Disarmed and Dangerous (At Least to Myself)

Disarmed and Dangerous (At Least to Myself) September 12, 2016


In first aid station
Waiting for the paramedics after the fall.

I’m going to laboriously type with one hand a full post about the wider lessons to be drawn by the idiotic mistake that lead to my dislocated shoulder and broken arm yesterday. But in the meantime, here is what I wrote in my Facebook status today. (In my doped up state, I left out the fact that the osteoporosis that was yet another gift of the prednisone which also indirectly caused my coma may well have been a contributing factor in the break.)

Yesterday, I learned a very painful lesson about overconfidence.

I’m typing this one-handed because my left arm is pinned to my chest. I fell down while tired, after a strenuous walk at the Getty Center. (We walked up the hill instead of taking the tram, walked through the winding garden, went through an exhibition, and climbed numerous flights of stairs.)

I usually use hiking sticks, but that would’ve been weird at a museum, so I was thinking of bringing my HurryCane, which I never use anymore. I doubt anyone would even be able to notice my slight wobble unless they knew to look for it.

But I accidentally left it in the house because I had forgotten that I was going to take it with us. Keith asked me if I wanted to get it, but I said nah (we hadn’t even reached the car yet). After all, I thought, the Getty doesn’t have any challenging terrain. Famous last words.

For my friends who don’t know, I have a bit of residual vertigo from stroke damage. Physical therapy and natural healing has reduced it immensely–now I usually wobble, but I don’t fall down–but I’m still not nearly as steady as a healthy person like Keith.

I’m also just barely started to get over a nasty cold, so I was much more tired than usual. On the rare occasions I fall, it’s usually when I’m tired. (On our rehab walks/hikes, our goal is usually to exhaust me to increase my stamina.)

If I had hiking sticks or a cane, I probably wouldn’t have fallen as I followed Keith on the narrow curb with the lower, gravel-strewn ground beside it.

But, of course I didn’t. I fell, landing hard on my left shoulder, then my right hand, before finally coming to a stop flat on my nose (which is fine). I have several abrasions on my right side, but the serious damage happened on the left.

I dislocated my shoulder and suffered a break in my upper arm. Yes, it is very painful. Needless to say I’m going to be using the HurryCane a lot from now on.

Thank you so very much to everyone who has expressed worry and support. I can’t tell you how much that means to me and Keith!!!!!! <3

Yes, some friends have offered unsolicited prayers. Thanks, but my bets are on the complicated sling healing me instead.

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