Tennessee Fainting Goats are a healthy and happy breed of goat with just one tiny, little, genetic aberration that causes them absolutely no problems in life, except for the fact that when they get frightened, they faint. It’s not a real faint, it’s more like they fall over, and it doesn’t hurt them at all. About seven seconds after falling over, they hop up, tails wagging, and scamper off. Here is a Tennessee Fainting Goat in its fallen over position:
It occurs to me that I might have the Tennessee Fainting Goat gene, because I seem to be falling over a lot lately. This reminds me of a thing that happened when my Dad, who was 90 and near death, met my first daughter, Holly, who was near 1 and just getting started in life. As she toddled toward him, she lost her balance and tumbled. But she twisted and rolled and in a flash she was up and and continuing with thrown-out arms. My Dad looked at her with something like awe, “ Man she knows how to fall,” he said, his admiration that of one professional deeply impressed by another professional’s expert technique and grace. And they were – he at 90 and she at 1 – engaged in the profession of falling where good technique was a crucial skill set for them both.
Sweet memories aside, arriving at the falling stage of life is pretty scary. So I have been keeping a spreadsheet on my falling activity for the last six months. It’s got, the date, how I fell, what kind of shoes I was wearing, was I hungry, thirsty, tired, was I mad or upset about something, was I pressed for time, multi-tasking? Etc.
I’m really glad I’ve done this because it turns out I’m not falling nearly as much as I thought. I’ve long suspected that fear amplifies my perception of bad news, and this turns out to be true. Before taking this tally, I had figured I was falling about twice a week, but it’s less than once a month – five falls in six months. And like the fainting goats, there’s an emotional component. Four of those five falls occurred on just two days: 2 on my birthday when I was racing around doing last minute stuff for my party, and two on the day before my daughter, Lace, came home for Christmas when I was similarly racing around trying to make things absolutely perfect! My fifth fall was from a teetery stepping stone which hardly worries me at all, a 20 year old could have fallen from that. But these clusters of falls on emotionally charged days – knowing about that has made me more willing to pause, to breathe, to speak in a soothing, kindly authoritative voice to my multi-tasking, perfectionistic, people-pleasing, inner drill sargent.
Still, I need to do more because I am approaching the age where, more and more, I hear the very scary sentence: “She was in such great shape but then she fell and broke her hip and…”
ITS TIME TO TALK ABOUT HIP PROTECTION
My Mother had a garment that looked like a pair of tight mens jocky shorts with a hard plastic cup over each hip. The official name of this is a Nursing Home Brief, but Mom called it her Hip Wacker. It wasn’t that comfortable, but she wore it religiously. She had been a VA social worker with a lot of geriatric patients so she knew. And her Hip Wacker saved her when she took a bad fall at 92 (screwy blood pressure meds). She did not break her hip – some other bones, yes, but they healed up nicely and she was able to walk out of the rehab within 3 months.
So I’ve looked around the internet and there are a lot more kinds of hip protectors than my Mother had. There’s a choice of hard plastic hip protectors as well as foam models. Let’s get some of these and try them out. Would you be willing to write a review? Do you already have a hip protector you like? Would you tell us about it here, or, if you don’t like writing, would you be willing to tell me and I’ll write it up. Thanks so much!
God Bless Us Everyone.
Originally posted 2015-09-20 17:24:56.