The Great Fall of 2019

It was a sunny afternoon in early October – October 8th to be exact.  I was doing what I had done every afternoon around 5 pm for more than ten years, I was sitting on my walker in the garage. 

As my wife Kimberly and I chatted on the phone, I listened to her debrief me about her day at work.  I noticed that the lawn care people had worked on our yard because the garbage can that was sitting on the grass near the driveway was now sitting on the edge of the driveway, 

As my wife approached the driveway in our rendezvous, I quickly realized that my fear that the garbage can being in her way was justified. 

I quickly, yet carefully, moved to the bottom of the driveway and said, “I can move that can for you”. 

Before Kimberly could say anything I was balancing on sideways on the steeper slope of the driveway, I parked my rollator to the right of the garbage can and transferred my hold from my rollator onto the handle of the trash receptacle,  Unable to just “push” the can out of the way, I decided to tip the front of the can into the air and push the garbage bin by using only the two wheels on the back o the container.

That was a mistake!

While Kimberly sat in the car and watched, I quickly lost control of the garbage can.  In a futile attempt to save the moment, I placed my right foot that was only protected by a sock, on the right wheel of the garbage can, hoping to regain control both it and my balance.   That didn’t happen!

Instantly I knew my plan was going to fail and I had just a second or two to decide to decide how I was going to limit any injury to my body.

I grabbed a tight hold onto handle with my left hand and before I could do anything else, down I and the garbage can fell and fell hard.

I had thought, hoped and planned to land on my bottom – but I didn’t.  I landed face down on the ground.  My left thumb was crushed between the garbage can handle and my glasses had flown off my face and landed a foot away from me in the grass.

Kimberly jumped out of the car and raced to my side.  After assuring her I was okay but sore, I put my glasses back on my face, turned myself over and used my rollator to pull myself up from the ground before walking back into the house – my body radiating pain and my breath was short.

I expected to feel worse the next day and I was not disappointed.  The pain had increased, and it started to become harder for me to walk around my own home.

I was hoping that by Thursday morning I would start to feel a little better.  I was disappointed.  Instead of feeling better the pain became worse and it was even harder for me to move.  When Kimberly come home from work, we went to urgent care.

Walking had become so difficult for me to walk in urgent care, I had to be wheeled around in a wheelchair.  After a series of x-rays that thankfully did not show any broken bones, I was diagnosed with deep contusions (bruises), given a pain medication that made me sick to my stomach, and told to follow up with my doctor.

That weekend things become worse for me.  By Monday the only way I could get in and out of our bedroom was if I gave Kimberly a bear hug while she helped me walk.

I had three doctor appointments in October and each appointment was a painful experience from the moment I tried to leave the house until I made it back into our home and was sitting on our coach in the reclined position.

I didn’t start seeing any progress until almost the end of October.  Eventually I was able to take a step without screaming at the top of my lungs and I was able to get from my walker to my bed without needing a bear hug from Kimberly.

The first week of November I started outpatient physical therapy.  At first it was difficult and painful, but over the last month I have seen a lot of progress.  I can walk up and down the driveway with my rollator.  I can walk up and down the ramp in our garage holding handrails (no longer need to use my rollator on the ramp), and I can once again grab and carry items in my hands while moving around with my rollator. 

I have been told it will take months for my foot to fully heal and I believe they are correct.  The ball of my right foot – the part where I applied to most pressure to balance the trashcan and myself before my fall – still hurts a lot along with the muscles along my right knee.

There are also some unexpected blessings from this fall.  For example, I am standing taller than I did before the fall and my right foot is straighten than it has been since my stroke.

Although the fall knocked me down for nearly two months, I coming back stronger and better than I have been since my stroke and believe me when I say I am thankful to God for all the blessings that he have bestowed upon me since the fall.

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