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My New Mantra

by | Feb 8, 2019 | Don't Forget To Laugh, Top Right Box

Our columnist after a bad fall in San Francisco

Well, this year certainly started off with a bang. Actually, it was more of an “Umph” as my body   slammed down on the dark street of San Francisco. We had just watched the fabulous New Year’s fireworks display over the Bay Bridge and were part of the crowd heading back into the city. As we crossed the street, I turned to look over my shoulder at the light show on the bridge supports. That’s when my stride was halted by a bump in the pavement and down I went. Hard.

Lying in the dark, I was surrounded by a chorus of “Are you okay?” One woman was chanting, “It’s all good, It’s all good.”  Though I was horizontal on the asphalt, in pain, it was “all good.” Yep, I was definitely in California.  

I thrust out my arm to be pulled up. Once vertical, my first thought, “Good I didn’t break a hip”. Second thought, “Boy, my side sure does hurt.”  A few days later, I returned to North Carolina with a broken rib, black eye, and a side-dish of mean cold with deep cough. Not a nice combination. OW!

There are a few friends who, unfortunately, empathize with me.  One had her dance instructor break her rib while lifting her during their dance routine. This is a MUCH better story that mine. (She always was the classy one.) Another friend broke her rib getting out of a chair. No, she did not fall. She simply leaned forward and “snap.”

This is ridiculous. Women my age who have exercised and dieted to stay trim are now breaking bones due to osteo-something-or-other. No, I’m not skinny. Thanks for noticing. But years of undiagnosed Celiac left me with spider web bones.

After my bone density results came back under the scale, my doctor told me not to jump out of planes. Seriously. No skateboarding, horseback riding, or snow skiing, either. I must be an extremely boring person, because I didn’t have to cancel a single plan due to these restrictions.

I feel like a real dare devil on the few bike rides I’ve taken since the diagnosis. Evel Knievel isn’t as brave as we brittle bone ladies. Sure, he can cause bodily damage if he wrecks his motorcycle while leaping over the Grand Canyon. We can end up in the hospital or a cast if we trip on a crack in the sidewalk.

Join me in my mantra: “Do not fall! PERIOD.” Hell, we can break a rib just carrying groceries. (Or getting out of a freakin’ chair!)

We sisters who “Must remain vertical” need to work together to keep our journeys safe. Find some loose rocks? Please, throw them back in the planter. Toss sticks in the grass. Should unruly kids run across your path, tackle them to the ground, like Betty White does in the Snickers commercials. Really. Sometimes a glare at the mother with a sad “tsk-tsk” just isn’t enough.

Those of us labeled “osteo-something-or-other” took our prescribed medications as directed by our doctors. Imagine our delight to discover one popular treatment had a nasty side effect – broken femurs!  That’s like using the super new toothpaste your dentist recommended only to find it causes cavities.

Trying to strengthen our bones, we also shovel in the calcium and Vitamins. Taking more than the recommended dose can only be extra beneficial, right? It’s the same logic I use as I apply layers of moisturizer to make up for the years of not using any at all.  I do hope my bones are recovering better than my wrinkled face.

Weight resistance exercises are supposed to be good for increasing bone density.  My doctor told me to jog with a backpack weighted down with soup cans. I did.  He also said it would be beneficial to walk with weights on my head. I have not done this. Yet. If you see me wearing a top hat full of soup cans while working out on the tread mill at the Y, you’ll know why.

It sure would be advantageous for us thin, middle-aged women, (Yes! Middle age!) if the dangerous brick sidewalks of Davidson were covered with a nice, even Berber carpet.  Till then, I’ll remember my lesson learned January first: Stay vertical. As the remainder of 2019 unfolds, I’m going to ignore the bright lights of the city and watch where I’m going.

Carol Wilber Bradfield

Carol Wilber Bradfield is one of those "Lake People." She snuck into Davidson many years ago when someone left the gate open one night. If seen, please approach carefully and give her a hug... and cash if you have it. Lots of cash. Thank you.

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