It has occurred to me recently that I have reached the tender age where falling is probably very dangerous and possibly even fatal. I remember when I was about eight or nine, the mother of one of my friends fell and hit her head on the side of a garbage can. She brushed it off as nothing, until a few hours later she became very ill and lost consciousness. She was rushed to hospital, but never regained consciousness and passed away a week later. At the time, I thought she was very, very old. She was 34. Falls can be deadly at any age, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 230,000 workers are injured, some fatally, due to trips, slips and falls each year. Even children can be injured or killed by falls. The majority of falls, however, happen in the home. The most common place for falls? Your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom.
Last weekend I was watering the plants on my terrace. Just as I was stepping over the sill, with a full watering can in my hand, my foot caught on the sill. In what seemed like slow motion, I headed face-first towards the big, heavy Adirondack chairs. I managed to twist to the side so I didn't hit head-on, and the arm of the chair left a distinct mark on my cheek, from my ear to my chin. I landed on my right arm, still holding the full watering can in my left hand. Not a drop of water spilled. I managed to pull myself together, albeit a bit shaky, and carried on with my day. For a couple of days I felt fine. And then on Wednesday it hit me with a whammy. I had injured myself much more seriously than I had realized, and my injuries were talking to me. A lot.
This has been quite the summer for being wounded in my home. I was stung four times by wasps, I burned my hand on the convection oven, I stubbed my toe on my heavy leather chesterfield, and I tripped and went flying on my balcony.
By very, very careful out there. Home can be a dangerous place.