8/02/11: help me, I think I’m falling (. . .) again

So I fell again. This is the third time since I moved to Tacoma that I’ve tumbled while taking a walk on a perfect sunny day. The damage, as you can see: scrapes on my palm and knee (the purple fingers are an artifact). I’ve been walking every day, about a mile to the coffee shop—stop, drink, read, scribble—and then back home. One of the luxuries of joblessness. Each time, I’ve tripped on the very uneven and broken side walks here, but it’s still pretty defeating.

I walked regularly in Seattle, but there were no sidewalks in my neighborhood there; and though I tripped on curbs and sprained an ankle more than once when I lived in NYC, I never remember falling forward onto the pavement like this.

I’ve lost my balance somehow. I try to pay more attention to the lay of the land, but invariably, I glance about or become engrossed in my own thoughts. I’ve begun wearing more substantial shoes, but obviously that didn’t help. Although this time, I broke my fall by quickly rolling onto my back onto the grass strip. Drop and roll, sort of. I don’t think I’ve sprained my wrist, like I did on the first fall. So maybe I’m progressing— learning to fall more gracefully.

I’m not sure how to characterize this condition. I don’t think it will stop me from walking.

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8 Responses to 8/02/11: help me, I think I’m falling (. . .) again

  1. LG says:

    Hi Risa
    I wonder if martial arts might fit into your life. A good female-friendly dojo — I went to Brooklyn Women’s Martial Arts way back when — can do wonders for finding your physical roots to the ground. I didn’t actually consciously do it, but it happened anyway – through the practice of karate. Tai chi, chi gong, there’s lots of options.
    xo

    • A great suggestion, thanks. I do yoga, although I’m not spending money on classes right now because I’m unemployed. I’ve done tai chi in the past, but I’ve never tried martial arts. I’ll have to find a senior class!

  2. Doll Mathis says:

    I wonder if it might be drug-related. Since I stopped taking Lyrica (switched to Neurontin) I seem to be having fewer balance / equilibrium problems. Could be just in my head, & this is not one of the expected benefits. The expected benefit has *seemed* to happen, also – the not being able to recall common words – although the real test will be when I start teaching again in a few weeks. We have some terrible sidewalks here, so I try to keep my head down, which is hard, of course, when you’d rather look all around! Love, Doll

    • Yes, well I’m thinking of dropping my health insurance and stopping all the drugs! Maybe just kidding? I don’t think it’s the wellbutrin, and everything else is for my blood pressure, but there have been recent med changes. I’m happy you are having success with pharmacology!

  3. Sorry about your balance and your fall. But not sorry to have Joni Mitchell singing in my head.

  4. I just returned from a 75 mile hike on the Washington Coast where I walked over all sizes of pebbles, rocks and boulders, seaweedy and slippery, with a 45 lb pac on my back. I fell a few times and it was always because of where my head was at. I found that if I focused my mind on just the sensory experience of being on the rocks and where I step instead of thinking other thoughts about the experience then I had agility and security with each potentially treacherous step. Try not thinking.

  5. Risa Denenberg says:

    Try not thinking … well, it’s worth a try.

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