Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
It had been more than a year since my last fall, but my record-breaking streak ended while I was on vacation. One minute I was walking with strength and confidence, propelled by my signature walking sticks, and the next I tripped and stumbled, setting off a forward free fall.
I landed flat and hard on my face and left knee. My nose and upper lip absorbed most of the impact, immediately ballooning in size, though fortunately, with little bleeding. I looked like I had been on the receiving end of a few well-placed punches, which would have been more upsetting than falling.
Mine was no Parkinson’s mishap; rather the result of carelessness that prompted me to walk through a dark, unfamiliar area with uneven sidewalks; talking and laughing with my husband instead of looking at the ground and anticipating where my feet were going. Considering this fall could have resulted in life-threatening complications, from hip fractures to head trauma, I got off cheap.
The reality is that the mobility and independence we work so hard to maintain can be destroyed in seconds, simply by not being tuned in to our surroundings. This need for vigilance is the first lesson we teach our children as we prepare them to cross the street on their own and later get behind the wheel of a car.
This lesson is no less important in our daily lives, so I have reset my “days without a fall” clock, and am starting over, determined to do even better this time aound.