Gentog Parkinson’s Club: We are not doctors, and we don’t claim to be experts on Parkinson’s Disease. But we live with the disease day in and day out, and we have a few observations we’d like to share with the world.
Falling is a fact of life for me. This disease makes me weaker than I used to be. Sometimes my muscles just don’t work the way I want them to. My balance is often off. The result? I’m going to fall sometimes. When that happens, this is how I’d like the situation to be handled:
- I may be cranky at first. I may cuss and swear (don’t worry if I cuss…worry if I’m quiet!) I may not want to talk about how I got to the ground right away. Give me a minute to be mad that I’ve fallen…again.
- Please don’t rush to help me up. Stop for a minute and let me catch my breath. (OK, if I’m in the middle of I-5 and there is traffic whizzing by, or if there is a fire threatening to overtake me, then get me the heck off the ground. But if my life isn’t in danger, please stop for a minute.)
- Check for damage. Is there a lot of blood? Is there likely to be a broken bone? If the answer is yes, I may need you to call 9-1-1. If the answer is no, I’m OK to stay on the floor for a few minutes.
- Let me try to get up on my own. I may take a while. I may take a long while. I may need you to move a chair or my walker near me so I can get up. But, really, let me try to do this by myself. I need to be independent and I need for YOU not to get hurt in this process.
- If I really can’t do it, I will ask for help. I promise.
- We can talk about why I fell once I’m up and resting in my favorite chair. Maybe there is something that needs to be moved or changed to make me safer. Or maybe I just fell. We’ll figure it out and move on with the day.
- Thanks for caring, by the way. And thanks for letting me do what I can.