The King and I
Sitting in a wheelchair, my mother has a new mobility. She can shuffle her feet and move herself along with greater ease than I think she has known in years.
I tried looking up quotes about mobility or wheelchairs and found this from Deborah Kerr.
I`d rather drop dead in my tracks one day than end up in a wheelchair in some nursing home watching interminable replays of The King and I.
I can’t decide whether the thing she abhors is a) being in a wheelchair, b) being in a nursing home, or c) watching interminable replays of The King and I, a movie in which she starred.
From what I’ve observed, being in a wheelchair has been a good thing for my mother. For the last several years, she has complained about hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, and generalized leg pain. I went with her once to see the physical therapist for a shoe orthotic. My father, for some reason, couldn’t take her, so I did. He had been very clear that she was getting an orthotic for her left shoe. However, once there, the pain had migrated to her right side, so that’s what she told the physical therapist and that’s what she got the orthotic for. It hit me that day what a challenge it must be to care for someone with dementia. They cannot accurately relay much of anything to a health care provider.
So being in a wheelchair has freed her from weight-bearing pain, wherever it may occur.
I also think that being in a nursing home has been a good thing for my mother. She is well-fed. She is clean and properly dressed. She has activities she can attend. And she has happy feet that can shuffle her wherever she wants to go (within reason, of course).
I have to say I love The King and I. How can you not like that scene where she meets all the royal children? Or, if you ever took ballroom dance lessons, not want to dance to “Shall We Dance”?
Philip, on the other hand, hated The King and I. When he was little, he referred to it as the movie where the girl got spanked — because of the scene near the end when the king is going to whip Anna. The king ends up not being able to and throws the whip down, but I don’t know that Philip ever watched the whole thing. I think he always covered his eyes at that part.
For Deborah Kerr’s sake, I hope that if she ended up in a wheelchair in a nursing home they showed instead interminable reruns of An Affair to Remember, a movie my mother and father did see in the nursing home around Valentine’s Day. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies.
Ironically, it ends with the heroine in a wheelchair.