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By Roz Rogoff

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up

Uploaded: Dec 27, 2012

This week's blog isn't about Life Call monitoring or another old joke that uses their tagline for the punch line. It's what happened to me this Thursday afternoon in the Target parking lot, and it wasn't funny.

Well yes it was funny. A fat lady falling down is classic slapstick. The only thing funnier than a video of a dog or cat or child slipping on mud is a fat lady slipping on mud, but it's not funny if you're the fat lady. I hope nobody took a video of it to put on YouTube.

It was my own fault. I was taking a short cut from Bank of the West to get to my car in the Target lot when I tried to cut across a median with thick bushes and slipped in the mud. A very nice young woman pulled into the space on the other side of the median and came over to help me.

She thought I couldn't walk and offered to get my cane from my car. I do keep a cane in my car, and sometimes I use a walker but I don't need them to walk. I can walk just fine. My problem at this point was not being able to get up off the ground.

I kept telling her if I could get to a curb or something with a little depth, I'd be able to get my feet under me and then I'd need someone to help pull or push me up. She said she couldn't do that because I'm too heavy. She's pregnant and shouldn't do any heavy lifting. I couldn't tell at first but after she told me, I noticed the baby bump. She's going to be a good mother.

An older man came over to help, but I kept saying I'm fine. I just needed to get to the curb. I tried to slide myself through the mud between the bushes on the median, but there was a 6" pole sticking out of the ground half way across. It might have been a sprinkler, but I couldn't get over it, so I was stopped in the middle.

The man suggested I push myself back to the sidewalk. There's a slight, 2-3" difference between the paved walk and the muddy garden. The woman called for help from Target and two young people came over. The man pulled from the front and the two Target employees (and maybe another woman from the parking lot) all pushed from behind and got me standing.

This is the second time this has happened to me when I've been in a public place. I wrote about a similar incident when I was exiting the Second Balcony of the Curran Theater after a matinee of Richard III. I lost my balance going down the narrow stairs and sat down. I couldn't get my feet under me and several members of the audience pulled and pushed me up.

I wrote about this in my blog on Vitality Bowls in October, 2011.

"After watching Richard III kill all his friends and relatives, the audience was very helpful and did not adopt his anti-social attitudes. Still it is a lesson to me to take better care of myself, because there won't always be three people nearby to help me up."

King Richard would probably have murdered me and had my body thrown off the balcony by his servants. At least folks in San Ramon and San Francisco are helpful and not hateful. Thank you to everyone who helped me back in 2011 and this Thursday.