Log Cabin Chronicles

Death by Velcro


This is how it happened. Winter had been glorious. Beautiful snows, nice Christmas. Lovely birthday party with friends and family still telling me how good I looked.

I could see well enough that my appearance equaled my 68 years. 1936 was a good year. Vintage.

Then the ice came and I fell, sharply striking my knee on a marble step. Something had to give. So a leg brace and walker became my constant companions.

After a while, all that leisure began to wear thin. I'd read all my Christmas books, seed catalogs, etc. and all there was to do, as I sat with the injured leg elevated, was eat.

I developed a substantial yearning for buttered popcorn heavily dosed with parmesan cheese, and my favorite caramel candy was on hand.

The candy would have been fine if I'd remembered to let it melt in my mouth. But chewing was about the only physical exercise I was getting. I bit down and voila…out came a crown.

Well, at least now I had something to do. I had to find a dentist as mine had retired some months earlier. I located one who could see me immediately. He was nice enough and explained in a professional manner why he could not re-cement the old crown and why I must have an x-ray.

This all involved the filling out of forms which new patients are required to do. There apparently had been some confusion when the appointment was made as there were two patients named Frances. Both were 80 years old.

"How often would that happen?" the nurse said.

"Wait a minute," I said, "do I look 80 years old?"

"Well," she said, " how old are you?"

I paid for the consult, pocketed the estimate, and left the premises as fast as my injured leg and wounded psyche would allow.

Things progressed nicely.

I was very careful how I chewed the caramels and my leg was getting stronger. The doctor prescribed a lighter brace that allowed more leg movement.

Because I could drive more easily, trips to the grocery were a joy and with the aid of the motorized shopping cart, stocking up was a breeze.

There was one difficulty with the new brace. There were exposed areas of Velcro down the outside of the brace that tugged on my clothing.

Each day I felt stronger. I looked around and realized that while I'd become a spoiled lady of leisure (with expanding girth) my home had suffered. There were ever extending piles of things within reach of the easy chair, and dust everywhere.

So, with my newfound energy, I reached for the quad cane and got out the vacuum. It was amazing. Just moving about energized me.

But as I moved from room to room pulling the Electrolux along, I realized my hernia was quite sore and becoming angry.

No problem. I got out the handy abdominal girdle and began to pull it on.

The exposed Velcro on the leg brace became instantly attached to the girdle Velcro.

The more I pulled and tugged to free the two, the more firmly entangled they became.

Please keep in mind that I was half-dressed and standing on a hurting leg that gave little purchase and less balance. I was in danger of falling, so I sat on the floor and pulled the entire mass off, then threw it across the room.

By the time I redressed and re-Velcroed I was exhausted from laughing.

I stumbled to my easy chair, put my feet up, and reached for a caramel.

Fran Errion writes in Buskirk, New York. A Luddite, she is e-mailess.

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Copyright © 200r Frances Errion/Log Cabin Chronicles/03.04