Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Stop Talking About It!

Mom has a tendency to fall down.  Before she got her walker, it was a lot.  Maybe half a dozen times a month.  Now that she’s decided to make her walker her best friend, it only happens once every four to six weeks.  Mom and I are blessed because the women in our family have strong bones.  Plus, Mom is pretty well padded around her middle, her hips and her butt – so when she goes down, she lands more like a beach ball than an anvil.

She does bruise quite easily though.  This is because, like many elderly folks, her skin is gradually turning to rice paper and her veins are closer to the surface that they were in her youth.  She can bump the back of her hand against the armrest on her loveseat and she’ll raise an attractive purple contusion.  She can nudge her leg against the bed mattress and get a lovely black and blue shiner on her knee.  So when she falls down, absolutely  remarkable welts and bruises form on the parts of her body that made contact with any object that’s harder than a cotton ball.  She wears the temporary discoloration like badges of honor and shows them off with pride.  And she isn’t particularly shy about showing me where each and every
bruise is, if you get my drift.

She took a tumble a week ago getting up from her nap.  She sat up too quickly and then tried to stand.  This resulted in a brief dizzy spell that caused her to plop back onto the couch, then roll off the edge, fall onto the carpeting and whack her leg on the marble base of the coffee table.

A few days after this latest tumble, I was in the living room, gathering her morning paper to put in the recycle bin, when she stopped me before I could escape to the safety of the garage.

“Patty, look at this bruise,” she said, pulling up her blouse so I could see the Italy-shaped greenish-yellow blob along her rib cage.

“That’s a good one, Mom,” I comment, turning to leave.

“And this is where my leg hit the table,” she bragged, lifting her pant leg so I could see the marks on her shin.

“It’s pretty well faded, isn’t it?” I ask, backing slowly away, praying silently that this was the end of the damage.

“And I think this is where I landed on the floor,” she continued, pulling her blouse above her bra.  Before she could shift the bra out of the way, I back peddled, muttering “Looks good, Mom.  You’re sure lucky to be so bouncy.”

“I know,” she said, smiling broadly.  “It runs in the family, so when you start falling down you should be okay too.”

“Good to know,” I said, walking quickly out of the room.  “…I’ll keep that in mind the next time I decide to try bungee jumping,” I muttered.

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3 Comments on “Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Stop Talking About It!”

  1. The Hobbler says:

    I sympathize with your mom…I have a walker, and a wheelchair and I still fall. Unfortunately, I don’t have much padding and I broke my hip. You should let your mom know that breaking bones makes for even better brag stories. 😉

    • Patt says:

      I’m so glad Mom’s not broken anything yet. But she is so very proud of her “bounce-ablity” that she just makes me laugh. Hopefully, the genes have been passed along because I know that my turn will come someday.
      PS – LOVE your insights on your blog. It’s a great reality check. I did volunteer work for MS several years ago and I know how awful this disease is. I admire your courage and optimism.

      • The Hobbler says:

        Thanks, but I always feel like telling everyone who admires my attitude that I definitely have my days (just ask my husband and kids). I guess you probably know that since you live with a disabled person. I think we are the moodiest at home. Writing a blog is really good for you too. Caretakers often bear an incredibly heavy burden, and it is good for you to have a place to talk, and vent, and just get away (if only in your mind). I admire you for steping into that role. Good luck with your mom.


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