A lightbulb moment in the Arctic night

For someone who doesn’t like accepting help, I’ve actually done pretty well today!

Still in quite a bit of pain with my foot and it’s quite icy here. So a few times complete strangers have grabbed my arm to stop me falling (probably a good thing I don’t have an issue with physical contact).

Anyway, I was on my way out of the tourist information office, not slipping over at all (there was no ice on that path!), when a well-meaning local told me that I should wear ice spikes. Which I didn’t know existed until today, but they’ve been really helpful. I’m still in pain, but much more stable.

And it suddenly struck me that there’s a rather obvious analogy here with my other condition (and not just that I’m hoping that there’s something helpful I haven’t heard about).

Between the ice spikes and my walking stick, I’m now managing to get myself around safely – most of the time. But sometimes, when the path is particularly difficult or slippery, or I’m tired or concentrating on too many things at once, I’ll still start to fall.

If someone can reach out and steady me as I start to slip then often that’s the only help I need to regain my balance. It doesn’t always work; it might be that nothing can stop me falling – but it might at least soften the fall, reduce the risk of injury. And if I slip on the ice, then although I might be able to pick myself up and carry on, it’s probably safer if someone can try to help me up and summon medical help if I’ve broken my leg!

And if I have broken my leg, then I need someone who knows what they’re doing to fix it, ultimately. Someone who knows first aid can of course make sure that I don’t do anything to make it worse and stabilise the situation until proper help arrives, but they aren’t going to be able to solve the problem.

I may be a bit shaken afterwards. That’s where tea and sympathy is helpful, if there’s anyone around I know. Not a post mortem of what happened – I’ll already have replayed that (too many times) in my mind. Not planning how to avoid a fall in future – if there is anything that can be done, I’ll either have identified it or been told what to do by people who know about this stuff. Just a chat. The fall doesn’t even have to be mentioned…

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