Suzanne Somers’ sense of humor and go-with-the-flow attitude are helping her with the healing process after neck surgery for a serious injury.
In early October, Somers, who just turned 74 and was already using a crutch because of a fractured hip, had a bad fall when her husband, former TV executive Alan Hamel, 84, tried to help her down the stairs outside of their bedroom and tripped himself.
“I could tell I did something bad,” Somers tells PEOPLE.
“We went and had X-rays and they said, ‘Immediate spinal surgery,” says Somers, who shot to superstardom on the hit comedy series, Three’s Company and Step by Step before becoming a bestselling author and head of Suzanne Organics.
Two displaced vertebrae, she learned, were putting pressure on her spinal nerves, causing her "tremendous pain" that "even tequila couldn’t help," she says.
“They mentioned words like paralyzed,” she says.” You don't mess around with that. I think they saved my life and/or a life of awfulness.”
Just like she says she’s always “taken the negatives in my life and chosen to make them work for me,” she’s maintained a positive attitude throughout the ordeal.
“Every once in a while life gives you the finger,” she says, laughing. This most recent mishap "is my big finger.”
But she's rolling with it. After the surgery, doctors ordered her to wear a neck collar to keep her spine immobile.
“I sleep with it on,” she says “I have it on 24 hours a day. I have to shower very imaginatively. And you figure everything out."
“You would think I couldn't have sex, but my husband has figured that one out,” she says, laughing again.
The good news? Her doctor recently told her that she’s doing so well that she can take off the brace in three weeks or so.
“I can handle another three weeks,” she says. "I’ve made friends with the dog collar I have to wear.”
After the surgery, she had to take a break from the Facebook Live shows and virtual cocktail parties she and Hamel host three nights a week at “Big Al’s Bar” in their backyard – which she's back to doing once more.
“My husband and I like to have a cocktail at 5 o'clock," she says. "Our cocktail of choice is clear tequila because it has little to no sugar, which is the body's enemy."
“When this whole pandemic started, and then I had this terrible accident, we decided to keep doing it. I invited my constituency and they come by the thousands."
“I say, ‘Bring your own tequila!’ and Alan and I talk and kiss and laugh and have a good time and they get to join in the party with us.”
“We've been together 50 years,” she says. “Five-zero. It just never gets old. It's so wonderful."
Since she injured her neck, “He does everything from the most basic to tucking me in at night,” she says. “He keeps saying, it's his honor and his privilege. I would take care of him the same way."
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