Falls (part 2 of 2)

This brings me to the issue of my falls. You may be wondering, if you fell, then wasn’t their decision to discharge you incorrect? Normally I’d agree, but in my case these falls took place 3-4 months after discharge; a prolonged hospital stay would not have prevented them. The first incident actually took place in the front yard, witnessed by Christian and his neighbor friends. It was the middle of the day, and Fleur was in clinic. I was holding Cormac in my hands. I went outside to tell Christian to come in for lunch. Our porch has two small steps leading to the front door. I normally descend these steps without issue, but for some reason got tripped up on this occasion. After the second step I stumbled forward, forcing me to take several awkward lunging steps. I remember that Christian’s playmates all stopped what they were doing to witness my stumble. Fortunately I did not fall, but recall being extremely embarrassed; all I could think to say was, “Whoa, that was fun.” Once I went inside and gathered my composure, I became incredibly frustrated with my condition that had caused me to almost fall in front of my neighbors.

My front porch- fall #1
My front porch- fall #1

The second incident took place only a few weeks ago. I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready and waiting for a friend to arrive. He sent me a text telling me that he was going to be late. I went to read the text and my legs buckled. I fell backwards onto my behind, not hitting my head. This fall created quite a loud sound, prompting my wife and older son to run into the room, asking if I was okay. Again, my initial feeling was embarrassment for creating such a racket. Then the embarrassment became frustration over my inability to traverse even my own kitchen. To this day, I’m not sure if the slight distraction of reading the text, a slippery floor, or perhaps my particularly tough leg workout contributed to this fall.[1]

Site of fall #2- my phone was on this counter
Site of fall #2- my phone was on this counter

The last ‘fall’ I want to discuss occurred only this past week. It was nearing the middle of the night and my parents were in the adjacent (guest) room. Unfortunately for them, this  was also the room that housed Cormac’s crib. We had all decided to let him cry for five minutes when he awoke. If at that point he did not console himself and was still crying, Fleur would retrieve him. The only hitch to this plan was that Fleur had left to go Black Friday shopping. His crying woke me, at which time I waited for five minutes to see if he consoled himself. After five minutes passed with his persistent crying, I arose from my bed to get him. I’m not sure if I got up too quickly or if I was distracted by his crying, but I fell onto our neighboring night stand, knocking over a cup and lamp in the process. Nobody witnessed this fall, the only people that could have heard the fall was my parents; otherwise it was dark in the middle of the night, and my wife was away. Even in this solitude my emotional reaction was the same: I was embarrassed at first for making so much noise, but this embarrassment turned into frustration over having to deal with both a crying baby and being an unsteady adult.

Fall#3- there was also a glass of water on it
Fall#3- there was also a glass of water on it

—- Get Up —-

This is where the clichés come in. I was always taught from a young age that if you fall get up. When I was a boy this was more metaphorical as any ‘fall,’ whether it be a rejection, loss, or bad grade had to be met with persistence. I had no idea these falls would become literal ones, but I’ve come to realize that they are a microcosm for this whole ordeal: no matter what life throws at you, you cannot control your initial reaction to it (for me this was embarrassment and frustration) but what you can control is your later reaction to this ‘fall’. You could stay on the ground and rue your situation and how you were treated, or you could get up, brush yourself off, and hope for more challenges.   For me this tumor is yet another challenge that life has thrown at me, stripping my ability to walk and talk normally. What it did not take from me is my ability to listen or write. As long as I have tools to fight I will.

 

[1] Most likelyall these factors contributed in their own way to my fall—in medicine this is called a ‘multifactorial’ cause, meaning many factors led to the event.

 

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