I Fell Down
I fell yesterday. I was coming around our bed, full steam ahead (I tend to walk fast) when I tripped on the corner of my new upholstered bench at the foot of the bed. I am not accustomed to a bench being there. My left leg got caught, and the rest of me had too much forward momentum to avoid a fall.
Of course, I couldn’t fall on the upholstered bench. Oh, no. I cleared that. Man, it was like slow motion. I saw the hardwood coming up at me. And of course, I threw my right arm out to catch myself. My grandson was upstairs and heard me hit the floor. It did not shake the house like he said.
I don’t know exactly what happened to my right front paw, but we’ve just returned from our small local hospital’s emergency room. The doctor said it doesn’t seem to be broken, but the radiologist will call me if he sees something the ER doctor missed. It is probably just a bad sprain, he told me, and ordered me to wear a thing to keep me from moving my wrist. Harumph. Cannot type with the thing on, so guess where it is? Not on my arm.
I wouldn’t have gone to have it X-rayed if my grandson hadn’t insisted. My fingers swelled up pretty rapidly and dramatically, and my hand was a nice shade of purple. “Nana, that hand’s broken,” Ethan said. “You have to go to the emergency room.”
That was not on my to-do list, but when my husband joined in, I knew I could not avoid it. In the cold pouring rain, scared to death it would be full of Coronavirus patients; I reluctantly consented to be driven to ER. At first, I wanted to go back home. There were several cars parked, and I thought the ER might be busy. Not going in there to get Lord knows what.
However, after sitting in the car a bit, I called into the ER, and they said they didn’t have anyone right then. Hallelujah. We trotted right in and were the only ones in the waiting room.
Still, we waited about half an hour to be called in, despite the fact there were no other patients. Then they called us in, and the nurse asked some questions and took my blood pressure. I sat on the table, and my husband sat on an uncomfortable chair for over an hour while we waited for the doctor. It’s a good thing we read on our phones. The time was broken up a bit by the woman who brought in a portable x-ray machine and took photos of my forearm and wrist.
The doctor finally came in, then left again to look a second time at the Xrays, and came back to say it was just sprained as far as he could tell. He was an intern like we always have in our ER, and he said the radiologist might see more “in the morning,” and they would call me if he saw anything. Then we waited almost another half hour for the nurse to come put a splint on me. It’s a rule, dontcha’ know, that ER visits have to take a long time.
Well, I’ve received no call today, so I’ve become brave enough to take the sling off and type, although my wrist is still pretty painful, and my fingers are still swollen. Like the postman, we writers keep on keeping on.
What was remarkable to me about the whole thing was that I was hurt at all in the little fall. Folks, I’m a former police officer; I’ve hit the ground from an upright position more times than I can count. I’m also a klutz and no stranger to tripping and falling. Usually, the only result is I look around to see if there’s anyone looking as I scramble to my feet. If no one saw, I’m good. If they did, my red face burns off, but I say the words, “I’m ok, I’m ok.”
This time wasn’t as non-eventful as my previous clownish falls. For one thing, I was afraid at first to try to get up and knew I couldn’t use my right hand and arm to support myself. I landed sort of on my side, and my husband used my good arm to pull me up off the floor. I kind of wanted to cry. My knee was skinned, and so was my elbow, but I’m a tough cookie…well, I’ve always been a tough cookie up until now.
Just a little fall in the bedroom, onto the rug, actually injured me. Damn, there it is, another sign I’m getting old. I’m 69. I think of my mother as old. She’s 91. Not me.
But I guess I’m not too bad off. I landed all my (considerable) weight on my poor ole right hand and arm and didn’t break anything. But I’m not hopping around like a spring chicken today, either. I’m a little “stove up,” as my grandmother used to say. Living on ibuprofen rotated with Tylenol.
Nature sure has a rough way of telling us things. The last time I fell down, I was in our motorhome, and my husband hit the brakes. I was navigating back up front after a trip to the bathroom. I fell so hard my feet flew over my head. And I was laughing so hard it was difficult to get up. Hubby and grandson, upon realizing I wasn’t hurt, joined in. It was a fall worthy of any clown move. I still chuckle when I think of it. But it was a few years ago, and as much as I hate to admit it, I must be aging a little after all.
I never feel like I’m getting older. I feel the same as always. Until some dastardly thing like falling and spraining my wrist reminds me I’m not really as young as I think I am.
It reminds me of my grandmother saying that getting old was the strangest thing. Her body had changed completely and no longer worked well, she said in her 80s, but her mind felt exactly the same as when she was a young girl. She peered at me and said she didn’t think I knew what she meant, but that I would. I do know now, Mamaw, I do.
So maybe I need to be a little more careful with this ole bod that’s never failed me — even through police academy and the accompanying grind, fights, accidents, 6-inch platform shoes of the 80s, weight-lifting, two kids, and general brawling. I owe it a little more caution,
I guess. It’s been a good body, never failing and very rarely sick with anything. I had the flu once in my 40s. Other than that and allergy-induced asthma, I’ve been a big ole strong girl.
Little signs. Little things. They tell us time is passing, and we are getting older. It’s going much too fast.
My wrist hurts a little, so I guess I’ll stop writing for today. But I’ll be back tomorrow because I’m not yet ready to start giving in to the weaknesses aging causes. To hell with that.
But it is true what they say. . .this old age thing ain’t for sissies.