For the record, I spelled geriatrics correct the first time. Does anyone else hear a lovely rendition of “There Can be Miracles” from Prince of Egypt playing in their heads?? No? Ok, maybe it’s just me. Anyway…
My husband and I have both been the victims of elderly attacks within the last week. He is physically traumatized, while I am emotionally scarred for life. His is certainly the easier and more painful story to tell.
Today, my hubby called me from work to tell me he had to go to the doctor. I was so proud of him in that moment. *Sniff* It’s his first “American” Workers Compensation claim. Of course I asked him what happened, and it would seem that an elderly woman, a larger elderly woman, was very ill and kind of out of it. I guess this made her think it was a good idea to drive her 250-300 lb electric wheelchair around. When you add her weight to it…well, it was heavy. That’s all I’m saying. I guess her hand slipped somehow after she drove past my hubby, and she accidentally jammed it into reverse. Right on top of his foot. It literally stopped ON HIS FOOT. He had to pick up the wheelchair including the driver and lift it off of himself.
He’s now hobbling around the house in an orthopedic air shoe thing, and on crutches. I’ve had to fuss at him at least 3 times for trying to get up when he is supposed to have his foot propped up. MEN. Hmph! Luckily, they did not see any fractures, but he has major bruising and cannot bend his foot on his own in any direction. He’s also never used crutches and yeah, it’s funny to watch.
As for me, well, my interaction was quite different. I’ve mentioned before that I am an insurance agent. I can confirm that there is nothing more that elderly people love to do than to pay all of their bills in person and stop to chit-chat as they do it. The 3rd of the month is like a grey-headed parade of checks (because god forbid anyone over the age of 65 use the internet). We also get another round of payments around the middle of the month, so usually during those times it’s pretty dang busy in the office.
Well, a few years ago, right before I left to go to Scotland to meet my husband’s family, I stepped out of bed and my back locked up. I could barely walk. Long story short, it was a sprain and after a trip to the doctor and begging a chiropractor to see me so I could get on a plane, I was decent enough to make the trip. By decent, I mean doped up on pain killers and muscle relaxers. Since then my back gives me pretty constant fits of pain.
Back to present day, one of my favorite customers came in. She is a tiny little black woman in her 80’s, with the most friendly and loving personality I have ever met in another human. She is always so sweet and sincere, both my co-worker and I truly adore her. Our conversation went as follows:
Her: How are you today?
Me: Oh, I am OK, Mrs. (blank). My back is being a little cranky today though, I think it’s the weather changing.
Her: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Lordy giiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrl! You KNOW that’s the DEVIL in your back! It’s the DEVIL causing you pain.
Me: * slow blink* Ya think?
Her: OH GIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRL you KNOW it’s that DEVIL! That’s what he does.
Me: Oh, ok. Well, he needs to go away!
Then, I innocently grinned at her and went back to my work while my co-worker took her payment. A few minutes later she walked to my side of the office.
Her: Do you BELIEVE in prayer?
Me (internally): Oh, SHIT NO. Please don’t do this….
Me: Yes, ma’am
It’s far more easy to say yes than to get into a religious conversation with an 80-year-old person on why what I believe MIGHT NOT EXACTLY mesh with her beliefs.
Her: Good girl, then we’re gonna pray!!!!!!!!!!!!
I resigned myself to a little hand holding, head bowing and prayer time to fix my back. It would make her happy and I wouldn’t have to answer uncomfortable questions. But…BUT…BUT THEN
She came over to my chair at work and slid her hand down my back. All the way down to my butt. Now, I don’t know HOW she knew where my back hurt, but her hand was almost in my crack. I’m NOT a little woman, so I have to give her props for being brave enough to risk losing her hand in that chasm. What happened next was absolutely appalling.
Her: We’re going to pray right now and heal you!
Me: Are you sure that’s a good idea? I’ve been listening to serial killer documentaries all day, so it might not work.
Her: Bow your head!
Her: OHHHHHHHHH GIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRL, I feel that pain. It’s RIGHT HERE *insert shove on a very painful spot with the flat of her hand*.
Me-VERY VOCAL “OMFG THAT HURT YOU CRAZY OLD BAG” GRUNT! Followed by a peek at my co-worker who knows my religious beliefs are not the norm for where I live. Of course SHE is laughing at me. Of course my eyes are getting wider and wider the more this 5’1 little ole lady shoves her hand into my back and the pain shoots up like I am getting electroshock therapy.
Her: DEAR JESUS I ASK YOU TO HEAL THIS GIRL! GET THIS DEVIL OUT *SHOVE*
Me: * GRUNT*
Her: I COMMAND YOU EVIL SATAN TO GET OUT OF THIS GIRL’S BACK AND MAKE HER WHOLE AGAIN!!!!!! GET OUT IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST! I COMMAND YOU *SHOVE*
Me: *GRUNTY WHIMPER*
Her: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, I felt it right there! I felt Satan leaving you! I felt it GIIIIIIIRL!
This went on for what felt like 10 minutes, although I am sure it was somewhere about 60 seconds. By the time she finished not-so-gently shoving her hand on a very tender spot on my back, I had to remind myself it was not a good idea to punch an old woman, who at the very least, was trying to help. She finally slid her hand up my back and had the most huge grin on her face.
Her: Did you feel it? I felt Jesus getting rid of Satan!
Me: (Dryly) I felt something alright.
Her: I KNEW you had Jesus in you girl. I knew it! I felt that devil leave you!
Me: Well, you pressed so hard, I’m pretty sure you felt some gas leave me.
Her: (laughing) Well, maybe you needed to get rid of that too.
Me: I guess so!
I can guarantee you one thing. My back will NEVER hurt again in her presence. EVER!