Credits: My Story byDandelion Dust Designs with additional elements from My Lucky Star by Connie Prince
Journaling: The phone call was an interesting one. Yelling to the phone from the wrong side of the phone on speaker phone. I said “I am disabled and home alone and I’ve fallen out of the recliner.” The 911 operator told me I was difficult to understand and asked if I was on a speaker phone. I told her I was on the floor and the phone was actually behind me but there was no way that I could get to it. Then she asked asked me if I was hurt and how bad, I told her just my pride but I felt like I was okay, just not physically able to get up off the floor. She said “I’m connecting you to EMS now.”
I admit that I was feeling a little empowered by then. On the phone with EMS I was able to describe exactly were house was to guide them to which door to come in and to make sure that the cats did not go out. (The truth is the cats ran upstairs when I was screaming and crying and they hadn’t been back yet.)
When I heard the EMTs come in I yelled that I was up in the front room. They asked me what happened and I explained what happened. They assessed the space there was to move me and how they would get me from the floor back into the my recliner. The first thing they were talking about was rolling me over onto my back and I interjected that I have a Hoyer lift and a sling that will pick me up off the floor to put me in the chair. I directed them to where the Hoyer lift and sling were and they admitted it something that neither of them had ever used before but I told them “I can walk you through it.”
They got the sling over and I instructed them how to put the sling on my back before they rolled me over. To be honest I’d only had that sling a few weeks and hadn’t walked a lot of people through how to use it yet because I was just understanding myself how it worked. The EMTs got the sling on my back and were able to use the straps to assist in getting me flipped over onto one of the white blankets, that over the years I’d accumulated a collection of. Once they got me flipped over, it was Hoyer lift school time.
It was necessary to move the recliner back a little to make room for my students (wink) to bring in the Hoyer lift. They got the lift and I instructed them an opening the legs so it would go around me and the next thing we had to do was troubleshoot the fact that the lift couldn’t come far enough to attach the sling to it. So I figured out that if the EMTs lifted one leg at a time over the back frame of lift, it could push in further. When it was brought all the way down, we got all four of the straps connected and I instructed which button to press to start to lift me. I started freaking out a little because I could feel my back falling, not supported by the sling at all. The EMT behind me said “Don’t worry I won’t let you fall.“ One of the most difficult things that I’ve had to learn is how to surrender complete trust to strangers from time to time. Where a few years ago I might’ve insisted, I’ve learned to trust that when a professional is already holding me he knows whether or not he’ll drop me. I was able to direct them how to get the lift straddling the recliner and put me back in the recliner they lowered me back comfortably in the recliner and took the sling straps off of the lift.
My knights in shining armor, or at least with flashing red lights, asked if I was sure I was okay, if I was sure I didn’t want to go to the hospital. They asked me if anything was hurting that I didn’t feel pain from before. They took my vitals and even my blood pressure was pretty much normal after the ordeal. (I bet it was higher an hour earlier, but right now my problem-solving ego may me “strong like ox.“)
Scary? Oh yes!
Empowering? Triumphantly yes!
The EMTs showed me where I fell. If I’d fallen less than 6 inches further ahead than I did, not letting myself fall on my knees but struggling and falling forward, I would’ve hit the side of my head on top of the chest by the window and probably would’ve snapped my neck.
Lucky - OH HELL YES!