Down I Go…Again

When I was an infant, I was christened with the middle name of “Anne.”

“Anne” means “grace,” and I can only suppose my parents hoped their daughter would turn out graceful.

Sadly, I did not.

In fact, if there’s any way I can possibly fall over something, I manage to do just that.

Take my freshman year in college, for example.

I was lugging a heavy suitcase down the stairs of my dorm in preparation for catching a ride to the airport and a flight home for Thanksgiving.

Somehow I slipped, toppled down a few steps, conked my head on the landing’s window sill, and instead, was rushed to the hospital — nine stitches later, I was back to my travel plans.

Then on my second reporter’s job, I was returning to the office after covering a meeting, when I tripped in my platform sandals — a few stitches later, I was back to writing, my arm in a sling.

I’m all too familiar with the feeling of being upended. Feet flying out from under me. Missing a stair and landing on my bottom. Tripping up and down curbs. Letting the trash can get the better of me.

So I’m not surprised it’s happened again.

A couple of days ago, I was walking Dallas — thinking about my deep-edit — when I encountered this:

Uneven sidewalk

Uneven sidewalk

It’s something I’ve seen before on our walks. Something I’ve managed to step over without incident.

One concrete block noticeably lower than its neighbor. To the tune of about two inches, I’d guess.

Here’s a closeup:

An accident waiting to happen!

An accident waiting to happen!

Well, I stubbed my toe on the taller part and promptly pitched forward onto the concrete.

I even dropped Dallas’s lead, but the little angel stayed right there with me.

My palms, upper arms, and one knee caught some of the brunt.

They’re bruised and sore. No scrapes, no blood.

But slamming my cheekbone onto the sidewalk and bruising a rib? That’s a whole new level of pain (even worse than childbirth!)

(At least I think it’s a bruised rib. The treatment’s the same whether it’s bruised or cracked.)

So every time I move or cough or blow my nose…


And I don’t even want to think about sneezing!

It’s going to be a long month, trying to heal from this — Domer calls it “riding the struggle bus.”

Still, I think I’m going to like walking — when I learn how to do it!

31 thoughts on “Down I Go…Again

  1. Oh dear! So sorry to hear about your topple, in a long series of topples. Bruised ribs? A slammed cheekbone? I’ve done the same so many times – topple that is. Walking, skiing, walking again, skiing again – broken bones, bruises, twisted ankles, sprained ankles, cracked sunglasses and broken phones. It’s often those little things that get ‘ya. Heal soon my dear, heal soon.

    It doesn’t surprise me, btw, that Dallas stayed by your side. Empathic dogs are like that. 😉

    • You, too, huh? Isn’t it awful the things we’ve inadvertently done to ourselves? I’m blessed NOT to have sustained broken bones (knock on wood!!); I can only imagine how that must hurt. Dallas is my angel-dog. Ever since, he’s been by my side, something I refer to as “Nurse Dallas”!! Thanks for the sympathy!

  2. Yikes. I hope it’s a swift ride on the struggle bus (a term I enjoyed so much that I’ll be “borrowing” it).

    I hope you don’t mind that I revised the narrative in my own brain. Dallas looks just enough like Lassie that I had him running to a neighbor and barking out, “Debbie’s on the sidewalk! Debbie’s on the sidewalk!” The whole scene took place in black and white. I apologize for being entertained at your expense. Feel better soon. 🙂

    • Domer would be ecstatic that you’re borrowing his term, “struggle bus”! I think it must be “hip” with his generation right now because they all seem to understand exactly what it means.
      I’ve said before, if Lassie had been a Sheltie, Timmy never would have fallen down that well! And even though it hurts like heck, I find myself amused at your black-and-white rendition of my topple. Thanks for sympathizing!

  3. “Sadly, I did not.”

    HA! Me as well, Debbie! In fact, my middle name should be “UNGRACE.” And not only do I trip over things, but I DROP things a lot as well.

    Looking at the photographs you shared of the uneven sidewalk is very similar to how many of the sidewalks are here in Philadelphia – cracks and unevenness everywhere! And yes, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tripped over them. Fortunately, I never fell down, but VERY close to.

