Rufo Geroche – My car accident injury and recovery
Submitted by Rufo Geroche
My name is Rufo Geroche, and I am 69 years old. Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol for which I was given medication and I was advised to exercise regularly and to maintain a well balanced diet. As a husband, father and grandfather, I was responsible for many different tasks including taking out the garbage, mowing the grass, shoveling the snow, cleaning the gutter, as well as painting and repairing faucets or anything around the house that was broken. On top of these everyday tasks, I also took care of my grandchildren on a regular basis which was possible for me to do at my age. In November 2005, I was involved in a car accident where my right foot heel bone was fractured and dislocated. According to the orthopedic surgeon, it was not possible to correct it by surgery because it could cause more complications later on. I was advised to continue with rehabilitation, which helped to subside the swelling although the pain on my right foot could be permanent.
The accident changed my life instantly, not just for my self but for my whole family as well. The doctor in the hospital put a cast on my foot and I attended physiotherapy for a few months until the cast was removed, and was then given a cane to aid my walking. My wife helped me get dressed, take a bath, and prepare my meals. For the next few months, my son did the mowing, shoveling, took out the garbage and drove me everywhere, while my daughters helped buy the groceries, cooked and cleaned the house. I had difficulties doing everyday things that I used to do because my mobility was impaired. Sometimes just thinking of the accident and the fact that I am diabetic made me lose hope of becoming normal again. The whole experience made me so sad that it made me cry most of the time. Whenever I saw the doctor for my regular check-ups, my sugar levels would rise above the normal reading; therefore, my medication would increase because I was unable to exercise the way I normally did. This was all due to the stress, the impaired mobility, and the pain of my right foot. I have never been involved in a car accident before. A senior like me should be spending my remaining days of life enjoying and relaxing with peace of mind not suffering from pain or being idle most of the time. Lying in bed or sitting down on a chair and being fed by someone everyday is quite depressing.
For a few months, my family helped me greatly with walking, bathing, preparing food and doing all the household chores. This is when I realized that they care for me very much which gave me the motivation to push myself to get better. I realized that I have to do things to be independent. The first thing I did was to pray to God for help. Every morning I tried to go down the bed by myself and walk slowly to the bathroom. I then learned to sit on a chair inside the bath tub to take a shower. Doing this every morning got easier and easier until I was able to do it again on a regular basis. The next step was to go down the stairs with somebody holding me while using the cane which took me a while to go down the first floor. While downstairs, I prepared my meals until I was able to do everything by myself. The next step was to learn to walk without the cane. It was very difficult for the first time because I still felt the pain on my right foot and trying to balance my body was not easy. Practice made things more comfortable for me. I was determined to put my life back to normal and I never lost hope. The positive attitude from my wife and children gave me hope to walk again. After 5 years of the accident, I can manage to walk on my own and do some household chores independently. I try to be careful with climbing the ladder, walking far distances, walking on uneven surfaces, lifting heavy objects, slipping in the bathtub, and I also try to be very careful going down the stairs. Everything that I do now is manageable but I take extra caution in executing it. I thank God for everything, including my wife and children and to everyone else who helped me along the way.