After the Fall – Adam is not a Weeble

via Pinterest. Click for image source

via Pinterest. Click for image source

Over Easter weekend, I took a nasty fall. Unfortunately, Scott was visiting his family and I was home alone taking care of the dog. No serious injuries, but some bruises and a wake up call. If you don't want to hear the gory details of what lead up to the fall, skip the next paragraph.

I was vomiting in the kitchen sink. I got very dizzy and starting having a panic attack. I began hyperventilating and believe I passed out from lack of oxygen.

I woke up on the kitchen tile, gasping for breath. Suddenly, I drew in a deep breath, like you see on TV when they bring someone back from CPR, and started to realize I was on the floor. Jake (our dog) was walking into the kitchen, so I don't think I was out for more than a few seconds. If I'd been out for longer, he'd already be up on me figuring out what's going on. I didn't know how I got on the floor, so I needed to investigate before I tried to get up. I stayed there for a minute, taking inventory of what hurt. Both sides of my head, my right shoulder and arm, my right foot, and both of my big toes. This didn't help at all. I still didn't know how I got on the floor, but I carefully stood up. My stick was in the other room, so I had to rely on holding on the counter. The dizziness calmed down and I focused on my breathing until I felt steady on my feet.

I carefully made my way to the living room to retrieve my stick, then went to the bathroom to check out the damage. My biggest concern was a concussion, but my pupils reacted appropriately so I figured I wasn't in immediate danger. I've had concussions before, so I kept watch for any symptoms. Nothing felt broken, but bruises were already starting. No cuts or blood. No sharp pains, just all over hurt. Like I was in a car accident.

Over the next day or so I remembered more of what happened. Piecing these together, I think that I passed out while holding on to the counter. I hit the left side of my head on the way down, which bumped me to the right. My feet twisted under me and I fell on my right shoulder, then hit the right side of my head on the floor. Ouch.

Lesson learned: I've been relying too much on the familiarity of my house. Rather than establishing my balance and bringing my stick with me, I've been sort of "pinballing" around the house. I'll aim for a wall, slight push to the chair, push off to the wall, etc. This is much faster and convenient if I'm just going to the kitchen to throw something away, but it is not helping me get better. It might even be making it worse. So, from now on I'm walking around my house just like I would a crowded mall. Check my balance. Be prepared to stop myself from falling. Monitor my anxiety level. It's all as exhausting as it sounds, but that's the way it has to be.