Right after the stroke, I was warned repeatedly to be very, very careful. So I was. I went without falling at all for more than six months after the stroke. When I did finally fall, it was a very gentle plop in my backyard. I've stumbled some other times, but I've always been able to catch myself.
But since October, I've fallen three times. The last time was Monday, when I got up early (very unusual for me) and decided to go outside to get the newspaper with my PJs and robe on. As I was climbing up the four steps up to the porch, with the newspaper clutched under my right arm, I suddenly lost my balance and fell sideways. I landed beside the steps,
into a pile of plastic shovels. I broke my daughter's play shovel. I
got a scratches on my right hand knuckles. My dignity was hurt. I was
Sometimes a little thing can mess up my balance: an especially windy or cold day; an outfit I haven't worn much; two steps that don't have a
place to grab on to; holding something I usually don't hold. That day, I was challenged by all these things. (That, and my lack of coffee.) Usually I'm meticulous about preparing myself, but I didn't do that on Monday. I just wanted to get the damned newspaper.
My husband and I agree that, in some ways, it's a sign of progress: I'm pushing at the edges of my comfort zone. I just hope that I can get through this phase of my recovery without any more serious injuries than scratched knuckles.
17 hours ago