Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sharing With My Readers: Lessons Learned From my Retirement Fall

And of course......be a coordinated person. Or try.
In April of this year, I had quite the serious fall. The blow by blow description of that fall can be found here, as well as the comment and discussion that followed.  Suffice to say that I fell down my front steps, onto my front bushes and ended up on the grass.  After a surprising spring snow. Also, it would be fair to say that my late night screams shook the neighborhood.

After picking myself up (with lots of help), taking a couple Tylenol Arthriits, and taking a nice warm shower, I did a quick self evaluation. There were no broken bones that I could see. Everything moved, I felt.  Everything hurt like hell, but it moved.

Move forward to a few days later when the injured side hurt terribly.  And I could feel a welt on my left hip. After giving my son the camera and asking him to take a picture of as much of my body he felt comfortable with (and I did), we ended up with a partial hip and side and photo which showed, a frightening array of color ( Then I realized that I may need a second long mirror for something like this in future, as my bathrom is definitely not one of those mirrored all around things). To appease family, I trotted myself off to my primary care provider-mainly because with the severity of the bruising I was concerned about the welt and possibly a severe hematoma. She checked bruising on the bod, asked how I felt, if everything was moving, and prescribed pain and ice.

In defense of this doc who I generally love, I'll say that she has always been respectful of my sense of what may or may not be wrong with me and generally encourages her patients to evaluate and express needs and then she follows up. So.....I probably should have been more expressive on my and and she should perhaps have been more diligent on her end.

It was a rough early summer. I cancelled a trip that would have involved lots of walking during that time. I started working out with weights to help my balance. I took something to help me sleep nightly for a couple months. Eventually, the bruises healed and I was back to mainly normal. A weaking who used one pound eights. Only.  My right arm continued to kill me.  Not at the shoulder, but beginning at what I guess you would call the shot area and going down. In other words, muscle pain. Severe muscle pain.

 After a month or so of self medication and exercise, finally I decided it was probably a torn muscle and asked the doctor to send me to physical therapy.  And here is where life get's interesting, and my earlier mistakes put to light, if you will.  The arm pain?  Is completely caused by the shoulder.  Manipulation of the shoulder has made the arm pain much better (albeit not gone), as has the direction to not raise the arm above shoulder height for any reason.  Not gone, but better-at least right after therapy. And eventually, I will need to have an Xray. To see what happened. And if it will heal itself or something will have to be done at this late date.

On some level, this has been a serious senior health awakening for me. Leg degeneration aside, I tend to be a do what I can and live with it moment, don't do what I know I can't and try and strengthen what I can. Me having a "senior" fall?  What are you talking about!

I also tend to be an "Oh, I'm fine", type of gal. I mean, once I helped off the ground, I walked, I showered, I dressed and did those basic issues with no issue. No issue except pain. Only, I wasn't really ok.  When I went to the doctor, I should have asked for some Xrays. Later when I was healing and the arm still hurt, I should have asked again, or at least made a second doctor appointment. And yes, the doctor should have probably  suggested Xrays. But she is congizant of cost to her patients at all times (which is an overall good thing), and she asked me how I felt-as did her assistant. I will need to talk with her about this at my next appointment, surely.

The bottom line? Learn from Barbara. I have strong bones except for in that darned leg, but even, so as we age bones change-as does our flexibity to bounce back from injuries like this. Had I had Xrays, or even some serious shoulder manipulation, this might have shown up. Again, it might not have. But I'll never know.

So for now? No yoga. No weights. The pain mainly stops me from even trying to reach over my head. When I cook on Thursday, someone else will have to pull down the heavy plates on the shelves and the big bowls. And that's just the begninning of my journey.

And I will do everything necessary, no matter how it looks, to never, ever fall again!!

9 comments:

  1. I fell in my shower a few years ago, and the basketball size black-and-blue mark didn't go away for months. The older we get the more likely we are to fall, when we do fall we're more likely to get injured, and if we do suffer an injury it takes longer to heal. Anyway, glad you're (mostly) better; and please take some comfort in knowing your post provides an important public-service message.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. it seem like it can take up to ten times as long to heal, just as it does for me to recover from bronchities.

      Delete
  2. I read somewhere that after age 60 our balance is significantly impaired even if we are in good physical fitness. I realize that is a general statement but that is what I read and my experience of friends hitting their 60s and beyond is that they started having falls. Even I have noticed my balance has changed a lot and I'm not 60 yet. I think it pays to do some simple balance exercises and ideally on a regular basis.

    I do hope you fully recover and that you won't have any long term pain and discomfort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya know, I tend to tel myself I am just "middle aged". it is times like this when I really need to make adjustments-and work on balance and strenght

      Delete
  3. I have noticed that I have trouble getting on and off my bike now due to balance issues so yes, it is a real problem. I hope you heal up quickly after such a long road of pain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a problem. And for me, probably worsened by the fear of falling again!

      Delete
  4. How painful! I'm hoping that physical therapy exercises will resolve the issue for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly hope so. She has also been using electrodes and ice to help with the pain, with is intriguing.

      Delete
  5. That was a serious fall, and like you, I try to ignore pain and think a health situation is not serious. I hope you continue to heal and if tests are needed, to get them.

    ReplyDelete

The Frugal Retiree's Fall Bucket List

Today is one of those rare days when I  am suffering for my night owlish-ness. Such suffering will be worth it in the long run (the reason...