Sunday, December 12, 2021

Falls: as fate or free will


I've been reading John le Carre's novel Silverview, published posthumously this year.  I paused 55% through it a few moments ago to read the Wikipedia article about him.  Quite an opinionated fellow, John.  And the writer of the Wikipedia article may have learned about most of these opinions from his novels.  I've gotten a considerable number of them from Silverview.  Be leaving them aside, I've long had the opinion that those of us who don't acquire any of the popular diseases, find ourselves older than we thought we would ever be and have trouble managing getting about.  I, for example, with the collusion of my dogs managed to fling myself from the stairs and have subsequently been attempting, without perfect success, to learn to walk in a new way.  John le Carre seems to have been of my ilk but probably landed on some other part of his body.

Wikipedia tells us "Le Carre died at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, on 12 December 2020, aged 89.  An inquest completed in June 2021 concluded that le Carre died after sustaining a fall at his home."  I could have warned him that when you fall in your old age, try not to fall do it on your head.  I did, as I was committed to hitting the tile at the foot of my stairs with some part of my body, briefly consider my old gymnastic days when I could do a front roll.  In fact I was rather proud of myself, jogging with my dogs back in Garden Grove when I was in my sixties, tripping over a raised part in the sidewalk and instinctively doing a front roll.  I thought, lying there with the dog leashes still in my hand, that I had probably broken something, but was happily surprised upon standing up to learn that I had not.  But twenty years later while I was committed to a tile floor and thinking about a front roll, I chickened out and sacrificed my knee instead of a shoulder, back and if I didn't do it right, my head.  Le Carre probably wasn't a gymnast in his youth and may have simply sprawled from wherever he fell, which is what old people, without proper training, seem to inclined to do. 

You don't think of someone dying from a fall needing an inquest, but le Carre probably had quite a bit of money so the authorities wanted to make sure that the fall was entirely of John's own volition.  In my case there was a benefit from my fall.  In the past Susan would occasionally suggest that my assumption that I would outlive her might not end up being true. I didn't go to doctors or have thoroughgoing tests so I might have some rare disease and die from that.  After my fall, the doctors did run me through thoroughgoing tests and found that I didn't have any thing wrong with me other than the broken knee; so it was good that I no longer had to rely solely upon my optimism. 

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