Why I even looked down is a bit of a mystery—but I did. A cricket, not more than an inch long, kept hopping towards me. It was quite persistent. I tried to get away but my shoe, a slide-on, started to twist and throw me off balance. I headed straight down toward the sidewalk, rotating my body as much as I could. I landed with only my nose and mouth on the cement; the rest of my head lay on the 10 inches of grass between the sidewalk and the curb!
It took me a minute to shake off my surprise and do a quick check of my body parts. Everything seemed to be in working order, so I stood up. It was then that I felt the pain and tasted a bit of blood. A small cut on my upper lip was bleeding and swelling. I made it across the street to a neighbor’s house and rang the doorbell. Even though I was only a few doors from home, I knew that the cut would start to balloon if I didn’t get some ice on it right away. No one answered the bell until I had turned to head home. Then the door opened and my neighbor, clearly not quite awake, stared at me from the doorway. “Ice, can you give me a piece of ice? I just fell and my lip is swelling.” It took another second or so for my request to register. He returned quickly with ice wrapped in a paper towel and wished me a speedy recovery.
My reflection in the bathroom mirror was not pretty—but not horrible, either. I had suffered worse. No chipped tooth, only a small cut, and some scraped skin on my nose.
A lightshow—the precursor to a migraine, a response to the stress of the fall—started quickly. A Maxalt pill moderated the headache, so I decided that I was well enough to go to work. Not a good idea! Within a few hours, I was napping back at home. I’m fine now.
The lesson to this story is that, at 79 years old, even a minor fall becomes a major trauma! Life is precarious, and falling is a huge concern at this stage. A serious fall can be life-changing and even fatal. I’m always mystified by the fact that, thus far, I have escaped major injury when others I know have suffered far more. I don’t want to tempt fate, but I also refuse to give up my morning walks.
By the way, I fell on the cricket and it is dead. I also will wear sturdier shoes and use my hiking sticks.
Funny how something so small can change your life.