After we’ve reached a certain age, the first questions we get during a doctor visit are “Have you fallen lately?” and “Do you have throw rugs in your home that are a falling hazard?” No. And no.
Steve told me about a woman who was stirring her coffee as she walked, lost her balance, and fell. The moral of that story: multi-tasking is over after age 70, especially when walking. I’ll add driving to that caution. And multi-tasking during driving is a caution for younger drivers as well!
I noticed my friend Ginny was not at our exercise class. I called her and discovered that she had fallen in an unusual way. She was in her small kitchen and saw an ant on the floor. As she’s done for decades, she stomped the creature with her foot. But in so doing, she lost her balance and fell against the refrigerator, causing a fracture in her back. She’s now in a brace, waiting for the break to heal. Moral: Don’t stomp ants in your house. Just let the creatures go their merry way.
I heard that a former neighbor, Betty Jo, was in ICU. I called her husband, who said she’d gone out into the back yard and tried to climb down a slippery, grassy bank. She slipped and fell, breaking her pelvis and dislocating her shoulder. Moral: Be cautious on wet grass, whether climbing or just walking.
Then, at a funeral, my friend Althea told me about her fall on the basement steps. She’d started up, remembered something else she needed to do, and backed down the steps. BUT…she thought she’d gone up two steps and she’d gone up three. So she missed that last step and fell, badly bruising her leg and side. Moral: Don’t back down steps. Hold on, turn around, and walk down. It will only take a couple of seconds more.
Over forty years ago, I was descending the stairs at my parents’ home, wearing a long robe and carrying our baby girl. Because of the long robe, I thought I was at the floor and missed the last step, managing to hold baby Kelsey up, but badly spraining my ankle. Moral: If you’re walking down steps in a flowing outfit, don’t be carrying anything; hold up your skirt instead, so you can see where you are going.
So there you have it.
For a Christian moral, there is the familiar King James Version, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12.)
The NIV is an updated warning, both spiritual and physical: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”