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There’s were a few  seconds of freefall, when I went from vertical woman taking a walk to a horizontal pile of flesh in the middle of a neighbor’s driveway, that were of complete disorientation.  The sandal of my left foot caught on a lifted sidewalk and sent me flying without wings.  A fallen angel, perhaps??  Once I hit the ground, I immediately understood what happened.  The fall was followed by a few seconds of inventory checking.  Palms burning, but appeared unscraped, somehow.  All limbs attached.  No signs of bleeding. Teeth are in my mouth and not on the ground.

Within a few more seconds, the helper angels appeared at my side.  You ok?  Would you like help getting up?  The folks look concerned.  My faith in humanity is easily restored.

Thanks, I just need to sit here and remember who I am. And thank the Lord I didn’t break a hip.  The fall could have been a game changer.

I feel slightly foolish, but don’t give a damn.  A runner who I watched coming towards me rather than watching the sidewalk, was  now beside me.  She left me alone for a bit when I declined help getting up, then came back to me.    I was very grateful for her help.  I think I’d still be sitting there if she hadn’t been there.  She insisted on walking with me back to my house.  I didn’t refuse.

I spent the rest of the day in bed, trying to find a way to rest my arm so it didn’t ache.  I took a sleeping pill in order to fall asleep.  Being a weekend, I didn’t try and see a doctor.  I took the let’s wait and see approach.

I’d like to tell you that this was the first fall I’ve ever taken.  That would be a lie.  Several years ago, I missed a last step descending some stairs, again because I wasn’t watching as I should have been. I went flying.  It was a few days after9/11. I somehow thought I could read the paper, drink tea and walk down the stairs at the same time.  A badly twisted, black and blue  ankle was the result of that injury.  It took months to heal.  I’d also done a similar sidewalk trick in NYC while looking at a lovely tree rather than the sidewalk.  A passer by hailed a taxi that carried me home.  That time I cut my lip and bled.  The shocked look on my daughter’s face when she opened the door at our apartment told the story.

It’s now the third day since my fall.  I’m better for sure.  My arm has stopped aching.  I am SO grateful for being intact otherwise!  WATCH WHERE YOU’RE WALKING!  Shit Happens.  Quickly.

Dianne Vapnek

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.

5 Comments

  • Julie says:

    Was just thinking about you! Thanks for the reminder. And lucky for you it was just a reminder and nothing more serious!
    Julie 😘

  • Martin Ringel says:

    I HAVE HAD MY SHARE OF FALLS OVER THE YEARS. I HAD TWO RECENT ONES FOR THE SAME REASONS YOU HAD AND WE ALL HAVE, WE
    ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION WE MISS A STEP OR THE CURB OR A CRACK ON THE SIDEWALK OR COMING DOWN THE STAIRS AND NOT HOLDING ON THE RAILING. I HAVE SURVIVED THEM ALL AND HAD MY SHARE OF BUMPS AND CUTS BUT LUCKILY NO BROKEN BONES.

  • Judith says:

    Omg, i’m so relieved that you’re OK! It shocks your whole system to take a surprise fall…Glad that you had help nearby. I know too from experience that it can be terribly embarrassing and cause close ones to tease the victim…No one in your family would do that! Hope to see you soon. xxxxooo

    • Dianne Vapnek says:

      NO, my family just looked at me in pity. Maybe worse than teasing! Feeling lots better now. I was lucky. xo

  • Penelope says:

    So glad you are OK! What an upsetting thing it is to feel out of control.

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