I've fallen (twice) and I can't get up
OK, so I’ve fallen twice in the last month. Not much hurt other than my pride. A little sore both times, but no bleeding. And, my lawyers require me to say, no alcohol was involved either time.
If you really love me like you claim to, you’ll know I celebrated my 65th birthday in June. Both falls have been since then. I think the two things – my birthday and falling – are related. And not in a familial way.
I received a new grill for one of the special days in June – Father’s Day, birthday – and I was out on the deck when a piece of paper blew off the table and landed on the deck next to the grill. I leaned over to get the paper, got overbalanced and went down like a small, shapely sack of potatoes.
I jumped up as quickly as I could, looked around, confident no one had seen me. When The Current Wife got home from her mother’s, I told her of my ordeal. Thought I might get some sympathy attention. I was wrong.
She berated me for being clumsy. The only concern she had was if I had fallen on the almost brand new grill.
Research has shown your reflexes get slower the older you get. I don’t think it took a government grant to find that out. Slower reflexes means it takes more time to react, making it harder to catch your balance if you start to fall.
It took me about one second longer than it took me to reach the deck.
Three weeks later, I was enjoying a cruise around Lake Greenwood with members of the family. I was getting ready to scoot my chair around to look at the shoreline, when I got overbalanced and fell like a ton of shapely potatoes.
I got tangled in the chair and I was stuck, friends and neighbors. Since I was already prone, I thought I’d take a nap.
But my daughter and daughter-in-law insisted I get up and they managed to pull me to my feet while all four grandkids hid their heads in shame and embarrassment.
Research has shown some medications can increase your chances of falling because of side effects like dizziness. The more drugs you take, the more likely you are to fall.
People who take four or more prescriptions have a greater risk of falling. I take four prescriptions every day, plus two OTC medicines, so I’m a walking (and falling) hazard.
Speaking of getting old, I saw The First Wife going through town last week and she was driving a minivan. Is there anything that screams “I’m old and I’ve given up” more loudly than that?
The sticker on the rear bumper of the minivan said, “I used to be cool.”
(Larry Franklin is publisher of The Chronicle. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His blog can be read at MyClintonNews.com.)