outside!"

*door opens. sound of coffee being made*

That's when I turn it off and know everything's ok.

That's when I do my morning inventory on myself.

I realized this morning that the following routine used to be something I'd do after an unexpected physical event- like falling off of a ladder, or through a hole in the porch, or being dragged by a horse. Who could've foreseen that someday just the act of getting out of the damn bed would require triage???

Lying in bed, I go over how everything seems to be working in idle and before I try 'drive'.

Headache? Not today. I hate when I wake up with a headache. I hate most of all when the headache actually wakes me up.

Teeth? So far so good- all accounted for and in place. If I've had troublesome dreams I know it even if I don't remember them because my crown will hurt like the dickens after being clenched on all night.

Chest? Pretty good today. If I sleep on my side, I'm ok. If I've slept on my back, I'll wake up with a chest feeling like someone's been pushing on it all night long.

Hands? Generally the hands do alright till I try to yanno, grasp anything with them and the arthritis kicks in.

Arms and legs? Stiff. Sore. Not moving very quickly. Getting out of bed requires several positions, each mimicking the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz and each held for a sec until I'm sure I'm not gonna...tip over.

Bladder? That's why I'm getting up.

I can make it to the bathroom without my glasses, but not much more. I need both levels of the bi-focals to see much of anything.

Coffee. I need coffee.

I remember a time when I could leap out of bed in one graceful motion and literally attack the day before hitting the ground.

Feeling just the tiniest bit sorry for myself and frustrated with this aging shell that's appeared where my fire-and-bullet-proof armor used to be, I think of Edna.

93 year old Edna, who does her own cooking, cleaning, gardening, laundry and gets up every day without whining even though she's 40- as in four decades, years older than I am.

Sighing, I look at the dogs and say, "Good morning, sweeties! How's momma's babies? Time to go outside!"

And I shuffle off to make coffee...

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