Here’s my Nymbl (balance exercise) calendar. I’ve been at this since the day after I fell, January 19. My cracked rib still hurts if I move a certain way, but it’s a lot better. The stars represent days I did the exercises. The two yellow stars are the number of days I’ve been at my current level.
Roughly every week, this Nymbl app gives me a new challenge. One of the new Nymbl exercises makes no sense to me, so who knows if I’m doing it right. Having one leg shorter than the other presents some challenges as done a friable knee on which my physical therapist and I have both decided some exercises are not a good idea.
In PT yesterday we did something I found fun and strangely nostalgic — we played catch. I stood on a cut-off balance ball thing that was spongy and meant to challenge my footing and balance. It was a little challenging. Then my therapist got a ball and we played catch. Since I once really loved baseball (playing) it was good and suddenly I was playing centerfield and standing solidly and well balanced. This said a couple of things to me. 1) I have good reflexes, 2) I still like to play catch, 3) not thinking about balance and having that forward moving action helps me.
I don’t know if what I’m doing is worth doing. I don’t know if it will help me prevent falls. Maybe it’s melodrama, I don’t know. Like a lot of other things in life, it’s a gamble. Yesterday the other client at physical therapy was a woman who was relearning how to use her hands and brain together. My guess is she’d had a mild stroke. I think, “Martha what do you have to be so freaked out about? A lot of people have bigger challenges than you.”
But do they? I thought back to when I had a major depressive crisis some 30 years ago. At some point after that I realized that I — me, myself, I — was the biggest risk to my own life. Since then I’ve been a quiet supporter of people with invisible disabilities who are trying to hold their shit together.
I also thought of 2020 when sane people were waiting for a vaccine. The lesson was (for me) that my responsibility to myself and others was not to get sick or make others sick, the idea that we each have a responsibility to our own life. A fall could kill me or injure me more seriously than I’ve been injured so far, so I don’t think it’s melodrama to persist. Besides I might get to play catch again!