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Darlene Costner, Mending Well at Home

If you read the comments here regularly, you know Darlene Costner. She usually has something smart or pithy or funny to say and more readers leave such comments as, “What Darlene said,” than they do anyone else.

Darlene also supplies a lot of the items for Saturday's Interesting Stuff column so you've seen her name there quite frequently.

I had already started to wonder why I hadn't heard from Darlene in awhile when an email arrived yesterday. On Saturday, 5 December, she wrote, she had fallen in her home and five days later, she was

”...transported by ambulance (my private limo) to the ER when I was in excruciating pain on Friday morning at 1:30 am and was admitted to the hospital for observation.”

It turns out she had broken a vertebra but after thorough examinations, doctors allowed her to go home to recover, avoiding rehab, as long as there was someone to help 24 hours a day. Darlene continued:

”Mark (her son) will be here tomorrow so Gail (her daughter who lives with Darlene) can go to work. I am wearing a brace and I now have sympathy for knights in shining armor.”

It is difficult for Darlene to type at the computer right now so I've been emailing with Gail who explained further on the fall Darlene took:

”We were having friends over for dinner on Saturday night when Mom's inner hostess kicked in. Without thinking of using her walker for balance, she grabbed two trays and started toward the living room. She lost her balance and fell straight back.

“She's so tough that she acted like nothing was wrong throughout the dinner party, wouldn't hear of going to urgent care on Sunday and proceeded to walk around for the next five days as if all was normal.

“Finally in the early morning hours of Friday, she woke to find the pain was so severe she couldn't move at all. A few paramedics, a stretcher and an ambulance ride later, we heard the ER doctor telling us that she had fractured her T12 vertebra and there was significant swelling.

“They checked her into the hospital for observation and an evaluation by the physical therapist. Fortunately she could get out of bed by herself and walk with the help of a walker and his recommendation was for home care.”

Let me remind you that we celebrated Darlene's 90th birthday here earlier this year. As Gail, says, she is one tough woman and this isn't the first time she has been astonishly brave through a broken bone. Five or six years ago she fell at home, broke her hip and spent 10 or 12 hours lying on the floor before she could crawl to the phone to call for help.

Darlene recovered well and with her usual sense of humor. I have no doubt the same fortitude will get Darlene through this recovery with her usual aplomb.

It must be at least ten years now that I've known Darlene through the magic of the internet. She is one of a handful of my closest blog friends and I'm sorry we have never met in person. Getting old changes things like that but I treasure our friendship and I know others of you also do.

For all the usual good reasons, I won't post Darlene's email address so you can leave messages, jokes, good cheer or whatever else you are inclined to say in the comments below.

Here is a photo of Darlene with Jan Adams of Can It Happen Here? blog when Jan visited Darlene two or three years ago.

Jan Adams and Darlene Costner


I love Darlene's take on life.

Practical, down to earth, wise.

Sending a tsunami of Montreal karma to you, Darlene.

Looking forward to your future posts.


You are a jewel! So glad you are on the mend. Your posts on fb and comments here on TGB are always positive, kind and full of information. And your sense of humor is TOPS!

Be very kind and gentle to yourself. You deserve it.

Wishing you fast healing, Darlene, sending white light from Broadway to you. Thank you for always bringing us wisdom and humor and humanity.

Darlene, I don't know you, but do appreciate SO MUCH your great contributions to TGB...so in like manner, please take my good wishes for an easy healing time! And thanks to Ronnie for telling us about you.

I hope you're up, around and enjoying the season very soon, Darlene.

You know you're inspiring to us with your insights and quick wit, sometimes with loud, ferocious and spot-on missives about the conditions or numskulls that accompany an exasperated, shared eye roll. I like that. I like you. Get back here soon!

Sending good vibes from hearts in San Francisco.....

So glad to hear you're back at home. The hospital is a terrible place to recover! Sending healing thoughts from St Augustine to Tucson. That's one way to get both your kids there with you!

I'm one of your readers who goes directly to Darlene after reading your post.

Thank you!

Thanking you for your wisdom and humor - ALWAYS love your comments!

And wishing you the best as you move through your recovery. 🌹

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Darlene. And no more two-tray balancing acts, okay?

Send her my get well soon wishes

Darlene, we miss you and look forward to your wit, charm, and wisdom again soon.

