Monday, October 14, 2019


OCTOBER 14, 2019      

 NO, it wasn’t a test fall!

I fell last week a few minutes after my lovely pedi and calf massage.

RESULT– Both knees banged; the knee that had already been X-rayed for buckling is now on my mind every few minutes.  The cost – at least two doctor visits so far 
And of course making me feel dumb. (Lately I’d been worried about some lumpy places in the street at the doctor’s office.)   Then a second of not watching the floor in a shopping center, and down I went!

 Treatment:  SO, back to the doctor.  I’m able to do my walks around here.  And I still do my little
exercises for my gluts. (Ask me about them.)  But I’m so aware of the knee that had buckled before….so is the Doctor.
And awareness of my body weight and what I lift or carry..   Just in time:  

Some math from Mayo Clinic reminded me to concentrate more on what I have already been doing:     Lose weight. If you're overweight, each additional pound you carry translates to another 4 pounds of pressure on the joints.” (bold mine)  I had never realized that included knees.
Dr. Lars Richardson, an orthopedic surgeon with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital says, "Getting your body mass index [BMI] to a healthy range will make your knees feel better,"    Have you ever looked up your bmi (body mass index)? It’s easy; instructions on line.

I still get those three vegies plus salad every day.  I even refused to eat cheese for two weeks. Weight and water are looking better.  Hope it’s helping the knees.

 Forecast: I need to return something to the store where I fell, but much later.  Scared!
    Tomorrow if the left knee isn’t feeling perfect, Dr. wants me back for cortisone shot.

I wish you health and days of paying close attention!

Thursday, October 3, 2019


True, I do want my knee to get better.  And maybe the almost important reason is:

I want that knee and all it includes to help

keep me from falling!


The doctor sent me to get a knee X-ray the other day.   Perhaps because I was still carrying the cane and seemed a little slow and discouraged.  They let me know the next day:  the meniscus was not torn.  Great news.  So I don't have to have anything radical done.

The other news:  I still need to be cautious instead of careless. There is good news, though.

 Yesterday was a madhouse, and I didn't exercise much.  There are a lot of simple exercises to protect that knee, and some of them I can do easily.  Some even in bed as they taught me years ago in rehab.
I picked some easy ones from Harvard Health "Age Proof your knees"article on line
Standing on hard floors is discouraged, so found some soft shoes for kitchen duties, etc.

Amazing news is:  the effect of weight on the knee.  Two articles I value on the web say:  If you need to lose weight, lose it.
I have been working on that, but not enough.  I still worried last week when I had to carry my three-liter water to the apartment.   Harvard Health articles told me

 how much pressure each pound I carry puts on a knee cap.

SO NO 3-liter water for coffee for a while. Star-Bucks when I want good coffee .

BIGGEST DECISION: also gave up cheese! to see if that keeps the weight loss going.

I wish you health.

Saturday, September 21, 2019


It was after two tough weeks of working on the apartment.  Of course, the first reliable big-hospital opinion I saw on knees buckling assured me that a knee buckling could lead to falling.  (I knew that. But ...but...)  Okay, it could.  I'm very gently exercising the muscles that support my kneecap, avoiding standing too long on hard surfaces,  trying not to prove anything by carrying too many groceries too far, too fast.  And I keep the cane with me in case of in case.  Fact:  I haven't been very religious about exercises my Pth knows that I know.  If it ever stops thundering and rain storming, I will see the doctor about this.

Remember, if you got any medical advice from this blog it would be:  Tell your doctor about everything.  I wish you health.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

FALLING Don't Shoot the Throw-rug

 Rug story:    
During WW2,  Mom and Grandma sewed badly-worn clothes into long strips and sent them to a woman who made throw rugs.  We needed several for our kitchen and its long hallway.  
Two women and sometimes Daddy doing all kinds of work with scrub water and dangerous boiling water from cooking, and steaming water from pressure cooking. There was danger.  And then I learned to cook. Why do I tell you this?
Because no one fell down. 

Why not?   What worked?  
Usually sensible adults…  
Mostly, they had fewer distractions, no tv, phone on wall, one radio on each floor. Wet linoleum had newspapers on it to avoid slipping. No dogs in house.

Big safe feature: carpet in the rest of the  of house including stairs , and sturdy rubber mats on basement stairs and in the laundry and chicken-cleaning room. 

Then the world invented new hazards. TV in so many places you might sit on it by accident.  Stuff we want is in pictures on the new phone.  New, pretty (and sometimes slick) floors in kitchen and bath. Shoes;  Comfy (maybe), pretty, desirable but rarely safe shoes for ­­­­both sexes worn all day for everything.  
 We are moving oftener, for jobs or better schools, or whatever.  So rugs may be practical.
In the last 15 years, no apartment was desirable without nice wood or faux wood floors, despite noise from rooms with area rugs (including noise of people falling.)     
Nobody checks  pretty floors for safety. Luckily, my apartment has carpet.  

                                       SO HOW DO WE AVOID FALLING?

At my request, my MD found a very detail-oriented Physical therapist who first tested to make sure I have the levels of balance to help protect from falls everywhere at home. He was strong enough to catch me when I barely passed the test. Then he cheeked even stepping off curbs en route to the coffee  shop. .)  By the way, I was trained in acute rehab for stepping off curbs; if we don’t practice, we have to learn again.
He walked with me, even on a grassy area to see how I do.  (I would like more work like that, since some grass area is lumpy between me and Starbucks  
He also checked my gait.  (You need someone who KNOWS how to do that, not just someone who works in a foot doctor’s office.)  My gait varies a lot so I need to (have to say it) practice and pay attention to it.

My REFLEXES are surprisingly good.   Any idea how yours are?

SHOES Guys are silly as women about shoes.  I no longer wear heels – a slight  wedge on my Clarks.(once, a senior female relative pitched a noisy fit in a store about giving up fashion heels.)  Don’t be her.

    We listen if someone tells us we’re not being careful.­­   We can learn to pay attention as we  move around.

It isn't easy.  It doesn't feel young and capable.  We have to.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019


If you live in a building big enough to have those cords on the bedroom and bath walls so you can pull to summon police, or firemen, did you ever need to pull one?

I've never had to use one, but recently three people have given me two insights to share:
First, seeing my apartment,one remarked that the cords were in bedroom and bath, yet I spend 80  or 90 per cent of my time in the big living room, with no cord.

Two more told me they only put the cord in the tub, which is the one place I might not only fall, but not be able to get up

The next night, in the kitchen, my knee buckled for the first time in years.  It was a little shaky for a couple of days, so I felt dependent on the cane.

When mild exercise doesn't help, and I need a shampoo, I know where to put that cord!

I wish you health.