Sunday, October 30, 2016

Recovery after a fall

It seemed like a good idea at the time.
(Nothing good ever follows that statement.)

The stool seemed stable as it stepped up onto it. It was only 18 inches tall, maybe 2 feet.
I was only trying to reach for one thing. 
What could go wrong?

The muscles in the back of my neck cried out in pain from the overextension caused by the recoil of my head after my forehead hit the hard cement floor of my basement. Warm blood started dripping onto that cold, hard cement below my eyes. 
My first thought was; I'm going to pass out here and my wife will find me who knows when. 
I screamed her name as load as I could over and over and over again.

I did not pass out, and she arrived at my side quickly. 
I suffered a bruise to the forehead, a sprained wrist, some other minor bruises and scrapes.
I was lucky. 

I should have listened to my medical team earlier that morning. 
I had anesthesia for a routine diagnostic test. 
 "Your reactions and judgment will be impaired the rest of the day, so don't do any yard work or the like." 
I should have listened. 
I guess the same thick head that saved me in the fall played a role in causing it. 

We are fall, don't we?
Sometime literally, as I did, and sometimes figuratively.  
Sometimes we avoid injury, often we do not. 
Sometimes we need to fall to learn.
Learn to listen to the advice of caregivers, learn we need help.
I called my wife's name because I was scared and I knew I needed help.

When we fall we need to realize and admit, in that moment, that we need help. 
Admitting we cannot do it alone is the first step, the hardest step, and the step that makes real recovery possible.
That's why I yelled out. 
That's why recovery groups work.
That's why unions exist.

We can't do this alone. We aren't designed that way. 
Yes, we have do to do our part, but we are stronger together than alone. 
An individual twig is easily broken in two, but several twigs held together, are difficult to snap.

That is the power we create when we come together.
That is how we recover after a fall.

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