My best to you Darlene and I hope you have a fast and comfortable recovery time. My best to your two children also...

thank you for the post about Darlene. Please keep us updated.

Darlene, may you heal quickly and return to your normal routine, whatever normal may be. I always say, "normal is just a setting on the dryer." Life takes some twists and turns, just don't you be doing too many of those in the next few days. Let that body heal properly.

I , like one of the previous commenters, always look for and enjoy Darlene's remarks and insight. Thank you , Ronni, for the update.

Darlene, May your body rally again. May your good humor and wisdom increase.
May you enjoy many more happy days. Sending powerful positive thoughts your way!

Oh, that we all, at the age of 90+, could have Darlene's commonsense wisdom and her ability to dispense it in a gentle manner. (Note, Darlene, that the term 'commonsense wisdom' may not apply when you carry two trays without your walker!) I know that you'll take delight in overcoming the various challenges in this chapter of "Darlene gets healed". Ronni - - Darlene is lockdown proof that most of us will escape the concerns of your dementia post.

Many a time I have found myself on the floor because I forgot that I wasn't 23 any more. My advise to Darlene, listen to your doctors, take it easy and don't become discouraged if you don't heal as fast as you would like. It'll all work out.

A speedy recovery to you, Darlene, and with your spirit bringing you through, I know it will be quick. Have always loved your comments here on TGB, and anytime Ronni says a video has been supplied by you, there's no doubt it will be a winner! All good wishes to you.

Thank all of you for your kind and not always deserved comments. My head just swelled at least 3 sizes. I will take your good advice and get off the computer now. Love you all.

May your T12 mend quickly and comfortably!
Brace or no brace, you are our knight in shining armor!

May your healing and recovery be peaceful and swift. Sending many smiles and warm wishes to you! :-)

Be well, Darlene. I have always appreciated your comments.

Thank you, Ronni, for letting us know about Darlene. I'm sending MANY good wishes your way, Darlene, and MANY positive vibes that will, I trust, make it across the Atlantic and across the US. I can imagine the pain you must have been in (I fractured a couple of vertebra a few years ago and was put to bed for almost four months and I am very familiar with the fun and games of the brace) but I can't imagine how you, venerable years aside, managed to cope with it for so long.
We are grateful to you for your wonderful contributions (comments and comedy) and for how much you mean to Ronni.
Am keeping my fingers crossed you have a brilliant physical therapist like I did (most of them are) and make a full recovery as quickly as possible.

Darlene, I'm sorry to hear about your mishap. Through the magic of the Internet and this blog, know that you have a lot of supporters across the nation rooting for your swift recovery. Count me as one of them! Sending you all good thoughts.

Darlene is one of my favorite commenter on here and provider of good stuff. I fractured T12 years ago, and I was told that it's one of the few vertebrae that is not involved with weight bearing for arms or legs, and my fracture healed up just fine. Of course I was a little younger (at the time) than Darlene is now, but I sure do remember my brace! Get well soon, Darlene, and know that there are many of us who are wishing you all good things. And virtual hugs, too. :-)

Thanks for informing us about Darlene. She is one of the smartest and funniest people around. I'm glad she is getting sufficient help to pull her through this crisis.

Oh Darlene - so sorry to learn about your mishap. Life has it's ups and downs and you have had plenty of them. I say, enough is enough. Hope the healing process goes well and you are back "telling us the way it really is, sometimes with humor and always making a lot of sense.

Good to know that Ronni will keep us informed about your progress. Good that your daughter is there with you.

I wish you a speedy and smooth recovery. You know the expression "let them eat cake" now I say "let them carry the trays."

Darlene - Some of us are slow at getting around to learning of you and your T12. I am so sorry about your tumble and look forward to your being 100%! You probably have no idea how much the rest of us depend upon you, your wit, and your wisdom.

Dear Darlene, At 88, I am hot on your heels. You are my shining example! Isn't that putting you on the mark? So glad I am not within the distance of a thrown pot or two. Everyone is constantly telling me how 'well' I am doing and it is quite (very) difficult to be pleasant and properly grateful for the compliment.
Try to find a special treat or two to have every day--even if forbidden--and enjoy the moment. That's all anyone has anyhow.
Sending lots of love and good thoughts...

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