Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Foot races for geriatrics

Last year, my gerontologist made me get a walker. Yes, gerontologist, or geriatrician, I forget which, but yes, made me. If you knew Dr. Rodriguez, you would know what I mean...shaking his finger at me (not quite under my nose, but it felt like it) and saying, with steel in his voice, "Get a walker! And use it!"

I felt like I'd ended up in the principal's office with all the other recalcitrant children.
However, there's more to the man than that.
Dr. Rodriguez chose geriatrics (or gerontology) because he believes seniors are an important part of the community, that we all contribute in different ways.
"A geriatrician looks at the whole individual," he once said in a press interview. "Mind, social and environment," he continued. "Multiple factors have to be addressed at the same time."

So...the snow is gone from our neighbourhood, except for a few dirty patches here and there, and my husband suggested that I take my walker out for a stroll, after he came back back from his scenic walk around the coulee.*
Coulee (or coulée) is applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley or drainage zone. The word coulee comes from the Canadian French coulée, from the French word couler meaning "to flow".

Where was I? Oh, yes. So I took my walker out for a stroll, but apparently I had forgotten the meaning of stroll. Observers would have thought I was in some strange kind of foot race by myself.
It's true, I really didn't stroll. I pushed that cotton-pickin' thing up avenues and across streets for what felt like miles, only managing to go around one city block before reaching home again, but feeling that I had run the hundred-yard dash.

"The hundred yard dash" is what they called it when I was a schoolgirl. It's now something to do with meters in Canada, and I get the impression that a meter is about the same length as a yard in the system I learned.

A hundred yard dash wasn't very far but I was small for my age, and running against girls 6 or 10 inches taller. Obviously, they had longer legs, but take my word for it— I won a few of those dashes, if I do say so myself. And some 20+ years later, I could outrun my 14-year-old brother, for one brief summer, before he became too athletic for the likes of me.

Now, back to the might have been good exercise if I had actually walked with it, instead of chasing it like a dog with a rabbit...but I didn't.
And then, back to Dr. Rodriguez. I'm seeing him again in a few months (appointments are few and far between, because he's much in demand, what with the aging population) and I just know he'll ask me about my walker, and why I don't have it with me. Note to self: remember to take it. Further note to self: don't lose first note to self.

Linking this post to Lady Fi's memorable meme Our World Tuesday.


Lady Fi said...

LOL! If you take it out for a walk every day, the walker will get better at obeying you. ;-)

carol l mckenna said...

You are too funny ~ Neat post and I know I had to learn the meaning of 'stroll' ~ it is lovely when one 'strolls' ~ Life is so much gentler ~ thanks,

Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

Jo said...

Oh Kay, I just love the sound of your gerontologist. Of course seniors are important and as a whole. I had such a chuckle at your description of taking your walker for a walk/hundred yard dash. Oh, and every time you mention the "coulee", I rack my brains trying to remember what it is. And thank goodness, every time you explain it. And oh, LOL at your note to self and further note to self. That sums us all up, doesn't it? What a lovely post. Hugs to dear Lindy, Jo xx

Powell River Books said...

Whatever it takes to get out and keep walking. I had a nasty slip on the icy dock at the marina going out to the boat. I now use a walking stick (read that as an repurposed old broom handle) when there is going to be possible ice. I bounce fairly well, but breaking something is something I would rather avoid. - Margy