Monday, January 12, 2015


This post is about a physical fall, not the philosophical fall, though both benefit from a positive attitude. 

Ok, many of you are bird lovers like I am but this has got to stop. I probably should have titled this "Damn Patti" but it always feels better to lay the blame somewhere else. Moles hide and song birds are basically defenseless so the blame stays  right there. Damn birds and moles. 

Last year at this exact same time, I was going out to fill the bird feeders that hang from a tree when I slipped on a patch of ice and fell backwards hard on my right forearm scattering bird seed everywhere. January might not be my month. 

That time I tore the rotator cuff in my right shoulder and as a result, spent over 6 months in off and on, attention getting shoulder pain. Combing my hair was brutal and putting on or removing clothes took planning with some serious cunning. Personal hygiene became awkward but doable left handed. I know, TMI (too much information).

Doctor visits, shots, pills and physical therapy got me to my state today where it only hurts on occasion when I over reach. I was feeling a bit smug with my progress.

Then early last week while again going out to feed those damn birds, I turned my ankle on a soft mole tunnel and in the effort to save myself, I threw my right leg out to prevent a fall. I twisted my knee sharply causing a funny, muted sound. Oops---new pain.

The act of sitting down or standing up is now quite uncomfortable. However walking is painless. According to Dr. Google, symptoms point to a meniscus tear but he and I think it is a minor one. I am giving it a couple of weeks to get better before I seek any professional help.

I kept it elevated and iced for several days and was healing rather nicely, I thought.

Then a few days later I was again making the trip to fill the feeders.  This time we had enjoyed a couple of below freezing days and the ground was now frozen hard.

A sneaky little rock hard molehill hiding in the frost and no bigger than a small coffee cup, grabbed my foot and threw me face forward to the ground. All my good intentions to tuck and roll if I ever fell again were implemented---just a smidgen too late.  

I landed with my left elbow poking into my ribs on the frozen turf. While I was immensely grateful that it was not my previously bunged up right side, my second thought was,"You have got to be kidding!! I am running out of parts here."

Once I discover all my parts still worked if sore, my third thought was hoping no one saw that graceless dive and the awkward butt in the air attempt to get up. We old folks have our pride.

It took a while to get up since I still have the bum knee. Between my mostly healed right shoulder and my undamaged left knee, I gracelessly made it upright. A classic game of senior Twister.   

Looking down at that tiny mole hill as I went back to the house, I couldn't help but smile a bit. I could see the humor on how little it took to bring me down. 

Lets face it, pratfalls can be funny, more so if you are watching someone else take the dive instead of being the star.  Falls and crotch shots have kept Funniest Home Videos on the air for 17 years. Why aren't I ever being filmed when I go flying into the turf?  Might at least get a tee shirt for my effort. 

Since my ribs seem to be getting worse, I made another appointment with Dr. Google and according to him, I have cracked a rib or ribs, not bruised them. Treatment is rest, ice and pain killers so that breathing will not be shallow and pneumonia can be avoided. He also gave me the good news that it will get worse before it gets better but in 4 weeks, I should be good to go. Kind of glad it is winter and my chore list is small.  

I will go to the real Dr tomorrow if the pain keeps progressing. Then at least I can get some serious pain meds and can get some rest. So far, coughing, sneezing, laughing or breathing are painful but doable. I am close to the threshold where I may want stronger help. We will see.  

Since laughing out loud is painful right now. I'd appreciate you all not writing anything really funny for at least a week or if you do, please post a warning so I can skip that post. My ribs thank you. Ah Mary Lee, you obviously didn't get the memo.  

So again, I wait to heal both my wounds.  Several years ago I wrote about entering the toddler age. I am no longer creeping into it, I am there.

I am still wondering why no one has come up with a senior air bag vest though in my case a bubble wrap jump suit might be more useful. Come on folks--get busy. This is a possible gold mine. All I want is 10 % for passing on the idea and for testing the prototype. My history makes me the perfect crash test dummy. 

Do you find you and the ground are getting more intimate with age? I know I am.


