ANOTHER INNOVATION AT THE COMPOUND                                          MELITAS FORSTER
     Why would I hold the thought that everything was copasetic around here, with all in place, with no more surprises having to do with my safety and  well being?  When would it dawn on me that nothing stays the same, and that something new was bound to show up to “help” me.
     The other morning I had finished my daily exercises — First,  I managed  to  mount my huge, stationary bike which is located in the garage, — just getting on it is quite a feat and I have to use a stepstool, — and then I pumped those pedals 35 times  — a new record!  From there I went in and nearly shook my ankles apart on the foot shaker,  and finally  I did those 1 lb. barbells  for a few moments. 
     There was something else to do every day, and I have been forgetting to mention it —more exercise. And this has been for the brain. It is a Swedish discovery, called Tapotement. The Warden found this little workout on the internet, and what you do is tap, tap, tap around your head with your fingertips, and this will keep your brain from headaches, will keep the blood vessels working, and even grow hair, and help keep the dementia away.  After the tapping, you give your scalp a good massaging.  I don’t mind this bit of action, actually it feels great, and this is performed later in the day — after I have recovered from the morning workout.
     Now then, shouldn’t all this activity be enough to keep me mobile while keeping me in some sort of shape to stay upright instead of falling on my tokus?
     The doorbell rang midmorning, 1 PM, my time, and UPS had dropped off a good-size box, so I had to yell for the Warden to haul it into the house,  and asking what it was, and what she had ordered now. No telling me what it was — I was just going to have to wait till she opened it.  She had to finish whatever she was doing first.  I went back to my computer because I was right in the midst of something, and before I knew it there she was calling me to come see.  Well, whaddya know!  It had some wheels,  and handlebars, but it wasn’t a  2-wheel bike.   Nu-u-u-u-ts,  it was a   4 – teeny wheel walker for old folks!   I  didn’t dare jump up and down for joy because I might very well have landed on my tokus.  When I asked her what this was all about, the Warden told me that I am a worry when I am out and around by myself, like when I go to  Staples, and I have to walk from the parking lot into the store, where I can hang on to a shopping cart and get some walking exercise — the trouble is the cart ends up with stuff in it so that particular workout has become costly.  I keep telling the gang there that if they happen to run out of something just give a call because I know I must have it.
      So, right then and there, I had to have a  lesson on the operation of my new wheels, and the real name of it is Rollator, which will not end up my name for it, I’m sure.  The first and most important thing is to learn about the brakes.  As you stroll along, hanging on for dear life, you should keep your hands on the brake levers and the handles, then in case you have to stop this stroller, put on the brakes so it won’t roll away from you.  Or say you were a little winded with all this strolling and you wanted to sit down on the seat to get your breath —- well, you have to have the brakes set, or that tokus will land right on Mother Earth, for sure, and she won’t even put out her hands to break your fall.  Oh, the ignominy of it all.
      It was time to make a trial run, so I strolled from the front door to the street.  I was a little winded  so I clamped on the brakes — it took ALL of my strength — then sat down to try the seat out.  It was just fine, so I rested a bit,  and then back up the walkway into the house.
      The next step is for me to learn how to fold up this gizmo so I can throw it in the trunk of the car.  And here is where I am thinking ahead — the scenario goes something like this:  I wend my way through the streets of La Quinta in my auto sitting on a big pillow so I can see over the dashboard,  and somehow find my way into the parking lot in front of Staples, which happens to be my very,  most favorite store.  I love everyone there, they love me — and even some of the customers can be included.  So I hop out of the car — and you know that’s a big, fat lie — I struggle out, remembering to hang the blue card on the rear view mirror, then get to the trunk, open it, only to discover I cannot lift it out —- I guess the drive was too enervating for me, and I was so excited about showing off my new wheels to the gang at Staples.  What a bummer!  So now I would have to traverse the parking lot without my trusty new wheels, go into the store and get one of those kids to come out with me to lift Mr. Rollator out of the trunk so I can make my way safely npw through the parking lot.
       So far, I have not finished my training with the stroller.  I still have to learn how to fold it up to get it into the trunk of the car, and it will probably take some doing on my part to lift it in,  and then if I can’t even lift it out when I arrive at my destination, this will be a disaster.  I can’t just go to a store and go in to have the help come out to get my old lady’s aid out and running.   It would seem to me that I may have to change the whole modus operandi for “Traveller” —- there, I have just given it a name.  Traveller, with 2  ells.  That was the name of Robert E. Lee’s horse during those old Civil War days.   So now,  I am thinking of one of those SUV’s that would have a ramp , or even a fancier one with the hoist that would lift Traveller right in or out  with the touch of a button.  That may even cause a bigger problem — what if I can’t get myself up into that SUV?
     This is my very first  TO BE CONTINUED STORY.   Look for the conclusion soon ….. If Traveller and I are still a team, that is.
   September  16, 2011


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