Frailty

At sixty-three frailty is setting in. I can definitely feel my body slowing down and taking longer to recover from hard work. There is no pushing myself to keep going, no second wind. When I’m tired now, I’m finished; my arms, legs and brain start to shut down and say, “No more, I can’t do it”

This weekend of hard work has taken its toll. I’ve got the dreaded ‘work hangover’; my body and head ache. Yesterday I thought how much I’m getting to hate summer because I have to work so hard to get enough money to get through the winter. Especially working in a beach town where everyone is having fun and enjoying life.

Saturday I worked 2:00 until 10:30, got home at 11:00, started the next morning at 10:00. I don’t think I could have started any earlier. Sunday was supposed to be a 10-3 shift which isn’t so bad. I said to my teenage co-worker; “I’m leaving at 3:00 no matter what!” She’s one of the good, responsible ones, a rarity for a teenager these days.

At 2:55 she dropped a heavy tray of frozen bread on her foot.  The loaf pans are heavy-duty steel, four welded together so they fit on the baking racks. She was putting it in the rack when it slipped out her hands and dropped on her foot. Most likely something broke or fractured: those are tiny, frail bones in the foot at any age.

I went and got the manager and first aid team. We brought in a chair, and put an ice pack on her foot.  They got the electric scooter we have for the infirm and she drove away, embarrassed, trying not to cry. Her parents were called and picked her up.

The person on the night shift was the lazy teenager that was responsible for my long Saturday day/night shift.  They called her and she came in at 4:15.  At least I had chance to say “I  had to work ………. because of you and I’m freaking exhausted!”

I explained all she had to do, packaged up the cookies still on racks as that’s a fast and easy job that she does way too slowly. Watching her work is torture. I left at 4:30.

 

Now, this morning, I’m waiting for them to call me in as the injured worker was supposed to work 8:00 to 4:00 today.  I’m wondering if I even can work. When you are young you only need a night’s rest to recuperate. When you are old it takes much longer. I’m feeling very frail today.

Another sign of frailty I’ve really noticed is falling down. When you are younger and going to trip, you usually catch yourself. The last few years when I trip on something I fall down! A slippery spot on the floor in my socks, the corner of my bedspread on carpet then shock!: I fell down!

One of the cashiers at our store is 72 years old and really sharp. It’s only been about 6 months since her husband died and she’s working because she can’t stand the emptiness of her home.  A couple of weeks ago she came in with a cut lip and bruises on her face: she fell off a ladder. That brought fear into my heart. How many times have I gotten on a ladder and thought, “I shouldn’t be doing this all alone.”

“What a drag it is getting old.” We all feel the same but our bodies are aging! We look in the mirror and say, “but it’s me, not an old person”

I’m not frail yet; but I’m getting there.

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(It’s 9:20 and they havn’t called me yet…… I think I’m safe )

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