AWKWARD CAN BE CUTE IN A KLUTZY WAY, RIGHT? – Marilyn Armstrong

Awkward?
Photo: Garry Armstrong

Me walking anywhere. More like limping. Me, trying to clamber into the bathtub and hoping, praying, I’m not going to fall down in the process.  Awkward is anytime I have to go upstairs. Worse, slowly and awkwardly going down. I rarely fear falling upward, but I’m always sure I’m going to fall down.

My days of grace have wandered far into the distance. Not that I was ever really graceful, even way back in the days of youth. I always felt like my feet were about to get tangled together and down I’d go. About the most graceful I ever felt was on horseback!

Now, I’m glad if I can get anywhere and not fall on my face doing it! Some of us are just born that way.

53 thoughts on “AWKWARD CAN BE CUTE IN A KLUTZY WAY, RIGHT? – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I know how it is. Each morning I shower and each morning I am glad to get out of the bath in one piece. Suddenly when walking your foot catches in a carpet, or even meets a chair leg. Is this it? The big fall? awkward is an understatement, it should be catastrophic.

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    1. The last time I did The Big Fall, I was trying to get up and dance but instead, my foot caught the rug and down I went. I wasn’t hurt, but when you are our age, they make such a big deal out of falling, it’s so humiliating. On a bad day, I sit on the edge of the tub and wash with a cloth and just rinse all the soap off afterwards. There are days when my fear of falling is too much to deal with.

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      1. pitiful, innit. We have stairs with 9″ risers; the john, the bed, and the computers are upstairs, the kitchen, the food, the fires and the doors are down stairs. In addition the stairs, being old, have a decided backward tilt when you’re going up, and I fully expect to fall backwards, downwards, and end up a broken mass on the floor. Every step is an adventure.

        I understand all to well that terror of falling, and even worse, not even falling gracefully. =)

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        1. I really know EXACTLY what you mean. I have fallen on the stairs, too, so I know how it feels and every time I have to go down them, I have to do deep breathing and beat back the fear. We are at the point where it’s not an unrealistic fear. I actually got notes from our medical insurance company on how to avoid falling. Today. AFTER I wrote this.

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    1. I fill my arms with stuff then realize I can’t get up without a push, so I put everything back down, THEN when standing pick it up. I am rarely in a hurry — unless I’m on the way to the bathroom. Then I try to hustle. But there’s always something in the way. Frequently, a dog.

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        1. US, too, and we’re surrounded by the furry kids who want immediate attention.
          Regards Marilyn’s “Awkward” post, the dogs are always tailing us closely, making walking precarious.

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      1. You wrote: “About the most graceful I ever felt was on horseback!” And that’s cheating ’cause you were using someone.., or something, else’s feet.

        I have been thinking about this problem and how misinformed most doctors are by labeling your problem as “a loss of sense balance.” When last I interrupted my doctor to point out that there was no loss of the sense of balance but the power to do anything about it. By that, I mean muscle power. We know we’re falling, or stumbling, but our muscles have become too weak to compensate as we did when younger. So, I said, “it’s really a loss of strength, right?” He just looked at me and said, “I never thought of it that way.” Now I ask you, what are these guys thinking about. You and I know we are not as strong as we used to be, and we tend to forget about the zillions of times we almost took a fall but miraculously caught ourselves before it happened.., that is until we also realize that, now, we need help to rise from a chair or get off the floor. Boy, many is the time I made light of the phrase “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” I understand completely now.., and it’s not funny.

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        1. The docs are learning more about this. Its been known for some time (read–I was still in practice) that strength work, weight lifting, etc is huge in maintaining quality of life with age. Its now also been found that in addition to the strength work, training balance, and recovery of balance adds a great deal. We are a funny looking group in my yoga/pilates class at the Y. We always work some balance, with support as needed, and now the instructor adds the challenge of closing our eyes–improves things further, and trains your neurons. Practice standing on one leg while brushing your teeth.

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          1. My spine is so wrapped in arthritis, merely standing up straight is an issue. What is amazing is that I am still walking. I am sure that if I stop, I’ll never start again. I will try the one leg at the sink thing since I can grab the sink if I wobble too much. My husband has different problem because he is deaf, so he has lack of balance because his gyroscope isn’t working well. He is up for a coclear implant and hopefully, that will make a big — hopefully HUGE — difference.