  1. Oh, Patti, this sounds absolutely dreadful! My first thought is the foot gear: Hopefully you are not going out there in slippers or soft shoes. What you need are hiking boots with cleats! I am so sorry to hear what a klutz you are in the winter. And yeah, I'm right here with you. I am the champion faller in the hiking group, almost always finding some way to take a fall these days. Fortunately I've learned how. Oh shucks! Get better fast, girl! :-)

  2. I'm sorry to hear you have bit the ground, again. Get to the doc and get checked out.

  3. I'm so sorry you have to go through this AGAIN! I agree with DJan above about proper shoes. I would also suggest a cane or something to hold on to when you walk outside. Since I injured my ribs after falling on my ski pole, I now use an antique golf club. I got entangled in dogs the other week and fell, but didn't hurt myself. I didn't have the club so I had a difficult time getting up. The club would have helped and so would Samson, but he took off of course. All the best to you in your recovery.

  4. Whilst you bravely anoint your account with humour, being sore in so many places at once can't be much fun at all, and I hope that you heal quickly. Carrying all those injuries you sound like you are playing professional sport! You should at least carry advertising on your clothing, and have a team physio, coach, and manager on hand before venturing outside!
    Kind Thoughts, P xx

  5. Yikes Patti! I am so sorry you have fallen down and gotten so badly banged up. I have to say that you do an amazing job keeping your incredible sense of humor while you endure all these aches and pains. I like your idea of a protective vest, and some good solid hiking shoes might keep you standing. Please take care. Sending you good healing vibes.

  6. Patti, you certainly can turn your 'pratfalls' into comical reading... although I know they really aren't funny and could cause serious damage. Please be more careful(easy to say). Luckily although fast approaching the big 7-0, falling has not been a concern with me (knock on wood here). I do stumble over a cat occasionally (in the house), but so far have been able to catch myself. Perhaps those hiking boots DJan mentions are a good idea (or bubble wrap - seriously!).

  7. I hate to be crude, but at some point you gotta just say "Fuck the birds!" and leave the feeder alone.

  8. Djan,
    Thanks. Actually after last years spill, I took your advice and did buy cleats for my hiking boots but haven't had a chance to use them yet. My problem is just not watching where I am walking and not picking up my feet.
    Sounds like you have found the answer I need however. How to fall. If you teach, I'll sign up. Bet you would have a full class.

    Thank you. So far I am improving. If I stop getting better I will see a real doctor. Honest.

    Thanks lady and a sympathetic ouch for your rib adventure. It will get your attention won't it? That getting up is a bugger. I really need to quit gawking and just look where I am walking.

    Thanks Peter. Boy wouldn't it be nice to have sponsors? I'd consider tattoos if it would help finance my spills.

    Laughing has always helped me turn a mountain into a molehill. Hum, maybe a bad analogy:))
    Thanks so much. I must be feeling those vibes for today is not nearly as bad as yesterday.

    Thanks, I have found that humor takes the bite out of most wounds. I am leaning towards the bubble wrap since my main problem is watching where I put my feet.

    Ouch, I asked you not to make me laugh but you did it anyway.
    So far their entertainment value outweighs the wounds.

  9. I believe I would limit my feeding to opening the door and throwing handfuls outside while holding on with one hand.

    The bunch of us here welded together would not make one good person. At least all of our parts have not gone out at once. We can be thankful for that.

  10. Oh my gosh- advice is to hire some young fella to pour you a gravel walk-way directly to your bird feeders. I hope the doc will prescribe you some super pain pills! I'm so sorry!

  11. Hi, I hopped to you from Buzz and Flutter. And I am way past the new 60's!!!when I see an ad about wrinkle cream, that doesn't help as it comes in 50gm pots, I might need a gallon!!! Do hope the ribs have less pain soon, I cracked one or two, no X-Ray as the Dr ( Not Google) said it wouldn't help, just time, I slept propped up for 2 months. And I will not make you laugh. Heal well, take care,and keep on writing. Cheers from Jean in Nz.

  12. Second comment, I see shoes are suggested, I looked online last winter for something for our daughter down south, and there are slip on, elastic things with spikes, that go over ordinary shoes ...I found the ad, at Amazon, " Anti-slip Ice Cleats" maybe these will help. Hugs,Jean.

  13. So sorry about the injuries, but so glad you haven't lost your sense of humor. As someone once said, "You know you are going to laugh about it later...might as well go ahead and laugh now."

