I had a fall yesterday for the first time in more years than I care to remember. Falling down is no fun. It didn’t make it any easier that I went down in company, so to speak.
Some years ago my son had a brain stem bleed. He made a good recovery, but was left semi-paralysed down the right side and with a poor sense of balance. This makes occasional falls inevitable. Yesterday he took a bad step coming into the kitchen. I saw he was going to fall, tried to help and ended up falling as well. He is around ten inches taller than I am, so there wasn’t much logic involved, but instinct is like that.
If someone has a fall, everyone’s instinct seems to be to pull the person up onto their feet immediately. This is often not the best response. In the first few minutes not even the person who fell knows if they are hurt or not. Unless they are lying in the path of a speeding train, offer to help, but let them say what they need, rather than immediately pulling at them. My son has mentioned this before, but it only really struck home when I was also lying on the floor.
We compared aches and pains. Nothing more than a prospective bruise or two. My son let me in on his game plan for falling, honed over the last ten years. “When I know I’m going down, I start planning the best way to land. If I keep trying to stay upright, that’s when I really get hurt. Once I am down, it’s much better to take a few minutes before I try to get up.”
Now I know just what he means. Maybe I should have listened before…