It was a beautiful day for a walk in the park with friends and my new rescue dog of two weeks, Buddy. We were in the woods and Buddy was having the time of his life being off-leash. So much so, that as he ran by me he knocked me to the ground. Boy, did that take me by surprise!
While sitting for a few minutes to catch my breath, all I kept thinking was, my parents are going to say ‘I told you so’ for rescuing a dog that weighs over 100 lbs! It took a while to get back to my car as I had severe pain in my wrist and ankles.
I didn’t want to go to the hospital – they are so busy there! But, I knew I had to. After a few hours and increased pain level, I finally bit the bullet and went to the fracture clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre via taxi as I couldn’t drive.
I was lucky – a clean break of the left wrist which needed a cast, and two sprained ankles that would heal on their own with no casts or boots needed. Phew!
Back at home, as I thought about what happened, I realized that my reaction was similar to the many stories I have heard over the years from seniors who have had a fall.
– I was embarrassed, what would others say?
– I wondered how I would manage cooking, personal care, laundry and driving
– Mostly, I worried about taking care of my dog
– Cost – work time lost, what is covered by OHIP, travel (taxis/parking)
Truly, my biggest concern was my dog. I need to mention that one of Buddy’s quirks is that he won’t go in an elevator and I live on the 4th floor of a building, so lots of stairs to walk up and down a few times a day. I managed – slowly – to walk the stairs very carefully. Luckily Buddy heels perfectly when there are treats involved!
What I learned about this experience:
– Living alone means having to put a plan in place if I become ill and need help
– Not to worry about how to hold a hairbrush and hairdryer at the same time
– Twist off caps are impossible to open with one hand. Toothpaste, medication, food in jars. And, forget about using a manual can opener. Time to buy an electric one.
– Single serving prepared fresh foods at the grocery store are very tasty. And, frozen food is actually pretty good and easy to prepare.
– People are very willing to help when you have a visible mobility challenge
It’s been over a month since my fall and I am still working on putting the plan in place – starting with giving keys to others to access my home in case of emergency. I am able to do a lot more now since the pain is gone in my wrist and I can (sort of) hold on to things. My ankles are still sore but I am able to get around in sensible shoes! Most importantly, I can drive so I’m not relying on others for this.
Prior to this accident, I had never experience prolonged pain. Now I understand how it effects everything you do – from talking and listening, to trying to accomplish the smallest of goals, such as buttoning a blouse or putting on socks. Thankfully, I had slip on shoes.
I can’t wait for the cast to come off and start physiotherapy. And I’ve signed Buddy and myself up for Obedience classes…
Dina has been working with older adults for many years and in many capacities, ranging from Business Development and Community Outreach to managing retirement homes and working with families to care to their loved ones.
Having an entrepreneurial spirit and a bit of a risk taker, Dina opened her own company in the hospitality industry which she ran for 11 years before selling it to work more closely with Seniors.
Dina had a degree in Kinesiology as well as a Certificate in Gerontology. She has sat on the Board of Directors of COTA Health and Cottage Dreams Cancer Recovery Initiative and has been involved in projects ranging from fund raising to governance and external relations.
She is looking forward to using her knowledge of the industry and community agencies to promote Mosaic’s person centered care approach and The Meaning of Me to grow the business.
In her spare time, Dina is an avid reader and loves to get away on weekends to her cottage in Muskoka with family and friends and, of course, her dog, Buddy!
We welcome Dina to the Mosaic Team.