Falling Update # Something

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!

25 thoughts on “Falling Update # Something

  1. Just don’t give up, keep at it! c. 3 years ago I got a bad Achilles tendon inflammation because of too much sport. It just wouldn’t get any better. And suddenly for a few months it’s almost completely fine again. I had already seen myself walking with a rollator….

  2. I’m proud of you, MAK. 💛 and so happy to hear about the progress. ⭐️ it’s not melodrama. I spent a year in speech and physical therapy after my TIA after the TBI. I went angry at first. I grew up eating dirt off a softball field. I played for most of my life and my gloves still sit in my closet. I took 3 falls after my therapy and the poo poo of which you speak others face is so true. Rather than continue to heal with anger, I started to love my time in therapy. My girls group in AR “surround” me when we hike (next weekend we have a cabin~yay!), they’ll surround me, like the therapists to be there to help me when descending on any path. I pray for your injuries and you every morning. I haven’t taken opportunity to go to the PC to work on Nymbl issue~but I still do my balance exercises. Unfortunately I tweaked my back trying to shovel gravel into some muddy dips in the driveway. Oh well! I’ll just give myself grace and move slow, darn it. I hope the writing is going well. Give Bear and Teddy our hugs too. 🐶⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️❤️❤️❤️

  3. We each live our own truth and it cannot really be compared to others. I think what you are doing is so smart. You are taking care of you.

    • Exactly. It’s just made me think about how profligate we are with ourselves, and the whole Covid debacle really hit that home for me, that people would out of some absurd “beliefs” not take steps to protect others when all the “others” around are prey to all kinds of random horrible things like the guy with one leg and this woman with the stroke. I understand less every day. ❤ Bear and Teddy say "Hi!" to Ophelia and that we got snow but it's already gone. Bear is putting a good face on it.

      • I’m not sure if I understand less each day or just more discouraged each day. Not sure if you follow Canadian News but the Trucker Convoys who claim to be protesting for “freedom” just have me feeling that there will always be a portion of humanity that just don’t get what is really important. Fortunately, Ophelia is oblivious to it all and gets what’s important, being able to walk every day and be part of the pack! We ended up getting enough snow to make walking safe again, but today it is already +7 and rain and snow are in the forecast. We may be slip sliding again! Ophelia says “Hi” and says to tell Bear, “just think of all the wonderful smells you won’t have to paw through the snow to get to!”

        • Yeah — I guess it’s been for me kind of a rude awakening that so many people are so incredibly stupid and short-sighted and ignorant and what’s most disturbing is some of my oldest friends, people I love, are among that pack. I cannot wrap my head around that. I can kind of sort of ignore it, but not really. That trucker thing is one of the dumbest stunts. NO ONE WINS. The truckers don’t win, the retail stores don’t win, workers don’t win, it’s just stupid. At least we ought to be able to depend on peoples’ desire to make a living, but not even that. Bear wonders if Ophelia likes to roll in the scents. Bear thinks is even better to roll in them when there’s snow on them. That might just be Bear. Last night I dreamed had had Bear AND a real polar bear… 😀

  4. I gave the Nymbl app to my MIL but due to her vertebral fracture she’s not doing any exercise. She is going to have some injections of bone cement to stabilize the spine and then she’s going to have some PT to improve her core strength and balance… After she gets through this she may give Nymbl a try! I do hope that all the work you are doing will make a difference in keeping you from falling! My inlaws have installed grab bars all over the house!

    • Your poor MIL! I hope the injections work — a friend of mine is doing something similar next month. Yikes!

      Nymbl’s exercises are things like rotating your ankles, holding up one knee, that level (at first), while you do very simple brain problems. The exercises get more, well, not exactly strenuous but involve more of your body after a month. The idea is to improve awareness and mind/body coordination. I think they’re working for me. At PT we’re doing balance work and I think that works well together with Nymbl. The only thing “wrong” with me is a bad knee and maybe the one leg being shorter than the other. My therapist thinks my big problem is that after that bad fall where I hurt my rotator cuff, I got seriously scared, more scared than I knew. So PT is also about me showing myself what I can actually do. I’ve stopped myself from falling a couple of times in the meantime so I think all this is paying off.

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