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My mother was 93 years old when she fell and broke her hip.  The doctors stopped her Coumadin (warfarin) so she wouldn’t bleed too much while they operated.  She had been given the blood thinner because of an earlier stroke.

She responded very well, and while she was in rehab, I remember fondly talking with her while viewing the mountains from the hospital hallway.

She later had another stroke that left her in a coma.  Months later, she died.

Of course I was devastated, and since then (late 1992), I’ve paid particular attention to seniors and their falls.  Old people fall, break a hip, then die.  But it isn’t the broken hip that kills them, it is what happens after.

(The irony of this story is that my mother was a famous pioneer in setting up programs for senior citizens in the United States.)

In March of 2011, I moved to St. Louis to be close to my daughter while she finished off her doctor of chiropractic degree.

I was about 66 years old, and thought it best to locate a primary care physician.

The doctor who was recommended to me was a kindly old gent, probably my age or older.

FallenYetAs we went through his introductory questionnaire, he came to one item that just took me the wrong way.  My teeth still grate four years later, remembering his nonchalant, “Have you fallen yet?”

YET!!!!!!!!!!

Have I fallen YET???????????

Of course I hadn’t fallen YET.  I was playing basketball like a fiend, and walking for miles.

As upset as I was then, lately that question has been even more haunting.  I seem to lose my balance from time-to-time.

Since I live alone, the nightmare of the famous “Help me, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” rings in my ears.

Not yet.

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