We All Fall Down

Top row of the bleachers

Saturday was a beautiful day here in Southern California, perfect for catching a Little League baseball game. I like to arrive early, but not so Mike.  There is a reason for my early arrival, I need to get on the bleachers so I can sit on the bottom row or use the handrail to go up any higher so that I do not fall. Did you know that falls are leading cause of death for people 65 and older?  I have had my share of falls and am very cognizant of my surroundings. I’m not scared, but just extra careful.

At the game on Saturday we arrived a little late, so that meant the the bleachers were pretty much filled with spectators. To add to my dilemma our daughter Sonja was sitting on the top tier. “Mom, come up here!” she says. I was a little stressed out because these bleachers may only have five tiers, but that is still a long way to the ground if you miss your footing. I squiggled my way up, knocking over  several bottles of water  with my huge handbag, and finally sat down. I wanted to get into the game but my only thought was, how am I going to exit? Sure enough, Mike wanted to leave early. That meant that everyone sitting on the side where the guardrails were, had to clear out of the way in order for me to feel safe. I looked at Sonja and said, “What do I do?” She laughed and told me, “Geez, Mom, just step down!”

The falling on my face from 5 years ago, thank you Helen for documenting my fall!

The first time I took a really bad fall was about 5 years ago, when Mike and I were walking our dog Shadrach. Right before we turned to our street, I looked at my watch and told Mike that if we walked for 15 more minutes it would complete an hour. Mike said that he was not wearing the right shoes, and decided to go home. I continued the walk without him. Just a few blocks from our home, Shadrach suddenly crossed in front of me and my tennis shoe got caught in an uneven part of the sidewalk. It was dusk, and I was walking on busy street. It happened so fast that I could not free myself to break the fall. I landed on my face. I honestly heard bones cracking, and, my brain rattled, I got up only to discover that a warm gush of blood was flowing through my lower lip. I was in shock, and I called Mike, crying. I knew that I needed medical attention, so when Mike came to pick me up, we left the dog at home and headed to St. Joseph’s hospital in Orange.

I felt so bad for Mike because others in the waiting room of the hospital kept giving him dirty looks. At one point, a man was staring at me and then looking at Mike. Then Mike waved his hand in front of the man to get him to stop staring. Many of the waiting patients thought I was victim of domestic violence. Little did they know that it was the sidewalk that kicked my butt, not Mike.

I called my best friend Helen and she rushed to my side. Helen started to take pictures of my injury, and then texted them to my kids. We got a good laugh from the pictures, and it did make me feel better that both Helen and Mike were there with me.

We waited four hours before I was seen by a physician. I suffered from a fractured wrist, and fractured nose, and I needed sutures to repair my lower lip. I don’t think like a normal person, so my first thought was that I would lose weight because of the sutures, however I did not.

I have fallen going down my stairs twice, once breaking my leg. I have fallen chasing after my grandkids, I have falling  while carrying my grandkids, I have fallen in the Holy Land twice, and I have fallen in my front yard three times. I have fallen, flipping over my therapeutic scooter with a broken leg. Sometimes I feel that the Devil pushes me because my falls happen after a holy experience. I often wonder where my guardian angel Celestina is, but I know that she is there preventing my death.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
  • Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
  • In 2014, the total cost of fall injuries was $31 billion.
  • The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.

The next time I fall on my face it will be done in prayer.

Revelation 7:11 King James Version (KJV)

11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.

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