Falling on My Face

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I never know what I’m going to write about until a few minutes before I sit down. Lots of thoughts go through my head most days and I settle on one and away I go. But some days nothing presents itself. Slow news day and all that. So I’ve take to keeping a list of possible topics — things that occur to me in conversation or while working on other things. I keep the list because I don’t want to sit down one day to type and then fall flat on my face.

Which brings me to today’s topic. Sometimes the events of the day determine what I will discourse on. I listen to the news and get worked up or I read something on social media. Or something happens to make me think.

Like falling on my face. Well, not exactly on my face. I still have my stunning good looks and all my teeth. Or at least all the teeth I had when I set out for work.

Live is full of surprises. No one was more surprised than me when I tripped over a curb and found myself heading straight for the sidewalk. I barely had time to react. I got my arm up but not out — thus avoiding a broken wrist. I hit the ground hard, shoulder, arm, ribs, hip and knee. That spread the impact and probably saved me from more serious harm. A few little scrapes and a bruise or too but nothing broken except my pride and maybe my self-confidence. The concerned looks on the faces of those who rushed to help made it worse.

You see, it’s not the first time I’ve fallen in the last couple of months. Two full fledge face plants and a couple of near misses — a stumble where I catch myself.

We all fall sometimes. When I was a runner in my 30s I had a few spectacular tumbles. I’d be breezing along on one of my 8 or 10 km runs, moving at a good clip if not exactly racing the wind. I’d be think of something else (once wrote most of a three-day novel while running) and I’d step off the path or  hit a broken bit of pavement and down I’d go. I actually injured myself quite badly once — a sprained ankle and rest from running for six weeks. But I always bounced back.

I didn’t see it as part of a pattern. Now I’m not so sure. Nearly sixty, I know that there is a history in my family. My aunt had Parkinson’s disease from her early 40s; my mother developed it in her 70s. It’s a nasty disease –and there is no indication that I’ll get it. Or any other of those other degenerative disorders. But the seed is planted. I’ll go to the doctor next week or the week after and see what he thinks. I’ll take whatever tests I need to take to reassure myself. I’ll adjust to whatever diagnosis is made — if any.

And if it’s bad, I’ll think about my options.

But that’s ten minutes.

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