How the mighty have fallen!

–       Dad, you have to stop taking your Warfarin pills for three days before your dentist appointment.

–       Rat poison.

I’ve never liked going to the dentist without a prescription for Valium but this time I wasn’t scared of needles. Call me paranoid but the extraction of Dad’s three teeth felt like a life-threatening event.

Pills, patches, blood tests – it’s hard work staying alive when you’re elderly. I understand more clearly now why couples survive longer than singles. Companionship is great but mostly I think taking care of each other as we fall apart is a vital key to longevity.

A year ago before work, I was getting up off the couch and was stabbed with a sharp pain in my back that left me sideways one leg up, one leg down in excruciating, unmovable pain. I called out to my roommate who laid a mattress in front of the couch for me to roll onto. He called my man- Lynn who called a nearby friend who rushed over with over-the-counter muscle relaxants while Lynn made his way home from work.

I spent 12 hours on my back unable to move a toe without spurring unspeakable spasm pain and the funny thing is that the hardest part was to lie there and not laugh at myself. Laughter triggered my stomach muscles, which set off the spasms.

Laughter has got me through the worst times of my life. Without it, I had nothing to help me cope.

Leaving the dentist office with bloody gauze where his teeth used to be, Dad said:

–       How the mighty have fallen!

Knackered, swollen, in full recline with a dog or two nestled on his lap and the TV blasting, Dad is always in good shape for the shape he’s in.

–       You have to be able to laugh at yourself when you’re old. Otherwise, you’re in trouble.




About Morbid Optimist

My name is Katryna Mary Brooke Ormiston. I am 35 years old and after living in Vancouver for a decade, I am returning home to my 81 year old father’s hobby farm on Vancouver Island to care for him in the final stages of his life. This blog is to document my journey, process my experiences along the way and hopefully share and feel connected to a community beyond the three and a half acres I find myself on. A message in a bottle in the cyber-sea.
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4 Responses to How the mighty have fallen!

  1. Miss Dang says:

    That last picture is pure gold. I’m glad you’re capturing these moments.

  2. Karen says:

    Great writing, Katie. I totally agree with you – my parents, who live in Wpg and far from both of their daughters, are ill, my father’s situation in particular at the moment is rather precarious. Without each other, they would certainly need assisted living. Well, just my father perhaps. It’s certainly a house of cards and extremely stressful but they do indeed need each other. My sister and I are trying to arrange some regular in-home nursing visits but that is another story.

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