Tuesday, late afternoon, I had just returned home from a massage therapy session, my first in almost 11 months, and started down my basement stairs, when I slipped and bumped down, top to bottom, the entire set of stairs. Bumpety-bump. 12 steep, narrow stairs to the bottom. My husband was behind me (no, I was not pushed!) and remarked later that my fall was quite a spectacular. He said it was impressively chilling to hear me grunt in pain as my lower back hit every stair and I landed in a heap at the bottom, crawling in pain and uttering "ow, ow ,ow" until the damage could be surveyed.
What didn't help me was the fact that I had a pear, a plate and a knife in one hand, my cellphone and a clutch of papers in my other hand, something else - can't remember what - under one arm, and was half turning to say something to my husband as I started down our stairs. Did I say they were unusually steep and narrow? It's an old house and things were not built to what we would call "code". In other words, I should be lucky they were at least of similar size and height.
But did I let go of any of the things I was carrying? NO! Why the heck not? This, my friend, I do not know. It has something to do with the way my brain is wired. Obviously "don't drop it" was a more successful childhood admonishment than "be careful". My elbows were purple and brown after hitting the stairs trying to save the things in my hands. As it happened, the plate did break (no doubt due to its proximity to the wood of the stairs every time my elbows came into contact with it - it might have escaped breakage if I had let it go) and my hands and face were bleeding with several small cuts made as I clutched pieces of a broken plate. Every thing else was just fine - even the pear had not a mark on it.
I showered and sat with an ice pack the rest of the evening, happy that everything still moved so nothing was broken. The next day I hobbled slowly around the house, able to water plants and edit documents. And then the real pain hit. Deep bruising down my entire back and buttocks, bruised elbows as aforementioned, and a left hip so painful I can't help but cry out every time I moved. The act of sitting down and standing up are particularly bad. There is no discolouration, but it is swollen as well as painful. That third night I lost it, the pain so bad I almost fainted and I cried to my husband to help me get into bed.
My Mom had been a nurse once upon a time, and I asked her advice. "Go to Emergency." Exactly what my husband had been saying for days. Sorry dear. You were right. Well, that's what Moms are for. But how to get there? One car is too low for me to even consider getting in and out of, and the other car is in the shop. I can't walk more than a few shuffled steps so no bus or subway. No taxis either - I can't sit down that low. So it's Dad and his Subaru to the rescue. That's what Dad's are for.
It was not the most romantic way to spend Friday evening, but I was finally wheeled in for a series of Xrays to determine if anything had been fractured. Then a wait while they were being examined. When the doctor came back she looking quite ashen and commented a little tentatively how curved my back was. For a spilt-second I thought of opening my eyes wide and replying "Curved? My back isn't curved. What do you mean?" But I couldn't play a trick like that on her, and certainly not with someone who has the power of making me take an enema.
The bad news is it will take at least a week of waiting before anything more can be done. The good news is there is no fracture. But the bad news is the swelling and the pain have to subside.
But the good news is the 2014 Winter Olympic Games are now on in Sochi, Russia.
So guilt-free Games watching!
|At Emergency Friday night with my techni-colour bruised elbows|