Even though I am 23, I feel old. My kneecaps are starting to give way and I have already experienced one life-alert moment. The kind of moment when you actually have to say, “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
It was as Sunday, Zach and Rio were playing video games. I was playing Cinderella and cleaning. Most of the rooms had been cleaned except for the office which needed a good vacuuming. As I was bending over to plug the vacuum in, my back spasmed and locked up, sending me crumbling to the floor. I lay sideways, embarrassed at what had just happened. I remembered my grandmother doing something like this when I was eight.
I lay there for ten minutes with the sound of Halo gunfire, screaming, and military commands in the distance. “You can do this Liz,” I said to myself. “Get up.” I was like an over sized beetle who had been turned over on its back. Writhing on the floor, contorting, and inevitably forced to resume the same awkward position in which I had started. I had been lying silent and immobile for fifteen minutes now and my pride lay in ruins amongst the curled vacuum chords of a job left unfinished.
(pause for dramatic effect)
I knew I had to say it. I knew I had to say those eight feeble words from the tacky commercials I have been making fun of for so long.
“Zach!” I shrieked.
“What?” He shrieked back.
“I don’t know how else to say this.” I continued.
“Say what?” He asked.
“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
I heard the Xbox controller being set down on the coffee table and footsteps down the hallway. Zach stood in the doorway like a giant, looming over a broken bird.
“Seriously?” He asked.
I was face down in the floor.
“No Zach I am kidding. I just wanted you to come see me. Yes I am serious. I literally cannot get up.”
I couldn’t move for about two days and required assistance getting in and out, off and on of the shower and the toilet. I now know that if Zach and I remain together until we are actually 83, he has been prepped and prepared on the Life Alert system and its steps.