A different kind of day

When I began blogging I wanted to make this a true account of what life is like for an old woman. Most of my posts have been positive; mostly I enjoy myself. This post is different, but it’s part of my story.

Now I am feeling very old. I didn’t begin the day that way: I was out of the house by 8 am and went to meet Phyllis, who never showed up. By 8:15 I gave up on her and went walking by myself. It’s a gorgeous day, sunny and cool. I went into Frick Park, walked briskly down my usual path and stopped occasionally to take some pictures. I’ve been playing with the camera, getting ready to take it to Japan. I wanted to try some new settings.

Walking through the park alone on a weekday is a little scary. I guess I never would have thought about it, but Mary scolded me when she found out I went alone. There were a few runners and dog walkers, but I was alone for long stretches. There are places where I could hear an echo of my own footsteps. Nothing happened and everything was good until I got back to within 2 houses of home. Strangely, there was a plastic lawn chair and a table under a tree in front of the old coach house. I’m sure it was never there before. As I continued looking at it I tripped on a bump in the sidewalk and fell, hitting my knees, hands, torso and finally my lips. I was lucky, nothing broke. My knees are sore; my left thumb is bruised and scraped; a small stone cut into the palm of my left hand and, most embarrassing, I have a fat lip. I’ve been icing it, which has helped.

No one saw me fall. My street is blocked at one end so it’s very quiet. No cars drove by and there was no one to help me. I ascertained that nothing was broken (my worst fear), and that I did not have to use my cell phone to get help. I sat for a few minutes catching my breath and recovering. Then I had to get up. There was nothing, not even a bush, to grab onto. With painful shaking knees I lifted myself off the ground and almost fell again. Slowly, painfully, I managed to straighten up and walk home.

The worst part of all of this is what it does to my self-confidence. I’ve fallen before, usually without giving it much thought. In recent years I have congratulated myself on not having frail bones that break easily. But all of this brings up thoughts of restricted movement and activities. The worst part about aging is the possible loss of mobility and independence. This kind of event makes me horribly aware of how close I live to the edge.

5 thoughts on “A different kind of day

  1. I only just managed to stop in to visit; sorry to hear about the fall, but hope you’re doing better now. Good thing you have a week or so to mend. Hopefully it won’t interfere with getting around in Japan.

  2. I am 59 and have tripped on cracks in the sidewalk, so it isn’t just age that causes spills. And I like to think I am in good shape. Take care so you don’t miss the trip of a lifetime!

  3. I am so sorry for the fall…For one thing, it hurts! Secondly, the psychological aspect of it is very frightening too…However…since you have been very active with your walking and exercise, you are in far better shape than many people in your age bracket. So that is something to consider. My dad was fishing the other day, and he heard this voice at the top of bank asking him if he had caught any. Dad said no, and the gentleman told him to follow him and he would take him to a good trout fishing spot. The stranger said he couldn’t clamber up and down the banks like he used to when he was younger. Dad followed him and ended up spending the rest of the day fishing with him. Dad said he had a hand that was very mangled, but that the guy had fashioned a tool to compensate for the mangled hand and he was able to do what he wanted. Dad asked him how he mangled it, and the guy said ‘Oh,about 10 years or so ago, when I was 82.’ They spent a delightful day together, and Dad said the guy was slower, but still in shape enough to do what he wanted. Dad asked him many questions, and the guy said he just buried his 5th wife, and that he gets up every morning grateful for another day. And he just keeps on going…He also said that he steers clear of negative thoughts, preferring instead to see the silver lining in all of his life’s events. It made Dad feel less old, as this was the day he turned 65, and he was feeling a bit sorry for himself. But not anymore, he said it was the best birthday present he could have had, fishing with a guy old enough to be his father on his 65th birthday…we just have to get up, get dressed, get involved in life, and push out those thoughts. And think of the stories you can say about how you got your fat lip! Ha!!!!! I would have some fun with that one!!!
    Have a better day…I am thinking about you.

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