Confined to Quarters

Confined to Quarters

Being confined to quarters can leave one feeling low and depressed. There is little to cheer, amuse or humor you. I’m living all by myself, just me and my thoughts. That’s scary by itself. There’s very little humor in my days, but today I did something that ended up putting a slight smile on my face. I recently got our old Queen size bed replaced with a hospital bed.

I found out it works very well. The foot and the head end both go up and down by an electric motor. It has a trapeze to pull myself up with if I had the strength to use it. I can get in bed better but found out it has one big drawback. If I have the head end up too high, my body tends to creep down towards the foot end during the night. I find myself somewhat like a helpless turtle on its back. I had to devise a way to pull my body to the edge of the bed.

That first week, I almost called 911 in a panic. I finally settled down and managed to squirm enough to get my legs over the side. Paralyzed as I am, somehow getting ahold of the mattress edge, I pulled myself up to a sitting position but almost slid onto the floor. I said to myself, “self,” this is not going to work!

There was an old piece of rope in my toolbox that my brother Harlan and I used for dragging deer. It was a stout old nylon rope. The edges were all frayed from possibly dragging a hundred deer over the years. That rope would have many stories to tell about deer hunting in subzero weather etc. Old Finlanders are not likely to throw anything away. I knew I was keeping that rope for a particular reason. After many years of stacking old coffee cans, I did finally throw away old spark plugs.

The point I was trying to get to was when my nurse from the VA spotted that ragged old rope. She immediately went into a frenzy about those rough, frayed edges tearing my hands all up. I told her I would try to remedy the situation. A few days later, like some lightning flash, maybe an epiphany, the problem got solved. Cover the raspy, rough rope with a pair of my wife’s old pantyhose.

It was a struggle pulling the nylon stockings over the ragged edges on the rope. The toughest lumberjack lady, three ax handles wide, doesn’t have legs that rough. I ended up with lots of runners in my hose but, the problem got solved with Finnish ingenuity. That project is what I did; it is unbelievable; the rope doesn’t have any edges to hurt my hands now. I knew it was going to work well.

The next time that nurse came to visit, she wanted to see the bed. She took one look at that pantyhose-covered rope and immediately said, “that is kinda kinky, isn’t it?” Would you like me to get you an inflatable doll too?
That brought a smile to my face, the first one in several days. Truth is stranger than fiction, that is for sure.

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