I Really am a Fall Risk

When I was in the hospital recently, I had to wear a wrist band that labeled me a “Fall Risk.” My bed had an alarm that went off if I tried to get up without first calling for a nurse to help me. I thought it was overkill at the time, but I am beginning to think those hospital people knew what they were doing.

Yes, I’ve fallen again. And again.

On Friday, I drove down to the imaging center to have some hip and back x-rays done. I got out of the car and hobbled toward the entrance. As I tried to step over one of those concrete barriers they put in parking lots to block the wheels of the cars, the toe of my shoe didn’t quite make it. I went flying in one direction and the shoe went flying in another.

I sailed through the air, landing on my left shoulder blade. As I tumbled, the back of my head came down hard on the tarmac.

My acrobatics attracted a crowd. I didn’t know so many people even lived in our little town.

“Don’t move, don’t move,” a lady shouted behind me as I tried to get up. “Here, lean against me.”

I lay back and leaned my throbbing (and bleeding) head against her leg.

Someone found my shoe and stuck it back on my foot. (Thankfully, that sock didn’t have a hole in it.)

By then, a spectator had called 9-1-1 and an ambulance was pulling up. The EMT pros swarmed out of the ambulance and ministered to me, bandaging my head and taking my blood pressure and other vital signs, even my sugar.

The EMT guys wanted to take me to the hospital (which was across the street), but I said no thanks.  So they left.

The crowd wasn’t about to leave. Everyone seemed eager to help me.

A young nurse was especially solicitous. She lifted me into a wheelchair and wheeled me into the imaging center, where I was checked in. Then she wheeled me to get the x-rays done. As I got out of the wheelchair, she noticed my elbow was bleeding.

“Oh look,” she said. “He’s hurt his poor, little arm!”

And she bandaged my wound with red elastic tape.

After a series of x-rays, she wheeled me out to my car and helped me get behind the wheel. What a sweet kid, I thought. Her parents did a great job raising her.

And, oh yes, I’ve fallen again since then. Trying to get my pants off in the bathroom, I tumbled backward into the bathtub. My head banged against the edge of the tub.  It’s a good think I have a hard head.

This falling routine is getting old. I’m beginning to think I should just stay in bed. And the bed should have an alarm.