There I was, walking down the sidewalk after checking my mail, when suddenly my left ankle began to twist. I thought I’d be able to recover, but instead, BAM! I hit the sidewalk like gravity’s bitch and stayed down. It hurt. A LOT. It was one of those epic falls where I had to sit on the ground for a minute while I recovered from the shock and tried to determine how seriously I was hurt. While I was sitting there I thought, “Yes, I can totally see how this could kill an old person.” Thankfully nothing was broken, but I’d effectively scraped all the skin off my right knee.
Gnarly, huh? That scrape is about 3 inches by 2 inches wide. It’s kinda crazy how much damage can occur simply by losing your balance. Why do we wobble around on two legs like this anyway? Four legs would be much more stable. I put Neosporin on the wound and iced the ankle and I seem to be doing ok two days later, although the wound is still red and kinda gooey.
You know the worst part? I didn’t even get any mail! I suffered an injury at the mailbox gazebo for nothing!
The other funny thing: my fear of falling down is probably 20% of the reason I moved out of the midwest. It seemed like I would slip on the ice at least once every winter and land either on my ass or my face. I always walk very slowly across icy parking lots or streets because I have an intense fear of a loss of friction. One of the things I like about North Carolina is it is much more difficult to slip and fall down here. But I guess ice isn’t necessary for that after all.
The other sort of annoying thing is that a guy walked up to the mailbox gazebo when I was still in the process of getting up and composing myself, but he didn’t say anything to me. He walked off even as I was leaning against a beam of the gazebo for support trying to determine if I’d be able to wobble home on my own. He just stayed in his own little world, listening to his headphones. On one hand, it would have been embarrassing to have to cop to the fact that I’d fallen down. But on the other hand, I would have liked a bit of human sympathy and support at that moment. I mean, if I’d fallen a bit differently I might have needed him to call the ambulance for me. What would it have taken to get his attention? If I were thinner or blonder would he have helped me out? I don’t know. All I do know is that gravity will come for us all if we’re not careful!
You didn’t immediately leap to your feet saying “I’m fine” randomly to everyone near, totally embarrassed, and only then realise you were seriously hurt but still pretended you weren’t? That’s what I always do.
@Natalie – I couldn’t have if I’d wanted to. It was a pretty bad fall. I’m surprised I didn’t break anything.
“Yes, I can totally see how this could kill an old person.”
I had the EXACT same thought after a fall I took a couple months ago. My back porch is a concrete slab with two steps leading up to it, and I caught a toe on the bottom step, went sprawing across the concrete on my face, scraping all the skin off my nose and splitting my top lip. Raising my head and seeing the blood pouring onto the concrete, my first thought after determining my limbs all worked was “Yep, a few years older and this slab could’ve been my death bed.” Scary, isn’t it?
My second thought was a flood of gratitude that I hadn’t knocked out my front teeth or broken any bones.
So glad you got away with just a scrape and a sprain — and a pox on the rude guy who couldn’t be bothered to even ask if you were okay. Here’s hoping he gets a Seinfeld-like “Good Samaritan” charge some day.
I feel your pain! I slipped down the stairs of our building doing a nice slide on my butt. There were two older women walking by as I did it – they looked back, saw me on my ass – and kept going! I was fine but a ‘are you okay?’. would have been nice!
I was so mad at their indifferencr I jumped up, walked past them to the bus throwing a ‘Don’t worry, I’m fine!’ over my shoulder. They had the grace to look embarrassed. City living. Sometimes I just don’t get it.
I have broken my left foot twice, once in 1979 and then again in 2012. Different bones, same foot. Neither time was from fall. But I am extremely afraid of falling.
In January of 2007 or 2008 I was doing a college tour with my oldest. Bad snow, lots of ice. We still went. College tour guide boy held one arm, my oldest held my other, every time we hit ice on the walk. Stairs especially. Never fell, but was really worried.
I can’t imagine how scared the elderly must be, because I am pretty scared myself.
My middle, started to fall (I think going up) the steps of her high school, walking between classes, years ago. Guy behind her caught her mid fall, kept her up, set her back on her feet, collected all her books.
When they were in 8th grade another guy caught one of the other girls, who fainted, during Mass. He had a lit candle, so did she. She also had long loose hair. He kept her from hitting the ground, and somehow managed both candles with out igniting either of them. Hero boy.
A little while ago, I fell down a flight of stairs at my apartment complex carrying a box. I landed at the bottom of the stairs having ripped my trousers from ankle to hip, removed huge chunks of skin off my knees and bruised my ribs from where the box landed on me. My male neighbour who saw the whole thing stood there and stated “oh that looked really bad, that did not look good”. He then proceeded to walk around me (I was still in a ball at the foot of the stairs) and then walk up the stairs to his apartment without any further offers of assistance. And he seems super surprised now every time I blank him on the street or give him the stink eye at body corporate meetings!
I tripped over a sidewalk square only a block from my house and had the same thing happen — there was a guy coming out of his house to his car, and he could see I was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk, but he acted like he didn’t see me.
I’m in the midwest — when it’s icy out, I use a cane so I have a “3rd leg” for balance. I also have a set of cleats that I can put on my shoes. I may need them tomorrow!
Brianna Stonewall says
Was wondering if i could use this picture for a microbiology powerpoint in my class!?
Jennette Fulda says
@Brianna Stonewall – Uh, sure, that’s fine with me. Good luck with the project! And thanks for asking instead of just stealing the photo. I appreciate that.