Decades before Dad developed dementia and started suffering from falls, he had a tumble down the stairs that I remember fairly clearly. In this case, another “d” word was responsible for Dad’s unsteadiness: drink.
Dad always enjoyed a couple of beers to unwind after his swing shift. There was a period when I was a small child that Dad overindulged. But after that, it was a couple of beers and that was it. I never saw him drunk as I got older, except for this one occasion that led to the fall down the stairs. I was probably a pre-teen at the time. I never did find out what caused the overindulgence that night. Did he have a bad day on the job? Did he get into a fight with Mom?
All I remember was hearing a loud crash and bolting out of bed. Turning on the lights to illuminate the stairwell, I saw Dad’s crumpled form at the bottom, trying to get up and steady himself. Mom came rushing out of their bedroom, and the two of us helped him up the stairs.
At the time, I was mildly disgusted and annoyed at being awaken in the middle of the night because my dad was inebriated. I never remember another incident like this happening.
Not until the dementia happened. Then Mom and I were once again by Dad’s side, supporting him when his body and mind could no longer support him.