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Falling Down and Getting Up

This is the story of how I fell down, landed on my buttocks, and got myself back up again without help from anyone.

Embracing being home alone

Being home alone always makes me feel good. The solitude is good for the soul, and this was a nice day to have that solitude. I had washed and dressed and was getting ready to join a virtual group on Zoom.

Most of my days are spent in my office because I look out into the backyard, and I can see my flowers, birds, and some wildlife.

When I looked down, I realized I needed to vacuum the floor. Under my desk tends to gather lots of debris from the bottom of my feet.  

Because my legs are short, I consistently keep a stool beneath my desk so that my feet can reach the floor.

Navigating calmness

I bent down to vacuum the floor with a hand-help vacuum I had just purchased. I was bending down in front of me, and my chair caught in my tubing and stuck.

As I reached forward, I lost my grip and was on the floor in a nanosecond.

The one thing that I've learned is that when something like this happens, it happens very quickly. We are often stunned, but if we're not careful, panic will set in, making everything worse than it already is.

So, I had to sit there and relax for a minute before I could form a plan to get up. After all, I couldn’t just be sitting around all day.

I used a calm voice to encourage myself without being judgmental. First and foremost, I was okay, and nothing was broken.

Overcoming challenges with determination

Then I looked around to see what tools I had that could help me. The two things I had at hand were my stool and my walker.

I quickly grabbed the stool. I knew I could lift myself onto the stool, which would get me halfway up. It was a good first step.

Getting on the stool raised me off the ground, but now my breathing was labored, and I had a strong urge to use the bathroom. I was not on my knees, and that was a good thing.

Then I had to get my breathing under control so I could get up. This would take some doing as my upper body isn’t as strong as it could be.

I panted for a minute, then began using pursed lips. I worked hard to catch my breath so I could stop gasping for air.

Putting the brakes on my walker took me a few tries, but it was eventually able to help pull me up. None the worse for wear, I was very proud of myself because I got through a difficult situation without any help, and I survived.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 7th, 2024, Barbara Moore passed away. Barbara’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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