First steps, first fall

RAMIV FIRST STEPS, Inaweofgodscreation, flickr
RAMIV FIRST STEPS, Inaweofgodscreation, flickr

As the years go by, we all have monumental moments of note. As a toddler, it’s our first steps. As a  child, the first day of school. Later, our first kiss. Our first graduation. Our first day on the job.

I’ve had the good fortune to check many of these “firsts” off my list.. This week, in a strangely twisted  way, I had the “pleasure” of checking another off my list – my first PD fall!

I was raking leaves in the back yard – just plodding along, clearing off a flagstone patio for about the fourth time this season when my feet somehow got caught up in one another. As I felt myself begin to fall forwards, I sped up to try to take myself out of the fall. Bad idea. Practically running, I hurtled to the ground and ended in a more violent crash than if I had just let myself go.

Now, I’m a few days into severe chest pain from bruised (hopefully not broken) ribs, a stiffening neck and muscle aches throughout. When I have tremors or dyskenisis, it strains my muscles even more.

Yet, at the moment of my fall, as I lay there on the cold stone patio unable to move, one of my first thoughts was my next meeting with my neurologist. (As an aside, the other thoughts whereof that tv commercial where the frail elderly woman on her kitchen floor uses a “lifeline” button device and calls out, “help me I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” . I didn’t have a “lifeline”. I wondered who might be the first to discover me!)

As for my neurologist meeting, you should know that, for the past 15+ years, every 6 months, I’ve been asked a series of more or less the same questions. These questions – ranging from side-effects from my medication to my ability to dress myself or do routine tasks – are intended to track the progress of my PD.  During a clinical trial that lasted almost 3 years, these standard questions were ramped up in frequency to every 6-8 weeks and the list of such questions swelled to include subjects such as my desire to start fires, any suicidal tendencies I might have,  whether I had an increased interest in pornography or any compulsive behaviours. Mostly I would give the same repetitive answers (though the odd time I would lob out a completely different answer for the astonishment or amusement of an  Intern or Fellow!).

These days, with that clinical trial behind me, I’m back to the shorter but standardized questions. I know what;s coming and what to expect. I have my duly rehearsed answers and will dutifully respond. Yet this time, there will be one difference. I will inevitably be asked if I have had any dizziness or if I have fallen.

“Yes!”, I will proclaim! “Yes, I have fallen!”.



Addendum: I did get up


16 thoughts on “First steps, first fall”

    1. thank AB – appreciate your concern. After i get the leaves cleaned out of the eaves and brush off the roof, i may well take a wonder in for a picture to see how the ribs are looking…..maybe even stop in somewhere enroute for a delicious plate of ribs :)….just jokin – afraid I’m on the Injured reserved list for at least a week or two so pls hold up the fort for me at dancing class. hope u r feeling betteras well. all good things! rk


    2. Yes, go get x-rayed. Just be prepared to come back a week from tomorrow – emerg is nothing if not slow. And remember – I’m just across the street, ready to pick you off if I see you on that roof!


      1. x-rays done – no breaks! everything hurts at the moment (esp. laughing) so I’m not going to make any jokes or funny retorts. Let’s discuss something serious – have u read the complete text of the TPPT agreement????

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Rob, I am so sorry to hear about the your fall. I wish this check mark was one you could have skipped forever. We will be in touch later today.


    1. Thx Heather – did get some good news – went for x-rays – no breaks. Plenty of pain but should heal up in time for a rocking’ new years eve party in Times Square (or watching it on tv). cheers!


  2. When I fell on my hip while playing street hockey (like you, I tripped over my own foot), I lay there for a bit and I pondered my future and thought ‘the next one might be worse’. I got up ,played on and livefdor the next 3 wks with the pain of a luckily not broken but definitely bruised hip. A bigger danger for me is my spatial awareness as I have hit myself in the head twice with the point of the car door. What’s next? I’m feelin for ya Rob


  3. BIG ouch, sorry to hear that Rob! You may need your neck looked at too…
    Looks like you ‘consciously’ made to move outta danger (even though it didn’t work)? I ask because my hubby Pete’s first fall was a while – that was a pure face-plant on the floor as he fell asleep at his desk. But these days he festinates. For the shorter-termers, that when you go to move without thinking and find yourself taking off like a wayward 4-year-old after a puppy. Trouble is he’s 6’4” & 110lb. heavier than me – need a harness:)
    But if it’s any comfort Rob, you had good reason to fall – uneven flagstones and all……..
    LOVE it that you mess with the occasional trial question:) Why the hell not? Pete’s doing the same thing – said he only keep porn on the floor in case of a fall….
    Feeling your pain too, Shaky! As Pete head-butts practically everything, I have moved the up-righted saws, hammer sabers etc. from the corridor!
    What sorta dance y’all do??
    Be well Rob – good man!


    1. thanks for your comments and feedback Lisa. I had a good laugh (though it is extremely uncomfortable to laugh when ur ribs hurt this much 🙂 You asked about my dance – just started a year ago with the National Ballet School of Canada and this fall with Dancing with Parkinson’s (both in Toronto). Classes combined number offence styles but are specifically tailored for folks with PD. I really enjoy them though I’ve never been very good at dance. Unfortunately, this fall will sideline me for a little bit – hopefully not more than a few classes. Anyway, thank you again for reading the blog and ur comments – great to hear from u again. best to ur PD hubby!


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