Saturday, June 27, 2009

Joey Falls Down

I took a fall this winter. It was February 3rd and it seemed to me a fluke thing, ironic really.
I was going to the North Park skating rink to have the family's brand new ice skates sharpened. Julia was interested in skating and the plan was to get everybody their very own skates and go to North Park for their Wednesday night family deal.

I dropped Julia off at preschool and located the skating rink. The parking lot was snow covered. It was a bitter cold morning, maybe 17 degrees. I gingerly picked my way through the parking lot, across a road, and down a steep sidewalk to the rink. I carried a bag with a pair of men's hockey skates and a pair of women's and kid's figure skates. It was pretty heavy, but I was extra careful because everything was icy.

Only one pair of skates needed sharpened - my husband's. Three dollars and about twenty minutes watching an old man called "Boots" sharpen the skates, I was on my way back to the car.

I walked in the crunchy snow to negotiate the icy sidewalk. I remember thinking that no one would mistake me for a skater because I looked like Kramer from Seinfeld every time my foot slipped.

Then about ten feet into the parking area I fell flat on my back. It felt like my whole body hit at the exact same time. The pain in my butt, tailbone and lower back was immediate and crushing.

My head hit the ice so hard it made a circular impression. I tried to get up and couldn't. I rolled into the fetal position and became aware again of how cold it was. I stayed there wondering if perhaps I was going to get frostbite.

Two cars drove by as I writhed on the side of the road. The third, a white SUV, stopped. A woman named Heidi got out and helped me to my car. She called my husband and an ambulance.

I was roasting hot and thought I was going to throw up. The ambulance guy gave me an idiot test which I apparently passed. A police man came and watched me from his car so Heidi could leave while I waited for Tim.

I spent the rest of the day in the emergency room. My tailbone and ego were severly bruised.  UPMC Passavant nurses said almost everyone in the ER that day had fallen on ice.

We still haven't used those ice skates.

Since it's summer now, you'd think I'd be safe from hurting myself while walking. Not quite.

Today, I fell in a parking lot after failing to identify and negotiate a faded parking cone that was covering a five inch high plastic drain pipe. As I fell I thought, "I wonder what I tripped on. I'm not going to fall, I'm going to catch myself."

Then there was the gravel contacting my hip and elbow. There was pain, but not so much as the winter fall. I was able to get up and go about the rest of my day while puffy bruises formed.

I've always known I'm not coordinated or anything like nimble. This seems ridiculous even for me.