Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rehab progress 6

I stood at the top of the stairs today and realized that they scare me. I have acquired a fear of falling down. At the first, after I had this debilitating experience, I laughed when the physical therapist warned me, "Don't fall down!" After a couple of discomforting injuries resulting from falling down, I now see that it is nothing to laugh off. I can't afford to fall down and hurt myself any more. A sobering thought. And the risk of a fall is very high, for me. I teeter and wobble continuously, like a drunken man. Many times, I have been saved from falling down only because there was something solid for me to support myself with. I have asked those who would try to catch me, just please get yourself out of the way. I really do not want to hurt my friends by falling on them.

I remember an incident in high school that emphasized just how fragile an eggshell our bodies really are. I was a member of the wrestling team at Mira Costa High. When we would start wrestling practice, a whole gang of little guys would jump me, just in fun. They liked to see how many of the little guys I could carry before I collapsed.'

One day I got to the gym early for practice. As usual, a half-dozen of the little guys jumped on me. I toppled over, but this time with unforseen consequence. Robert Ansite, one of the littlest guys, ended up under the pile, and was seriously hurt. When I fell on him, his leg was fractured and his pelvic bone broken. Coach Fernandez showed up moments later, and immediately called for an ambulance. Poor Robert, I never meant to cause any hurt. I have felt bad about injuring him every time I am reminded.

The human body is relatively fragile, and we go to great lengths to protect ourselves from injury. In my case, many of the automatic protective mechanisms are disabled, so I need to pay more attention. Sometimes my guard strays a bit, and I get a little reminder that not everything is as it used to be.

1 comment:

pgk said...

Good story. Important warning.