Yes, here I am in a wonderful ER at Legacy-Good Samaritan, accompanied by photographer/caretaker spouse, and administered by energetic male nurse we'll call Kevin. I am wearing a device he invented for stopping bleeding--two taped-together tongue-depressors rather than something manufactured that could add $40 to my bill.
Moments before I walked too quickly down Prescott, in north Portland. We were on our way to a matinee of "Bloody, Bloody, Andrew Jackson," at Portland Playhouse where we've enjoyed several August Wilson plays. Several ironies here. One is that the Playhouse had requested playgoers not to park in the immediate neighborhood, residential Albina, one of the city's few black communities-- now gentrifying.
Last year the group's tenure in an abandoned church there was seriously threatened. They had to move out from the space they'd been using for three years ago, for their powerful version of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America." (More on Kushner HERE.)
We did what we'd been asked. Stopped at a Farmers' Market along the way for some potatoes. "Look," spouse warned, "Gigantic crack in the sidewalk... very dangerous. Watch out!"
Though I agreed, my right foot did not lift high enough (it's the one that has been tardy for a number of years) and I fell. Hit my nose. Bled generously.
My retro spouse, thankfully, always carries a large handkerchief. As I sat collecting the red stuff, he raced back to car. There was not a soul around, and it was daytime. It was an odd sensation sitting alone on the sidewalk. Two ideas ran through my head: would I stay alert till he returned and hoping I'd not have to talk to a stranger through my handkerchief, "Thanks, but don't need help."
It was a short but dramatic interlude that has sent me to physical therapy sessions for my walk style. Final irony: days before my bloody event I'd attended a conference on "Healthy Aging" at the Portland Art Museum. Studied a poster presentation about elderly and risks of falls, something that happens often among people living around me.
Here's an overview of frequency and prevention from the Centers on Disease Control. Falls are a very important issue if you're over 65. The statistics go higher once, like me, you're over 75-- at which point fall-related fractures are twice as likely for women. Lucky me, only a fractured nose and a big scrape on left arm!
Big thanks to Medicare (it's sign-up time) for my coverage!