There are times in our lives when we lose balance. With humor and spirit, Rick Brewer shares a moment when this literally happened to him. He writes...
Well, today was the day. I had thought all along that eventually, I would trip someone with my oxygen tubing until they fell. Today was the day, the day I tripped myself. Those of you who have to worry about falling will know the type of fall. It was the type that you can see everything around you as you are going down.
You think, "What can I grab to stop myself? Only to realize there is nothing there to grab."
So, what to do? Head toward a wall. I'm in the bathroom, and was able to avoid a little table in the corner, the stool, the shower, the wastebasket, etc. I slowly slid down the wall, and kicked the table. I did manage, on my way down, to somehow catch a bowl of potpourri, and a glass frog that were sitting on, said table, to keep them from breaking. I also realized while laying there looking up, "We need to clean the dust from the vent fan."
Now, the bigger problem. After checking myself over and realizing I had no serious physical injuries, I now had to get up. I also had pass through my mind, the rodeos that used to be on ABC's Wide World of Sports. I vividly was picturing the calf-roping with the calf laying on it's back and it's legs tied and in the air, but, I digress... Ok, for those who don't know me, I had polio. Little use of my legs, and two, totally torn rotator cuffs, as well as wearing a cannula with 50 ft. of tubing. My wheelchair is in the vanity area, and I am in the water closet. I decided not to over think this. My son, Zach is home and is in his medical training. He was able to get over here in record time. He had this nifty little belt-like thing to help lift helpless people like me. Oh yeah, I am not a light person. Fortunately, our neighbor was home as well, and he came over to help. A couple of tugs, and panting, and I am up on my feet!
There was no time to thank anyone. I had taken lasix, and had been drinking what felt by that time to be 7 pots of coffee!! I also had to take the time to un-crimp my Oxygen hose that, by now, is screaming at me with all of it's might. I now understand why the cat runs like hell, whenever I stand up from my wheelchair. She isn't afraid of me, she is afraid of dying in a tragic smashing accident.
Thank You, Rick for sharing your experience. You are right, sometimes we need the help of others to regain our balance again and I hope you will leave the dust balls to others ;)
How can we help prevent falls at home? Creating a Fall Prevention Checklist might help, which include a few tips such as: Be sure that you can move safely in bathroom area, and in and out of the tub or
shower. Remove soap build-up in tub or shower on a regular basis. Mount grab bars at the toilet, bath and shower on walls with secure reinforcements, to prevent the bars from coming loose.
More Excellent Tips may be found at: http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Resources/Brochures/docs/Preventing_Falls_Brochure_pagebypage.pdf