Friday, February 20, 2015

I'm fine, thanks, just fine

Went to the dentist yesterday,  a minor filling. The dental assistant was pleasant,  maybe in her frowzy mid-fifties,  very talkative, which I like.  After the filling, the dentist left and Maggie tried to help me up out of the chair. 'I'm fine," I said, struggling to overcome Bad Back Wonky Hip syndrome,  reaching for my purse. She hurried to get it for me, and hovered, I swear, hovered, over me...
She kept asking if I were okay, if  I needed help, was I dizzy--and she continued to hover like an officious hummingbird, ready to grab me if I staggered.

I suddenly felt like a fragile old lady.

When I finally managed to break free and get out of the room, she was right at my elbow, and once or twice I could feel her trying to take my granny elbow and steer me.  I said, you're on my blind side,  I can't see you, so forgive me if I walk into you...

She accompanied me to the office and told everyone there what a good patient I had been, in a slightly raised kindergarten voice,  and finally left.  She did ask once more if I was going to be all right and I assured her I was fine, just fine.

And now I understand what a disservice we do to older people by insisting they be as old as we think or insist they are. It unsettles them to be regarded as too old to move without help,  to have their freedoms restricted by the young and nervous,  to be asked continually if they feel okay...I'm fine, really.  Just fine.


  1. Oh yes! yes! I've got my neighbors trained to hold off when they're longing to more or less carry me about, when in fact I'm probably fitter than they are though many years their senior..and I have younger friends who won't leave the parking lot until they've seen me safely into my car. Cracks me up considering I'm used to driving absolutely everywhere, traveling, vacationing, working, alone and without the aid of a net..but they see an older body and figure oh, oh, frail!

  2. Harvey..... I have been picked off the floor many times. Relatives, ambulance people, and Nurses. Thought it not good at the time, but I now appreciate all they did for me. mini strokes, falls, and weakness will make a believer of anyone. Try to imagine a very small bathroom, wit two ems folks trying to get you to a gurney because I was paralyzed on my left side. Thanks to those people, I could tell you many more help me stories, except they aren't stories.

  3. Do I dare to eat a peach?

  4. just dont leave peach bits at the beach