On Monday of this week, I was briskly walking through a park, hit a 1/4 inch lip in the sidewalk, and smashed my face into the concrete. What hit first was my upper jaw, and my two front teeth were pushed in. I give the details, because I now realize it could have been much worse — I could have hit my head, I could have blacked out, I could have broken a wrist or ankle, there might not have been anyone around, etc., etc.
So I feel fortunate, albeit somewhat shaken. I got emergency orthodontia, and over the next few months the two front teeth should gradually be racheted back into place. I still look like a bad Halloween makeup job, but the Angeline Jolie lips have lost their swelling, and the scrapes are healing nicely.
Does this accident have anything to do with the Parkinson’s? Maybe. I’ve noticed my gait seems to be more “scuffy” lately. (Frozen gait can be a Parki symptom.) However, I just came back from a hiking trip and successfully negotiated slippery marble steps and gnarly rocky Alpine trails.
So maybe this fall was just the luck of the draw. In a tacky move to get some sympathy, I sent my relatives the gory pictures of me the day after. My sibs were indeed sympathetic, but reminded me that they had both had recent trip and fall accidents: a concussion and a broken nose — ouch! A friend commiserated but mentioned a travel buddy who tripped on the first day of a walking holiday and broke her ankle — then did exactly the same thing two years later on a do-over of the trail.
So there must be a lot of this trip-and-fall going around. The hospital emergency room just sent me a cheerful little brochure how to reduce the risk of falls around my house. The brochure, complete with a picture of a perky young EM tech advising Geezer Grandma, reports that in King County, “fall-related events” comprise 17.9% of EMS responses among persons 65 and older. Well yes, we Geezer Grandmas probably aren’t coming into ER with a lot of gunshot wounds and high-speed auto chases.
As you can tell by my sarcasm, we Baby Boomers will not “go gentle into that good night” when it comes to aging. I continue to view my Inner Laura as 23, ….35 tops…., so I found the most painful aspect of this accident was having the nice young park worker report to 911 that “an elderly lady has tripped and fallen.” Oh….he meant me….!