Opinion

A fall casts a pall

Sitting, reading a book at the little round kitchen table in the corner … I pushed the chair back and stood up. Apparently I felt lightheaded from sinus, lost my balance and was on the floor.

I had landed on my left thigh and then gently on the side of my face. I must have scooched my way over to where I was now sitting, with my back to the refrigerator. The phone was up on the wall, but I was in no hurry to get up.

How long would i wait for someone to come and find me? I dragged myself over to the open door and across the corner of the dining room to the phone on the fax machine. I pulled the receiver down, then reached up to push in the number of my next-door neighbor. He called 911, and they called the local ambulance. It arrived very soon; my neighbor on the other side brought her key over to let them in the front.

They pushed the door open a bit, but then they stopped and someone went back to the kitchen door. Stuck on the floor, I could hear glass breaking in the kitchen door — not the storm door, which would have made more sense. The fire department, which always accompanies the ambulance, will get through, whatever it takes, and my yelling was to no avail.

My home for the next four days was a local hospital nearby, till I was moved to a rehab facility. Both were very nice, with excellent food and both physical and occupational therapy. Flowers from friends and family seemed like a bonus.

Four, eight and 12 staples in three spots on my skin showed me where I had landed on my thigh. The ambulance took me to the surgeon’s office to remove the staples.

Physical therapy has just ended — six visits, which included upper body exercises as well as for my left leg. I continue both, standing by the sink to hold onto it, then walking for three minutes at a time.

My car had a flat tire — who knows why? — but it is now replaced with a new one and I am driving. My 2005 Hyundai, which I bought in 2010, serves me very well.

Needless to say, I hope that I avoid any more falls.

Byrna Porter Weir was born and grew up in Houlton, where her parents, Ina and Porter, were portrait photographers. She now lives in Rochester, N.Y.  

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