    “But slamming my cheekbone onto the sidewalk and bruising a rib? That’s a whole new level of pain (even worse than childbirth!)”

    Yawza! I can feel your pain just from reading that.

    You take care, okay? And bless Dallas for staying by your side. Aren’t dogs just the most loyal companions?

    ((((((((((( You ))))))))))

    P.S. It just started snowing here again, so I’m gonna head outside and take some photos. Pray for me that I don’t slip or trip on the snow – HA!

    • Ron, DO be careful out there on those icy streets!

      For some odd reason, I’m pretty careful as a rule with ice and snow. But give me a pretty day and I’m bopping along, happy as a clam, and BOOM! Accident-City!

      The pain is waaaaay worse than childbirth, and you can rest assured I know how bad that was, ha! Of course, epidurals help there, whereas with this, I can only take Tylenol (just can’t tolerate aspirin and such). Sigh.

      Looking forward to seeing your photos — thanks for your well wishes!

  4. Our ice yesterday reminded me of the time, many years ago, when I went down a whole flight of icy stairs on my rear end. No damage done, thanks to heavy winter clothes.

    But my gosh – you could have really done some damage to your self. One of my best friends tripped on exactly that kind of sidewalk a year ago last November. She smashed up one knee and broke one arm, and was in rehab for six months. She’s just back to the point of being able to walk without a cane.

    So, I’m sorry for the injuries you do have, and exceedingly grateful you didn’t end up really hurt. It’s going to be a long recovery no matter how long it takes, because you’re going to want to be healed NOW!!! Be a little patient, and a little kind to yourself. You deserve it!

    • Oh, golly, I, too, went down an entire flight of stairs, only on my back! Fortunately, my Guardian Angel was watching over me.

      I’m sorry about your friend — that sounds awful! I know I was lucky once again because I shudder to think how bad this fall could have been. I mean, I realize I could have *died* right there.

      I’m afraid you’re right, though, that it’s going to be a LONG recovery. It’s only been four days now, and already, I find myself furious that I’m having to move slowly, unable to do things that used to come easy, and such. “Rest” really isn’t in my vocabulary, but maybe it should be, huh?? Thanks for sympathizing!

  5. Ouch! Tripple Ouch. Grab a pillow and hold it tight if you feel a sneeze or cough heading your way. It helps. I’m so sorry your took a dive onto the pavement. Dam crack! I’m sure Dallas would have run for help if you had needed to send him.
    Feel better and don’t get discourage ribs take time to cook and heal

    • Thanks for the sympathy! I think the waiting is almost as hard as enduring the pain. Bless Dallas’s heart — he’s been a true angel to me ever since, and he seems to understand when the pain becomes pretty unbearable. Dam crack is right! I don’t think I said that at the time — now seems a good time to make up for my oversight!

  6. Sounds awful, Debbie. I hope you heal quickly. Glad to know Dallas stayed by your side. I always worry about my two, thinking they’ll seize the opportunity to run off and find a better home, one that is more suitable for a royal. Sigh.

    • I think I’m just fortunate Dallas didn’t see a squirrel or a cat or another dog or the FedEx guy — the list goes on and on. Sigh. Guess that’s what we get with dogs who are fascinated by others. I hope he doesn’t think I’m BORING, ha!! Thanks for your sympathy.

  7. Debbie, I am so sorry to hear you were hurt this way. That sidewalk is dangerous. The first thing I thought was that if YOU could manage to trip over it, what happens when someone older, someone with diminished eyesight happens along? You’ve already proven that someone can get really hurt.

    • I just heard today that an older woman broke a hip walking on a different uneven sidewalk in the same neighborhood, Terri. It’s odd, you know. The doctors are quick to tell us to exercise (particularly walking), but nobody does anything to make it easier for people to do just that — without joining a health club or some such.

    • Well, yes, my first inclination would be to blame the city. However, some subdivisions, I think, go halves between homeowners and the city on sidewalk repairs. Guess a really perturbed and hurt individual could have a hey-day suing everybody!

