Monday, 1 January 2018

My Top 90 Mid-Life Crisis Songs #12: If I Should Fall...

On the Wednesday before Christmas, I received a text from my sister just as I'd gone into my evening class (I work two late evenings till 8.30 so I can have Fridays off: adult evening classes are the best, so I win twice). The text informed me that my dad was in A&E with a suspected broken hip. It transpired that on the verge of his 89th birthday, the old farmer had decided to lead a horse (not his horse, I should add) in from the field as evening was falling and take it into the barn for shelter. Walking backwards in the twilight, he'd tripped over a plank of wood and landed hard on his bottom. My brother, who lives next door (and owns the horse!) called an ambulance, but the waiting time was 4 hours, so he and his son found a slightly bigger plank and rolled dad onto it, transferring him to a pick-up truck, and then to hospital.

I was very worried for my dad, but there was nothing I could do except wait for further news. A tense 48 hours followed in which he was operated on for a fractured femur. I finally got to see him on the Friday morning (his birthday) in the hospital, looking pale and old... but also high as a kite on morphine, telling me how he'd been flying above the fields while they operated.

I took my mum to see him on Christmas Eve and the drugs were obviously wearing off. The brass band had been in to play for the patients and left dad very emotional. It's hard seeing your parents fighting back the tears. I took Sam to see him on Boxing Day and he seemed a little more positive - he even managed to walk a few steps using a frame, which was a wonderful sight. Dad was insistent that he was in the right place, getting the best treatment, and didn't want to come home until they said he could.

Christmas in hospital can take its toll on anyone though and a few days later, after being transferred to a larger ward, he was champing at the bit (horse pun unavoidable) to get home. He even threatened to discharge himself after a dispute in which the majority of his doctors had said he could go but a particularly stubborn one was holding out until dad could take a few more steps. Once he'd proved he could walk up and down a flight of stairs - just 7 days after breaking that bone! - he was allowed home. It was great to see him back there, and looking so well. The best Christmas present I could have hoped for, under the circumstances.

It doesn't matter how old you are. If you fall, you just have to get back up again. Even at 89, my dad's still got lessons to teach me.


  1. He's a tough 'un. Glad he's back in harness. I'll get my coat.

  2. Gosh, didn’t realise you too had a trip to A&E when I posted my similar story last night. All the best to your dad for a speedy recovery. As John says, he’s a tough ‘un.

  3. I have to say a story about a fall while leading a horse to the barn is not a story you read in our corner of the blogosphere too often, but trips to the hospital or worse seem all to common around the holidays. Why is that? I hope you can keep your stress level to a sustainable level and, of course, we all hope your father has a speedy recovery. He sounds like quite a fella. Take care, Rol.

  4. Oh no, so sorry to hear you've had all this going on - worrying enough at any time let alone with everything else going on at Christmas. So glad your Dad is on the mend and hope he continues with a speedy recovery, indeed he sounds like he's got what it takes!
    By the way, that's shocking about a 4 hour waiting time for an ambulance, terrible that it's come to that. But I love your brother's ingenuity and now have a vivid image in my mind of a man on a plank on a pick-up truck - you couldn't make it up.

  5. Sorry to hear about your dad Rol hope he makes a speedy recovery

  6. I can only echo what everyone else said at that time....


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