Monday, July 29, 2013

Fears of Falling

I was going to write a little wrap up of my efforts to expand my Camp NaNoWriMo "chicken memoir" - my effort to start writing a memoir, to include my experiences raising chickens in rural Arkansas during the misspent years of my youth 30's. But my ankle had other plans.

Yesterday, I was walking on the Vestal Rail Trail with my spouse, taking pictures and having a nice time.  I was into mile three of four, I think, when my right ankle suddenly gave out and the ground was rushing up to meet me.  This is something that happens infrequently (thank heavens) thanks to an ankle injury from many years ago.  In fact, I started to exercise walk in my 20's (I'm 60 now) partially because it was good for that ankle.

I ended up on my back (not missing hitting my head by much). I hit my left elbow and scraped it nicely, with blood dripping all over the trail.  And all I could think of, in a somewhat dazed state, (besides the pain in my elbow) was:

IS MY iPHONE OK?

 It was in my right hand and - amazingly - I never let go of it.

So, yes, I am hurting.  I am not hurting near as badly as my Falling Friday episode of a couple of years ago, when I fell face first after tripping on an uneven sidewalk, and it turned out three other people I knew hurt themselves falling on the SAME DAY. I hope I don't find out other people I knew fell yesterday, too.

Of course, I'm now worried about infection, and I have the usual aches and pains.

But it got me to thinking - the last three times I've fallen, its been connected to walking.Twice, exercise walking.  Once, walking downtown.  I think I am going to have to find some ankle exercises to make sure this never happens again.  As I age, the consequences become more and more dangerous.

In the meantime, I am grateful I did not fall on my face.  And, yes, I'm grateful that I did not break my iPhone.  For right now, I am not going to worry about walking with it - I love the ability to take photos with it too much.  Cross fingers!

Do you have a problem with a weak ankle that will go out once or twice a year without warning? How have you dealt with it?


As I finally rested, late yesterday afternoon, the phone rang.... a little long distance caregiving episode was about to begin for my spouse.  More tomorrow.

15 comments:

  1. Alana,
    I am a distance runner with a bad ankle. I injured it over a year ago and I'm just getting to where I can run a little on it again. Joint problems take so long to heal, because there is so little blood flow in those tissues. Have you thought about going to a physical therapist?

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    1. I hadn't, but the more I think about it, the more I think it might be a good idea. But now, my neck has been hurting the last couple of days. I am home with a hot pack on my neck and waiting for a return call from my doctor, after having spoken to a triage nurse. This should be interesting.

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  2. I'm glad you weren't hurt worse and I hope your ankle mends quickly! Glad, too, that your iPhone is okay.

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    1. My ankle, miraculously, didn't twist or sprain, which is a mystery to me. I was able to "walk it off" fairly quickly. But I am not questioning it. I'm grateful!

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  3. Glad you didn't hurt yourself too bad, and LOL, glad your iphone is ok!

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    1. Yes, you can see where my priorities are nowadays!

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  4. Gosh! I'm glad you're alright!!!

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    1. I am - I think. I have a feeling I gave myself whiplash in the fall. I hope not.

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  5. No, not a weak ankle, but a tendency to cramp and fall!

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    1. That sounds terrible. Anything resulting in falls is terrible, especially the older we get.

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  6. I twisted my ankle badly about 15 years ago, in my late 20s. It took about 5 years to properly heal, but I had completely forgotten about it until you mentioned your injury. Ankle injuries seem to take a look time to heal. Give it time your injury will probably completely heal as well.
    Good work in saving your iPhone!

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    1. Thank you - I've now heard from a number of people - bloggers and co-workers - with "ankle stories" - I am far from alone. Thank you for your good thoughts.

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  7. Alana, my son has sprained his ankle badly three or four times over the last four years. Ankles are so tricky because once those ligaments stretch beyond where they should, they don't tighten back up quite as much as we'd like. I agree with AmyG about physical therapy. I also wonder if you'd consider wearing an ankle brace while walking? At least until you can start strengthening it again. Perhaps that could give you the support you need so that if your ankle does give out, it won't lead to a fall.

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  8. So sorry to hear of your fall. I hope you find the right exercises to strengthen that ankle. There are books on writing memoirs. Have you read any of them, and if so, did you find them helpful?

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  9. Yes! I sprained my left ankle when I was an ignorant freshman in college and limped around on it for a couple of days until someone from the college ambulance squad saw me and insisted I go to the infirmary. Ever since then, that ankle has been a problem. I sprained it again when I slipped and fell down our stairway (while pregnant with my second child--all was well there, thankfully!). That ankle has been a problem ever since. I have learned to be very careful when walking on uneven ground (which is pretty much all we have around here!) because if I step into even the smallest hole, the ankle may just collapse under me.

    Sometimes I do wear an ankle brace, and it can help. I hope your ankle and elbow heal quickly so you can get back out on the trail soon!

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