    Take care of yourself and keep on deep breathing in spite of the pain. And perhaps you might use a walking stick or cane when you go out to feed the birds. With the seeds in a knapsack it might work.

    I don't think I fall any more than before, but I definitely am more frightened when I do.

  14. Oh no! Hope you feel better. Birds got me a couple of month ago or bird I should say. I was jogging and I tried to identify a large bird in a tree. I completely fell off the road head first into the ditch. Of course, it was the only spot in my journey with a big decline on the side. I was sore for weeks.

  15. Seriously. You need to stop and ask yourself if fat birds are really worth the bother.

  16. I don't want to lose you so maybe it's time to let those birds feed themselves.

  17. Gail,
    I did move the feeders to the porch which is messy but working out better. I feel so for what you are going through. Care giving is emotionally and physically exhausting under the best of circumstances.

    Thank you. Sorry gal but your blog is off limits for a bit. You are just too funny for my ribs to take.

    Aw, thanks. That would be a possibility, except it was slick gravel that took me down last year. I had no idea it could get so slippery. Think I will stay with porch feeding.

    Nancy J,
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I understand the wrinkle dilemma:)) I totally understand about the x-rays.It seems they rarely show anything. Seems ribs are like broken toes. The Docs just say too bad and suggest you rest them. Ha!!
    Thanks for the cleat info but I do have them, it was just that the situation didn't call for them. I am saving them for snow and ice.
    You ought to visit Peter who commented earlier. He is also from NZ.

    You are so right. Humor is catastrophe in retrospect and I am just too impatient to wait for the retrospect.
    I know I have to keep breathing deeply as there can be danger of pneumonia. I am doing yoga breathing.

    Thanks and I am so sorry that such a young-un like you took such a spill. Sore for weeks huh? Sigh.

    That is becoming the general consensus. I do enjoy watching them however. They are my winter entertainment.

    Aww, what a sweet thing to say. Thank you.

  18. Oh goodness, broken/cracked ribs, a bum knee and a shoulder injury....those birds and moles owe you big time!

    I feel several years ago crossing the street to work, it was raining and slippery at the time, and my choice of footwear was definitely to blame.

    Is there some way you can change the pathway so it has fewer mole hills? Or perhaps. as others have suggested different footwear might be the best option.

    In any event, I hope you are feeling better very soon! Maybe the birds should fend for themselves for a few weeks.

  19. Oh, no! Sweet Patti I am so sorry to hear you are in pain again. I hope your ribs and other parts are all healed up and pain free very soon. I bought long hooks and put them on the porch railing and hang the bird feeders on them. I never have to get out in the weather and it keeps the porch clean that way. I rake up the sunflower seed hulls from time to time and clean-up is easy. You amaze me that you can still be so funny even when in so much pain. We are sending you hugs and nose kisses to pass around. Stay warm and safe!

  20. Ouch !! Sounds like the birds need to fend for themselves ! I hope you have someone nearby in case you need help. (I was going to say something humorous like: "some people get all the breaks", but thought better of it.)

  21. I have had several falls, at least one while going out to the bird feeder. The fear I have for you, though is that if you are alone and are truly hurt, do you have your cell phone with you if you had to call someone for help? A good friend fell at least twice and did not have a phone. It was actually dangerous for her up here in her rural area, and she waited helplessly for several hours each time before her son found her. Please slide that phone in your pocket if you are heading out, even just to feed those birds. And I'm with you with hating the moles. Those trails are wicked.

  22. It sounds like you know the ground well enough for both of us. I hope you don't make any more appointments with it, at least until you get all the other parts healed up. I'm definitely seeing a suit of bubble wrap in your future.

  23. Patti, How awful! You're good at laughing at your misfortune, but pain and disability must be getting old for you. I sometimes fall because I'm on snow and ice so much. However, so far, so good - no real damage except maybe a bruise of sore spot. You need a hiking pole or ski pole when you go galavanting in your yard - it will help keep you stable if you get off-balance. I've heard injured ribs are terribly painful. Heal fast.

