When I was a young and unsympathetic teenager I remember walking away in embarrassment when my then over-60-year-old mother skidded onto her bottom on a busy street because she was rushing. It just was not cool, and I can remember thinking that I would never do that when I was old. Oh the arrogance of youth!
About five years ago when I was on the cusp of turning 60, I was working as a receptionist for a very demanding naturopath. While I thought the job would be all aromatic oils and a blissful atmosphere, I actually ended up being a gopher doing all her jobs around town and not, I might add, getting any petrol allowance for it. Anyway, a job was a job.
As I rushed from the top storey of the car park building and hurried down the steps, I ended up on the ground, flat on my back with the wind completely knocked out of my chest. I could not speak to the people looking down at me with concern on their faces. I refused an ambulance, got up, limped back to my car where I still was not able to draw breath. My ribs hurt, and it was not until I went to hospital in the morning that I was told they were bruised and there was no real treatment; I had to ride it out. My boss insisted I was well enough for work, so I did my best. However, I was happy when I found another job.
One afternoon about a year later, I was rushing again, trying to get the washing off the line at home before it was rained on. My toe caught in my wide legged harem pants, and I came an absolute cropper down my back steps and smacked onto the concrete. This turned out to be a painful bursa on my right shoulder, which took ages to heal.
Next time was when I was working in disabilities, I threw my banana peel into a red bin, only to realise I had thrown my car keys in as well. As the client was sitting there grinning at me, I had to retrieve me keys. The bin had sadly just been emptied so as I bent forward to get them, my feet left the ground, the lid shut on me (it was fixed to a pole) and I was left there with my legs flailing wildly while I sniffed the aromas of over-heated waste bin.
I managed to extricate myself and got the keys out with a stick. Why did I not think of that first I do not know. Anyway, the ribs got another hammering and I had bruised them again.
I have learned. Walk slowly, do not rush. Hold the hand rail if there is one. Watch my step, especially on stairs. Wear shoes that are attached to my feet. Most of all, just watch where I am going and keep my mind on the job at hand.
Injuries from falls can be very painful and slow to heal as we get older, so I have learned my lesson. I do balancing on one leg at a time to maintain my stablility and balance my posture. I take my time, walk a little slower and if people have to overtake me, then so be it. Life is too short to end up immobilised with a broken limb, or worse.
Anyone can have a fall at any age, but our bones are more fragile as we get older.