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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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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.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 30, 2012 at 11:45 am

I'm so sorry this happened to you, Roz. Thank goodness there were some kind folks around to assist. I don't think that's funny at all. {{{{Roz}}}}


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Dec 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Thanks, ML. I don't like feeling "helpless," or needing help. It's more a matter of pride than reality. The lady who helped me was very nice. She though I had balance problems. I usually use the cane for balance if I'm walking on a hill or grass.

I have a friend, my age too, who had a brain tumor removed about 30 years ago and she has balance problems and uses a scooter to get around.

My brother-in-law, who is 4 years younger than I am, also has balance problems. He had an operation on his neck recently for other problems with walking and standing.

I consider myself in better shape than either of them even though I'm fat. I lost 30 lbs. this year, so I'm relatively thin for me.

For the last several years I have not been able to get up off of a flat surface without something to pull myself up with.

That's why I gave up that heavy electric bike. I could not risk falling off of it. I'm considering getting the big trike now instead.


Posted by Concerned, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 31, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Roz...just curious, not to pry but how did your obesity get so out of control? What do you eat each day, and for how much of your life has this been a health issue for you? Since obesity is the number one challenge our country faces from a health and economic standpoint perhaps you sharing your story would be helpful to others.
And thanks for your candor in previous posts on this subject.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jan 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I wrote about this just about one year ago. You can read my observations on my weigh,t and others who eat to survive, in my blog on "Shorten the String,"
Web Link

I have no health issues due to obesity and I do not consider it "out of control." I currently weight 30 lbs less than I weighed last year and 50 lbs less than two years ago. I have been maintaining this weight even though I'm not trying to.

I have no heart condition, no diabetes, not much arthritis, so obesity isn't a medial problem for me and does not increase the cost of my Medicare coverage. I just changed my supplemental insurance from United Health Care (AARP) to Humana, which offers better coverage at lower cost.

I plan to start riding a bicycle or adult tricycle in the Spring to strengthen my legs so I won't need so much help getting up. Elderly skinny people fall down and can't get up either. Falling down is one of the leading causes of death in the elderly, not obesity.


Posted by Dirka_dirka, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 12, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Concerned citizen, get off Roz's back, living is difficult for many these days and Roz has been a loyal dignified servant to her community. Compassion is what is needed here. There are too many people who think about no one but themselves, instead of giving a little. Pay it forward fools. Journalists are under valued. Dirka Dirka. Now get a goat and get better milk for your latte, you will me more of a person once you do. Dirka Dirka

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Mar 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Thank you for the support, Dirka. When I was a child I was allergic to cow's milk and my mother bought fresh goat's milk from a nearby farm. I liked it, but when they sent me to summer camp she sent a case of canned goat's milk for me. Yuck! It was like canned evaporated milk, OK for cooking but not drinking. I haven't tried goat's milk since then. I don't like goat cheese either.

Do you raise goats only for milk and cheese (or meat), or also for keeping roadside brush under control? I'd like to see some goats along the Iron Horse Trail and South San Ramon Creek to keep the dry grasses down during fire season. That would probably be cheaper than using mowers and maintenance crews. You should propose it to the City. They need to save money.


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