  24. Oh, Patti, I'm so sorry you've been hurt in your falls. Hope you heal up quickly. I know what you mean about the mole hills. I have those blasted things in my yard and I've tripped over mine going to the feeders, too. So far I haven't fallen, tho. My old ankle injury doesn't allow me to pick up my foot as well as I'd like, so I try to be extra careful. But, I also know how quickly a fall can happen. Do you have a cell phone to slip in your pocket when you're outside? I always take mine just in case. Take care of yourself and let us know how you're doing. I'll pray that you heal up quickly.
    PS I think airbags for seniors is a great idea!

  25. I'm glad you can have a sense of humor about these falls, but they sound pretty serious. I'm glad you will seek medical attention.

    And maybe let those damn birds find their own damn food.

  26. Holy Moley! Oops! Didn't mean to write moley. Let me try again.

    Good gosh! Patti! I'm so sorry. This is just awful. I'm afraid I must advise you not to feed those birds in winter anymore. You should let your neighbors do it. I have to avoid falling (I happen to be a major klutz.) because I have osteoporosis.

    Please take care of yourself and stay safe.

  27. I would laugh but I find myself more clumsy every day. Feeding and caring for my chickens is a daily occurrence and close calls seem to accompany almost every visit. If a trip and fall doesn't do me in, an open cabinet door in my kitchen will. Either is inevitable.

  28. I am so sorry that this happened again!! I pray for a quick and full recovery. The moles and birds owe you an apology and maybe even a nice dinner!

  29. smart plan to blame that one on the birds..

    They do have a helmet that is self inflating when you fall, maybe you could write to the maker and see if they can convert it into a vest..

  30. Eileen,
    I think my foot gear was OK but the art of picking up my feet has pretty much left me. I have changed where I feed them and so far so good.
    Thank you so much for your input and caring.

    I am trying your suggestion and it is working fairly well. I am now hanging the feeders from the hanging basket hooks which are projected from the porch. It has really cut down on the mess. Thank you so much.

    Ha,ha that would have been totally appropriate. I only feed them on inclement days which is part of the problem. Bad for them is bad for me.

    Good to hear from you. You make a great point. Cell phones don't work here but taking my cordless phone, which has a long range, would work quite well. Thanks. I am doing that now.

    Hopefully I am done for this year anyway. A suit of bubble wrap sounds good to me too.

    You heard right, ribs do smart since they move every time you breathe. Getting rid of the moles would be helpful. They have turned my yard into a battlefield.

    Aren't moles the pits? They really tear up a yard. I have tried so many things to get rid of them to no avail. I am being much more careful now and am concentrating on picking my feet up. Cell phones don't work here but my wireless should do fine. Thanks so much. You be careful too.

    Linda R,
    Laughing is the best medicine as long as it isn't a rib tickler. That hurts. Trust me, on decent weather days, they are on their own to find their own groceries.

    Loved the play on words with the mole. Made me laugh--gingerly. Think I have the situation in hand now with porch feeders. Thank you.

    Grannie Annie,
    Ouch, those open cabinet doors will really get your attention. If I get anyone to develop the air bag, I'll let you know. Stay safe.

    Sadly their only show of appreciation is a bit of watery poop. They need to work on that. However they do provide entertainment watching them so I guess that is payment enough.

    Tails from the Foster Kittens,
    Welcome to TNS and thank you for commenting. I checked that site and the inflatable helmet is awesome. I can see the technology is there for the same thing in a vest. Thanks for the hope.


  31. Oh my gosh, Patti, we need to get those mole-asses out of your yard! Too bad squirrels don't eat them. I think I'd be able to help you with your problem.

    Maybe you'd better just stand on the porch and hurl the birdseed. I'll bet you haven't lost your throwing arm. Oh dang. . . I just remembered the ribs. sigh.

    Stay upright. I hope the rib report is reassuring.

  32. Patti, be careful! I do hope you take a cell phone with you in case you fall again and can't get up. I always worry about that when I go to get the mail or take the dog out back. I think a visit to the doc in in order for the knee. The ribs, well I don't think there is much they can do for you there. I cracked my ribs a number of years ago, no idea how, and it took forever for them to get better. You do make me laugh. I just wish it were not at your expense. Get better! Put on those cleats. Carry your cell phone in our pocket, (or your bra if you don't have a pocket), and watch out for those holes!