            Arthritis is so common, it’s almost inevitable as you get older, but mine started very early and is really bad and is probably at the root of many other issues.. Common or not, it makes everything difficult.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. The entire ear is involved in his hearing loss. Exactly which pieces are more involved and which are less involved? That’s very individual. But it’s not just the drum or the nerves. In Garry’s case, it’s all of that and more. Nerves, drum, bones, cilia, semi-circular canal — and when they do the implant, ALL of that comes out and the mechanical stuff goes in to replace it.

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        2. No, it isn’t funny at all, especially if you fell hard and it hurts … and you don’t know if you broke something. So far, so good. I haven’t broken anything that wasn’t already broken. The last time I started falling down the stairs, I managed to grab hand rail, so I didn’t fall, but my shoulder wouldn’t talk to me for weeks. Garry complains he isn’t as strong as he was even a little while ago and since the big heart surgery, just managing to keep on my feet and not just give up is enough of a problem.

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  2. The two times I’ve fallen, as I’ve gotten older, were both related to rushing and preoccupation. Three years ago, I missed the front-door bottom step, of five, due to thinking about what my next action would be, and not paying attention. December, 2017, I missed the basement bottom step (of 17) due to rushing. So, I’ve put up bicycle mirrors at each of them and there’s no way I can’t be reminded of that “last step.” On the first fall, I broke three of the bones across the top of my (R) foot and the side bone leading to my ankle. On the 2nd fall, I twisted all of muscles/ligaments surrounding/supporting my (L) knee – luckily no ligament tearing. Don’t know how I did it, but I actually drove 25 minutes to work, where they called my son and asked him to pick me up and take me to the E.R. When I arrived, my BP was 228/184 – needless to say, I was in shock. Somewhere during that healing process, I lost the ability to lift myself out of a chair without some kind of assistance, albeit using something for support or someone helping. Had a grab bar installed for the tub, but I’m still terrified of getting in and out of it. Anyone who’s had these kinds of falls knows the full extent of their impact upon daily life. I used to be a wonderful dancer and enjoyed life to the fullest. Now, I have to think about how my inability to walk long distances, and sustain myself before I travel – as I’ve always traveled alone. On a positive note, I AM exercising more (even if it’s slower), and watching my calorie intake/output closer, as I don’t want my limitations to increase. Thank you for posting this, Marilyn, as I’m sure there are many of us who face this anxiety every time we rise to take a step, or just walk about routinely.

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    1. I swear the bathtub is the most terrifying place in my house. No matter what i do for a proper mat, I’m sure it is going to slide and so am I. I also need toilets that are higher. It is getting really hard getting up from them. But there’s no money, so some stuff isn’t happening. I have no idea what happens to us when we can’t manage this house anymore. No idea at all.

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  3. I have always had a fear of falling that has made me wary of climbing ladders and outdoor activities that involved climbing. Now I’m older and living alone and I realise that if I have a bad fall at home it might be some time before anyone realises I’m in trouble. I used to love to sit on the floor but later getting up became a problem and I hesitate before getting down as first knees and now ankles are not as strong as they once were. I need something to push myself up again. I considered it quite a feat that I was able to plant some bulbs in the ground recently and with the help of my kneeler get back up again. I had paths made and gravel put down where the ground is muddy in winter for David’s benefit when he was sick but it’s at least made it safer for me to be outside too. There are no stairs in my house but I often seem to manage to trip over nothing and just save myself in time.

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    1. We only have 6 steps between here and the front door, but they are scary steps. I have the climber and I can use it, but it’s slow and i’m impatient. But the tub — now that’s scary. Especially because Garry can’t hear me fall or even if i call him. Hopefully, that at least will improve. But getting old is not nearly as much fun as I thought it would be. And i never really thought it would be fun.

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    1. I love roller coasters. I REALLY REALLY REALLY love roller coasters. The only reason we gave them up is that our backs and shoulders did not agree anymore, so a few years ago, after trying out three of the five biggest coasters we could find, Garry said “I think this is it for me.” I couldn’t argue.

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            1. I protect TWO things on a roller coaster: my glasses which have an ugly way of flying off on one of the overturning curves … and the cameras. I know people who take whole film rolls of the ride, but I suspect they have a harness for their camera. I’m totally paranoid about losing one of my good cameras … and I don’t have anything BUT good cameras! And as for eyeglasses, I have tried the thingies you slip onto the ear pieces that go behind your head, but I don’t trust them. Glasses are not as expensive as a camera, but not much less, either.

              Garry takes off his hearing aids. He can hear everyone screaming anyway.

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