After a Nasty Fall, I Think of Those Who Came to My Aid

After a Nasty Fall, I Think of Those Who Came to My Aid

We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

Fallen, again

Not even two weeks after I put the finishing touches on my walking with mindfulness column, I had a very nasty fall. My first fall occurred in July 2017. Since my left foot tends to drag, I find I must focus on how I am walking so that I don’t trip. As I was heading to my car, my mind was going a mile a minute thinking about what I needed to do that day. I was not remaining in the present moment.

Lost in thought, I was not mindful of my walking, tripped, and did a face-plant on the sidewalk. As I lay on the ground wondering what just happened, I remember hearing voices asking if I was OK. As I sat up, blood poured from my face and I found myself surrounded by concern and compassion.

What do I remember?

Most of what happened in the moments surrounding the time I fell is still a blur. What I do remember is a few people crowding around me. There was a police officer, a local postal employee who also is an EMT, a man who gave me his handkerchief to stem the blood flow, and someone who ran to the drugstore to get bandages and peroxide. I am still overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of these strangers. I will say it once again, kindness matters. It was such a time of great vulnerability for me, and through the caring and concern of these strangers, I did not feel so alone.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” –Scott Adams

Emotional and physical pain

As I drove myself to the emergency room, I broke down in tears. This was partly because of the pain, but more due to the fact that I believe my Parkinson’s disease may be progressing. Luckily, I only had some minor swelling, a few cuts and bruises, and a chipped tooth. However, my emotional healing is taking longer than my physical recovery from this fall.

Lessons learned

  1. Practice what I preached in my previous column.
  2. Remember the kindness of strangers that day, which has helped me to physically heal.
  3. I am not alone.
  4. I need to accept the fact that my mind moves a lot faster than my body and I no longer can multitask. I must pay attention to the task at hand.

If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.” –Martin Luther King Jr.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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At the age of 62, I started writing to inspire conversation about mental illness and suicide after my life partner, Steve Tarpinian, took his own life in 2015. Seven months after Steve passed, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Now, in addition to Steve's story, I am telling my own.


  1. I had a bad fall where my (artificial) hip was dislocated. I was at home alone, not near my phone, and had to shout and scream for help for more than an hour, until my neighbor came home and heard me. I will never forget the relief at hearing her voice, especially knowing she was an EMT. The fall has made me more aware of keeping my phone within reach as much as I can, and trying not to make sudden moves or turns, where I’m apt to lose my balance.

  2. Helen Ellevsen says:


    I, too, have falls. Many many falls. Fall upon fall even. This morning, waking up, after second fall for the day yesterday, I didn’t think I’d be able to move.
    When I’m down I cannot get up so have to rely on Emergency Services. The Paramedics were compassionate and calm and got me up. Each time I have had them attend, I’m encouraged to be taken to the hospital and each time I have refused. Now, I’m fully aware of the consequences and will go with them, if it happens again.

    I’m waiting, at the moment, for my daily routine of Madopar to swallow. Anxious to get on with it which is my problem. I’m trying to do what I used to do before PD. How do I not do it. I can’t live in untidiness which is how I see it the moment my eyes awake. Crumpled bed sheets I hate so make up the bed again, hanging onto it’s edge as I iron any crumpled fold with my hand.

    This PD has taken control but I’m still determined which ultimately could be my fate.

    • Jean Mellano says:

      HI Helen, I am so sorry you are falling so often. I hear you when you say: “I’m trying to do what I used to do before PD”.It is so hard to accept that we have this disease and must constantly change our habits and patterns we have developed over he years to accommodate what we have lost. You sound feisty,which I believe will serve you well in battling this disease.

  3. Jodean Bullock says:

    Today was the first hard fall I’m 59 diagnosed February 2019
    Trying to accept it all… I was able to get up by myself, hubby was mowing the front yard, I fell in the back. I didn’t tell him right away , he was not happy with me..
    Balance and slurring has progressed, I’m used to walking by myself, but now will wait for hubby.

    I will survive this!!

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