  33. Hi Patti - Hope you're feeling better soon. I think you and I are of similar background… Nothing a little duct tape can't fix. Who needs a doctor? I got that from my folks and grand folks - Pennsylvania hardheads. In fact, just last week I did something to myself - though not a fall this time - that is still ouchie, but better.

    What are you seeing for birds? We've got anything from robins and waxwings at the heated birdbath, to chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and 4 different woodpeckers at the feeders and suet.

    If you are not already, please consider taking a cell or cordless phone with you on your feeder filing trips just in case you take a tumble….

    *hugs* Feel better.

  34. I fell a few years ago and hurt my shoulder bad enough that I couldn't raise my hand above my head for a few months. I've been so very careful since then, but it's only a matter of time.

    Feel better!

  35. I'm so sorry to hear this. As I read your post, each time you hit, cracked twisted or tore something loose, I also felt it. I have fallen so many times myself. But so far, so good. Haven't had a bad fall since Summer of 2013, when they had to take me by ambulance to the Trama(spelling) Center. I fell backwards on the patio and hit the back of my head on a small wooden bench, and I couldn't get up. Abe didn't know I was outside, until he thought he heard a thud, when he came to the door there I was. Since I take a blood thinner, he called 911, and thank goodness for the two healthy young men that stood on either side of me and lifted me straight up to a standing position. They found there was no internal bleeding of the head, so they sent me home. I had horrible bruises for weeks. So I try to watch my feet at all times. I also now use a walker if I want to move faster and if I'm going to a store that does not have shopping carts. I know what you mean about the rotor cuff, mine was a fractured shoulder, I learned to do a lot of things with my left hand. LOL Expecting several of our daughters for Pasta night, so I want to get a salad cut up early. Have a pan of Duncan Hines brownies cooling. Will also make garlic/cheese biscuits from a mix. Using mixes, I don't have to stand long periods of time, which in turn causes the lower back, hips and knees to hurt. I go this coming Tuesday the 20th for another Trigger Injection in my back. I had one before Christmas, but it's wearing off, it's lasted the longest so far. Perhaps you need to just throw out bird seed and let the birds eat it off the ground until the conditions outside get better. Also if possible, use a cane to help steady you in case you hit another mole hill. And make sure you carry a phone with you in case you can't get back up, you can call for help. Just be very, very careful. By the way, I don't get around to the blogs like I use to, I'm on Facebook more. Hang in there, healing takes a while.

  36. Mary lee,
    Boy I wish squirrels were predators. I'd make you a deal you couldn't refuse.
    Doing a bit better thanks.

    Thanks to you and others, I am now carrying my wireless phone when I go out, especially for those late night dog potty runs. Don't know why I didn't think of that before. Thanks.

    Ha ha, yes,duct tape and a touch of time thrown in for good measure works 9 times out of ten.
    Hope your ouchie has quit hurting also.

    I can so relate to that over the head thing. Do be careful.

    Mercy Patty, that was awful. How fortunate Abe went looking for you.
    Yes, it is amazing how we can adjust when things like that happen.We do learn to modify our actions don't we.
    Do take care and be well.

  37. Thanks.

    I cannot take credit for the picture. It is beautiful and supplied with the prompt.

    Have a blessed weekend...and watch out for moles!

  38. Oh, my, I have tears in my eyes from laughing...not at you, but with you...seriously, you need your birdfeeder on a pulley system such as some of the Amish use to hang the clothes.

    That being said, I fell the other day when I was filling mine. But I went down so softly..I could not have sat down easier if I had tried.

  39. Gail,
    Thanks, I am really trying.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. So glad I found your funny bone and that pulley system is brilliant.
    Now that is how to fall, so glad it was a soft landing. Wish it were teachable.

  40. oh my Patti, I am so sorry that I missed this post on its date. Hope you are much better by now. Gadzooks there not a different route to get to feeding those birds? I mean I know you care about them but this was way above and beyond. Yikes. Take care, Oma Linda

  41. Oh no!! I'm so sorry to hear this, but I'm very happy nothing more serious happened. How are you? Is the pain getting better?

    Thank you so much for your wonderful Christmas comment, it made me smile and it made me happy :)
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas season!