Yesterday afternoon, we were just starting our walking practice using the rail in the hallway and Bob lost his balance. And he fell.
Worst fears suddenly coming true.
It was slow fall. I had one hand on his gait belt, which he has to wear high up because of the peg tube in his belly, so the belt is under his arm pits. My other hand was on the wheelchair. And I must admit I was a bit distracted because I had noticed his knee brace had come undone, one velcro strap was loose. So I was thinking about the brace and that I needed to adjust it, when he began to slide. The right leg just giving out, slipping out from under him. And he was falling forward, away from me and the wheelchair, as I was slightly behind him (our hallway being somewhat narrow). I managed to pull up on the gait belt and he was still hanging onto the rail with his left hand, but still, he went down. Gently though, I must admit I did manage to break his fall, so it was more of a gentle slide onto the floor than a fall. He was not hurt. Can't say that much about me.
So there Bob was---flat out on the floor. I'm freaking out, because, oh crap, what do I do now? After checking to make sure he wasn't hurt, I tried to lift him back up. He cannot sit up by himself, so was lying there, quite stiff, like an unbendable board. I couldn't lift him. Not at all. He's 6'3" and weighs about 185 and I'm 5'4" and weigh---well, let's just say---much less than him. I did try. I did manage to pull him into a sitting position, got his back against the wall, and left him leaning there.
First, I ran outside. We have a neighbor across the street, a nice guy who once fixed our chimney cap when it blew off in a storm and he had told me that if I ever needed help to come get him. But he wasn't home. Next, I called Chris, not that she'd be much help in this case (she's shorter than me and weighs about 98 lbs. and uses a power wheelchair, too boot) but she has several men friends and I was hoping maybe someone was around who could help. Chris was alone with her great grandson, who's eight years old. She told me to hang on and she'd check with the neighbors to see if anyone was around who could help.
Meanwhile, Bob, who was leaning against the wall, begins to slide down onto the floor again. I'm back in the hallway, trying to prop him up against my legs, hanging onto his gait belt when Chris arrives with a neighbor guy, who, unfortunately, is afraid of dogs.
Now, Boomer is a good dog, but he's loud and tall and weighs about 100 lbs. being part Great Dane and part German Shepherd and so he can be intimidating. Of course, with all the excitement, Boomer is barking. The neighbor guy won't come in the house. Chris comes into the house and manages to get Boomer into the back bedroom and shut the door so that the neighbor will come in. The neighbor tries to lift Bob up from the floor, but he can't do it either. Bob is just so stiff and heavy. He manages to get Bob up halfway to the wheelchair but it's like trying to bend a 2x4 into a wheelchair and it's not working and Bob starts sliding back toward the floor and I grab the gait belt from behind and just then, Boomer, who is too smart for his own good, opens the bedroom door and comes out, barking like a mad hound from hell, freaking the neighbor out of his wits, who drops Bob and I am left holding Bob up by the gait belt, hanging on for dear life, while Chris runs to corral Boomer and I try to calm the neighbor down so that he will grab Bob before he hits the floor again. Chris manages to get Boomer back in the bedroom and slam the door and the neighbor grabs Bob's legs and together, me lifting Bob from under his armpits and the neighbor lifting Bob's legs, we manage to almost get Bob back into the wheelchair when Boomer breaks out of the bedroom again and Chris is screaming at the dog, and the dog is barking, and the neighbor is screaming and practically wetting his pants and he lets go of Bob, and Bob is sliding again to the floor and Chris manages to chase Boomer back into the bedroom and slams the door and this time she pulls the clothes hamper in front of the bedroom door and Bob is back on the floor and Chris screams at me "HOW THE HELL IS HE DOING THAT?" meaning Boomer, not Bob.
(I'll tell you how. Boomer, who like I said, is a smart dog, knows how to put his mouth around a doorknob and turn it and then pull it toward him and open a door. I have seen him do this. Truly, I have.)
Finally, the neighbor and I get Bob back into the wheelchair and I thank this guy profusely and he leaves quickly (probably worried that the Houdini-dog will escape again) but Chris stays with me until I get Bob back into bed as she can tell that I am truly freaked out by the whole incident.
Today, I am quite stiff and sore. I pulled some muscles in my arm and shoulder and could barely move my arm this morning when I woke up. All I can say, is thank goodness we have nothing on our agenda today and I plan to take it easy as I have had enough excitement for awhile.....