Sunday, February 24, 2013

Why You Should Never Forget That Life Can Change in an Instant

       We had a significant snowfall a couple of days ago.  The man who shovels my snow came and cleaned off the walks and driveway and the steps, and all was well.  Yesterday it warmed up a bit and we had some melting.  After lunch, I went to get the mail.  My mailbox is to the immediate left of my front door, so I don't even have to step out to reach in the box and pull out the mail.  However, somebody had stuck a flyer in the stormdoor, between the little bars and the screen.  The flyer was way over to the right, so I couldn't reach it without stepping out on the concrete slab of the stoop.  I looked down at it and it looked perfectly normal, so I shoved open the stormdoor, which is very heavy, and stepped down the rather high step.
       WHAMMO!  It was black ice!  Meltwater off the bushes and roof had dripped there and frozen!  My right foot slipped out from under me and down I went!  Boy, did I holler!  But of course nobody heard me, because there are no neighbors within shouting distance of my house, and nobody was outside across the street or walking by.  I landed on my duff, which was lucky because it's padded pretty well (LOL), but I whacked my back on the door stoop.  Also, the heavy door, which I was now stuck under, banged my right shin, although it didn't hurt for some reason.  I only discovered it later. 
       My first thought was, oh my god, what if I've broken my backbone? -- because it whacked me right across the middle of my back.  But I took a moment to check out all my limbs and nothing felt numb or tingly -- everything moved normally -- so I decided I was just very well bruised.  Of course, maybe a broken rib ...
       So now what?  It was impossible to get to my feet because there was no traction on that ice.  So I managed to turn over, get on my knees (all the while shoving the door open with my foot), and crawl over the doorstep, back into house, and up to my recliner, where I could pull myself to my feet.  I considered whether I ought to call 911 and get checked out, but I walked around and nothing seemed really impaired -- just painful.  So I thought, the hell with emergency rooms -- I don't think I've got any life-threatening injuries.  When I sprained my ankle rather badly a few years back, I never went to the doctor with that , either.  Frankly, I hate doctors and medical procedures.
       Of course, I had no ice.  I never use ice for drinks or anything -- never make iced tea or coffee or lemonade, so I don't keep ice cubes.  The trays just take up room in the freezer and the cubes evaporate over time.  I did have one of those gel packs, but it wasn't in the freezer.  I put it in the freezer, but I only left in about 20 minutes, so it wasn't very effective.  I figured the longer I waited, the less effective ice would be anyway.  (Hey, I just had a thought -- I could have gone out my other door, which is not icy, and scooped up some of the big hump of snow next to my driveway.)
       I should say that I have quite a lot of arthritis in my shoulders and hands, and I'm getting it in the right knee -- the same leg that got whacked by the door.  (I have a 2-inch diameter bruise on my shin, btw.  Fortunately, the door didn't impact the actual shin bone but struck on the right, on the soft tissue.  Might have broken my shinbone if it had hit right on it.)  So today my leg is sore and I'm hobbling, and my back is very sore and it hurts to sit and lean back in certain ways.  I can't get a good look at it -- the mirrors are all wrong and the lighting isn't good enough.  I can see some bruising, mostly again on the right side.  I really need to call my friend who is a CNA and get her to come look at it.  Maybe I'll call her tomorrow, after the bruise has some time to develop.  I should be all colors of the rainbow before this heals up!
       I was surprised that I slept pretty well last night.  Turning over was the only problem.  Once I got settled on one side or the other, the only thing that hurt was my shoulders, which always hurt at night anyway (although the concussive effect on the whole body didn't make the shoulders feel better).  Things could have been way worse -- I could have broken a bone or hit my head (always a worst-case scenario, but my head was perfectly safe in this particular fall.)  I could have bruised my lung or my kidneys, but I don't think I did.  Lungs feel fine, and I don't think the blow was low enough for the kidneys.  Kinda hurts when I hiccup!
       Oh, and I never did get the danged flyer off my door until this morning, when I opened the inner window in the door and used a pin through the screen to shove the rolled-up paper out of the slat, and then picked it up with my pick-up-stick!  I did throw some salt  out on the step and I put up a sign saying "Careful!  Icy Step!" on the mailbox.  I'm surprised the mailman delivered the mail.  I wonder how he stepped up there without falling down.  Hey, can I claim on my own house insurance?  Nah, it doesn't cover the homeowner!  They just have to take their lumps!
       So there you are. One moment everything was hunky-dory, and the next moment, WHAM! I'm on my backside on a black-ice-covered porch! One moment you're driving down the street minding your own business and the next moment somebody runs a red light and creams you! Or a meteoroid crashes on top of your house! Better enjoy things while you can! Make hay, etc.! Life is too short!


  1. Oh, Lorinda, hope your'e ok! My mother has had enough falls that I know them too well. Though anything she's fractured -- her ribs, her pelvis, now her tail bone -- there was never anything they could do about anyway. So if you don't see a doctor, handle yourself carefully! But if you do have any fractures pain meds can be nice:)

    1. Thanks, Sandra! I think I put up this post just so I would get some sympathy! LOL I honestly don't think anything is broken - just soft-tissue injury, as the hockey people say, and maybe some tweaked rib cartilage. Maybe all that Evista I've taken is keeping my bones strong.

  2. Ouch, Lorinda! I'm glad you didn't do any worse damage than bruising and a sprain. I once sprained my ankle - badly - at the top of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on our first day of vacation. All it took was not looking where I was going and taking on wrong step. I spent the next two weeks hobbling through our family trip.

    I hope you are back to feeling tip-top again soon!

    1. Thanks, Mary! Sounds like the worst possible time for an ankle sprain! My situation turned out worse than I thought. I'm putting up another post shortly.