  8. Riding the struggle bus – I like that! I’m sorry you took a tumble, but at least Dallas didn’t abandon you for the opportunity to run free! I saw sidewalks like that a lot in New Orleans. I thought for sure I would stumble over one, but didn’t (a couple of tree roots tried to get me, though!) Hugging a pillow if you have to cough might help… just try not to get sick, okay?

    • I’ve gone to GREAT lengths to avoid sneezing, Janna. I understand that pain makes one see stars!
      Perhaps it’s the shifting soil that creates such sidewalks? That, or the sheer number of hurricanes that blow overhead? At any rate, it’s NOT something I’d wish on my worst enemy — far too painful. Thanks for the sympathy!

  9. I’m the clumpiest person I know…but after years of accidents like yours I’ve learned to be very careful about where I look and how I move. I still have issues anyway. I just pulled my back out yesterday. I’m very sore today but I can move and Tylenol is working so….

    I’m afraid this is the story of our lives and as we get older we have to risk of knee and hip injuries as well as broken bones. That’s why we need that thing…you know….”I’ve fallen and I can’t get up thing”!

    Our best friend Deb is “ice”. I iced my back right away and it really helped. Today I will do heat.

    Now about you….I’m so sorry this has happened to you….and you had the nerve to go out and take a picture of the culprit!! LOL! Just looking at that picture scared me. That is my worst fear…uneven ground. It could have been so much worst. I know you hurt now but the good part is that your body will heal. Do all the self care that you can because it helps.

    Do NOT watch any comedy’s! No crying either!
    Here’s a joke to start your healing! But don’t laugh!

    God’s Healing Powers

    A deaf man, a blind man and a disabled man heard a rumor that God came down to a mountaintop to solve people’s problems. They all went to find out if it was true.

    God asked the deaf man, “Can I help you, son?”
    The man signed that he would be so happy if he could get his hearing back. God touched the man and suddenly he could hear.

    God then touched the blind man and he was able to see.

    The third man was sitting in his wheelchair with his mouth wide open in amazement. God looked at the man and asked him what he wanted.

    The man drew back and yelled, “Don’t lay one finger on me. I’m on disability!”

    • I’m so very sorry about your back, Tanya. I understand that sort of pain is pretty unbearable, too. Rest easy, my friend!
      You know, that medical alert button is looking better and better. Too many times, I’ve fallen and nobody was around to help. Having a device around my neck with a button I could push to summon aid would be most reassuring.
      I iced for three days and now am onto the heating pad. If I had to judge, I’d say the heat feels better than the cold — but that’s not strange at all, considering this cold winter weather, ha!
      Thanks for the joke — it hurts to laugh, but it brightens my mood!

  10. Ouch,Debbie. I could feel that one! How sweet of Dallas to stay by your side. It’s amazing what any of us can do without even trying. Some of the worst accidents occur in the comfort of our own homes or neighborhoods. I certainly can relate to feeling preoccupied,not noticing my surroundings and stumbling. Bruised ribs are very painful. Be sure to hold the area tight and take deep breaths every hour while awake so you don’t get pneumonia from not breathing normally!! Feel better. 🙂

    • Thank you, my former-nurse friend, for reminding me about the deep breaths — that’s a whole lot easier now that it’s been a week since my fall, ha! I think I’ve heard that most accidents happen 25 miles from home — stands to reason, I suppose, because some people never venture farther away than that. Dallas is a good boy and earned himself a cookie for taking care of Mama!

  11. Debbie,
    Sorry to hear about your tumble. I stumble around a lot too and part of my balance problem is due to my feet. My second toe is much longer than my big toe. Actually in order to keep upright, my other toes curled up for grip. My foot doc explained that in a normal foot, the big toe serves as one leg of 3 legged stool. So take off your shoes and socks and check out the alignment of your toes.

    • I suspect you’re onto something, Pat. I do have a bunion that just might be the cause of my clumsiness! However, I’ve heard that surgery is most agonizing and one is laid up for ages, so that might not be the best option. Maybe I’d just better slow down a bit and not constantly be in a rush! Thanks for sympathizing.

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