More and more reasons to watch how you step

Dorothy Akal, Avenue Flashes
Posted 8/30/12

When you get to certain stages in your life, you begin to worry about different things. As a kid, you worry about when summer vacation is going to …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

More and more reasons to watch how you step


When you get to certain stages in your life, you begin to worry about different things.

As a kid, you worry about when summer vacation is going to end. As you get older, you seem to have more worries than you have hours in the day. But once you get to the senior stages of your life, things to which you never gave a second thought start to become the things you really need to start worrying about.

Up until two weeks ago, I never worried much about walking to my table at a restaurant, but from now on I guess I’m going to have to worry about every step I take and surveying the layout of the place before I venture too far forward.

What happened? Well, all it took was not seeing a little 3-inch step up to a different dining area. Now I’m writing my column from a surgical rehab center in Evergreen.

Yup, I fell and broke my hip. Two pins in it. A week at the new St. Anthony Hospital, then six to 12 weeks of physical and occupational therapy in the rehab center. Then, hopefully, I’ll be able to go home and make it from my bed to the bathroom with a walker.

I think we all have had friends or relatives who have gone through the agony of breaking a hip when they got older. My son tells me there are even jokes about it: “Did you hear about the new senior citizen rapper? Bust-a-hip?”

But it’s really no joke, indeed, it’s serious. The injury to the hip is bad enough, but when you get older it’s not just another broken bone. There are a lot of potential problems.

Have you ever heard of “post operative cognitive dysfunction and delusions?” Don’t worry, I had never heard of it either, but apparently I was suffering from it.

The good thing about it is that if you recover from it, you probably won’t remember that you had it.

Basically it happens as a result of being given an anesthetic. When you come out of it, you are totally disoriented for days, have terrible hallucinations, and have no grasp of reality. It’s like being on some kind of bad drug trip.

Older people have more trouble processing the anesthetic and pain medications out of their systems, and as such, things like this can happen. For a long time it was associated with major heart surgeries, but it can happen to an older person with any kind of surgery that requires an anesthetic.

Although on the surface it doesn’t sound like too bad a thing, in reality, for 39 percent of the seniors who suffer from this, it can be a fatal condition. For a significant percentage, for whom it is not fatal, they never pull out of it.

Knowing that it happened to me, and that I survived it was a pretty humbling experience.

So, now that I am recovering in a beautiful setting in the mountains where I can see the deer and elk walking outside my window, I have to take a moment to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff at both the hospital and rehab facility for helping me to get through this, and thank my family for being with me almost around the clock while I was in pretty bad shape.

And for those of you who are getting a bit on in years, but still are active, watch where you are walking. Trust me, this is no fun.

A penny for your thoughts

Miners Alley Playhouse is at it again with another winner running Sept. 7 to Oct. 21. It’s “The Threepenny Opera.”

Yes, this is the classic tale of deceit and betrayal in a postwar setting, involving crime lord Macheath (Mac the Knife) and his attempt to turn his criminal activities into a legitimate business. It’s a terrific parody written by Bertolt Brecht, with a jazz score composed by Kurt Weill. This is not really for children as it contains adult subjects and language, so plan accordingly.

Show times will be Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 6 p.m. Tickets run from $30.50 to $34.50, and you can book online at or call the theater’s 24-hour ticket hotline at 303-935-3044.

Did you pack the alpaca?

Who can resist something called “Alpacas on the Rocks?” I know I can’t, and if you feel the same way about those cute and cuddly creatures, you might want to make your way to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds for this event scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8-9.

This is a free event and is loaded with information about raising Alpacas and getting into the business. Educational seminars, demonstrations, Alpaca products and information on management as well as a “hands-on experience” await all who attend.

For more information, go online to or call 303-775-0301.


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.