I fell yesterday. Yep! I did. I was on my regular Friday morning walk with folks from our local park. I was showing my prowess at hopscotch, which I have done before. I didn’t trip or slip. I felt a paralysis come over my body, from my waist up. My feet were willing, but my head was not. I passed out, or fainted, or blacked out (the doctors at the ER kept asking which I did.) I don’t really know. I knew I was about to fall, but I couldn’t do anything about it. I was aware that there was a short wall right near where I was, and I didn’t want my head to hit it.
So, here is the good news: I just curled myself up into a ball and fell onto my side. I hit in a very weird way. I fell onto my whole left side. It knocked the wind out me. As in the Feldenkrais Method,® I distributed my weight onto my whole self.
I sat in the position that I fell into, and allowed my breath to come back and calm me. I could not breathe into my left ribs, so I bent forward and breathed into my back and right side. I sat until I could lie on my back, and then I just lay there, breathing and gently rocking my spine very gently. I lay there until I could roll over and I slowly spiraled up.
Although I am a bit frightened about why I fell, I felt amazed and grateful that I do this work, especially my “Fear the Floor No More” workshops. I walked slowly back to the Senior Center and iced the areas that I hit. I sat with the ice and breathed, allowing myself to relax. I felt very dizzy and a bit dazed, and overcome with fatigue. I left my car and got a ride to the ER. I am also very grateful that I was only there for four hours. The CAT scan, EKG, blood tests, blood pressure, and X-rays were all perfectly normal. By the way, I did stop for some chicken soup before I picked up my car and went home. We still don’t know the reason for my fall. I will be following up on that.
I spent today humming, breathing and getting a dose of relaxation to stimulate my vagal nerve and calm my system, reduce inflammation, giving me a feeling of safety. I also visualized doing an Awareness Through Movement® lesson. I did a bit of a gentle lesson lying on my back, very slowly, doing less.
I learned firsthand how frightening falling can be. It is difficult to prepare for it, but since one in four seniors over age 65 fall, it could happen to any of us. As I have said many times, we cannot be afraid of falling. The more relaxed we can be, both before and after falling, the easier the recovery will be. Did I say that I am grateful that I know how to fall? I am pleased that I know not to panic and was able to breathe and calm myself. I am so grateful that I know about stimulating my Vagal Nerve, bringing safety back.
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