I just remember trying to step over the crack in the side walk. Before that step, I was walking fine, with confidence. I was being careful, taking my time. I was watching where I was going. I had done well today.
Then I saw the crack in the sidewalk; and then I was falling. There wasn’t anything I could do to stop myself, not even my cane could keep me from falling. I was up one moment and I was down the next.
I was able to reach out with my hands and they hit the cement and my arms gave were soft. and in the end, I just slid-I could feel my chin scrape along the pavement. I think I let out a sound, or maybe a whoosh of air.
I heard a homeless guy at the bus stop say: “Hey guy, are you okay? Man, are you okay?”
Arms grabbed hold of me and pulled me up. There were three men and a woman. When I was standing completely, I saw the whole crowd of people waiting for the bus all looking. Some of them had stepped forward to help me.
“There you go.” An older gentleman had helped me up on the left side. He handed me back my cane. It had fallen out of my grasp. “Hold on to that now.” He said.
“Thank you. Thank you all. I’m okay.”
I went to move away, towards the bus stop, when one of the other men held on to my arm. He was the one on the right. “You’re sure you’re okay to walk?”
“Are you sure you’re all right?” He looked at me with concern, his eyes grave, regarding me with worry.
“I’m all right. Thank you, so much.”
He nodded at me and walked on.
I was all right. I would bruise on my legs and knees later, my arms. I didn’t rip my coat or pants, but I’d hit the ground hard. I wondered if I would bruise on my chin. I got up and went to my next bus stop.
I got up and kept walking.
That’s what it’s like when I fall. I have a crushed vertebra, which occasionally (usually when I’m walking over uneven ground) crushes the nerves running down my left leg. And my leg vanishes. Utterly. And I’m on the ground. Usually bruised, once with the muscles connecting several ribs torn. THAT hurt.
The last time I fell was on the last 2 steps coming downstairs. I think that the fear this generates is even worse than the fall. Especially on stairs. You can’t avoid them, but I keep thinking that if I’d fallen higher up the steps…..