So I have this fear of falling. Most people have it. It’s totally normal. But I also once had a really bad fall because my feet grew too fast and so I carry around the memory of that bad fall in a locket of memories just under my skin. And whenever I encounter a staircase, which is daily, the locket of the memory of the fall opens up and I relive it. I talk openly about this fear because I own the fear and I am in charge of it.
I can go up a flight of stairs at almost the speed of a person with no history of a fall. But going down the stairs I take my time and I freely tell others that are with me, “going slowly because I once fell.” And people get it. Because, like I said, this fear of falling is common and normal.
So yesterday I fell. And as I was in the middle of the fall I remember thinking, in addition to the obvious, “oh fuck”, “please don’t be bad!” My left ankle wobbled out and I lost my balance and crash landed hard on some brick stairs on my right knee. And what really sucks is that I shattered beyond repair a brand new pair of $5 sunglasses that I had fallen in love with. But I got up, dusted the grass off of my ass and was able to move and walk. I was ok.
I walked up to my friends house where this happened and told her laughing, because I needed to go ahead and make this funny and not traumatic, “Did you see me totally just bite it in your front yard?” She hadn’t seen me and was concerned. We looked at my knee and saw that it was scraped but other than that it didn’t seem that bad. And again, there wasn’t much pain.
The day went on and I was aware of my knee and then my ankle hurting and by the time I was sitting in traffic to go home it was in full on, “OW OW OW OW OW OW” mode. When I got home I lifted up my pants leg and the bruise was award winning on my knee and the swelling on my ankle was getting pretty big.
I decided to take it easy for the night, Mother continued to help with W (thank goodness!) and figured that by this morning things would be less swollen. Except the opposite was true. I woke up to a navy tree stump in place of a knee cap and my left ankle was a huge ball of a dark bruise. Pain was like nothing I had met before.
I knew that I needed to go to a doctor. And oh man, what a HUGE difference it is in knowing you need to go to a doctor and then being ABLE to go to a doctor because you have insurance. I am so used to soldiering through all kinds of pain. Of letting pharmacists and the internet diagnose me- and that can only get you so far. It felt like such a massive luxury to be able to walk into a doctors office and say, “I fell and I need to see someone” and then be seen and treated.
Here is some bit of random from the doctor’s office:
1) I have lost more weight and am now 4 pounds below the weight I was when I had my FET
2) I am still six feet one inches tall and two nurses found this to be, “so cool”
3) injuries on both left and right legs from a fall are not so common and yet today 3 people ahead of me had falls and presented with injuries on both left and right legs
The verdict is that I have a level 4 sprain in BOTH my left ankle and my right knee (not grade 4- at this point we do not think I have torn any ligaments). I was fitted with super fancy and uncomfortable immobilizers that do not come in plaid and given crutches to use as support.
(But the real support is coming from Mother who is stepping in to be W’s everything while I grimace and stay flat on my back trying not to move. She also got me skittles.)
Basically, even though I know accidents happen, I feel like a super klutz.