And she does it again.

On a beautiful spring day, five years ago this month, a then three-year-old J and I decided to go for a walk to the post office. We were enjoying the weather, talking, and being silly by trying to step on each other's shadow. A couple of blocks from home, on a new, slightly raised section of sidewalk, I fell. I was hanging onto J's hand at the time and pulled him down with me but he jumped right up and said, "I'm fine, Mom! I'm fine!" From the concern in his voice, I think I must have turned white as a ghost because I, unlike him, was not fine.

I'd hit my shin and the lower part of my knee on the raised edge of the sidewalk and it was all I could do to not throw up right there on the spot. When the nausea receded slightly, I said, "I'm sorry, J. We're going to have to go home now. I can't make it to the post office." He came over, patted my shoulder, and said, "That's ok, Mom."

He helped me up, as much as a three-year-old can, and we started back home. I was shaking and had to stop a couple of times but I knew that if we didn't get home quickly, I likely wasn't going to make it home at all.

When we got there, I sat at my desk and checked out the damage. The leg didn't really look that bad at that point but the nausea was still pretty intense so I got on the couch and waited for the girls to get home from school.

Except for brief, painful trips to the bathroom, I stayed on that couch for the next three days.

By the fourth day, I was going out of my mind. I'd read several books, I'd looked at every magazine I could find, my TV choices were limited since J was home all day, and I couldn't sit up for any length of time because it was much too painful to have my knee bent. I turned to Ice and said, "I am so f—— bored!!"

Being the great guy he is, or perhaps realizing that everyone's safety relied on finding a way for me to sit up, he created a stool out of an old chair that would fit under my desk, allowing me to keep my leg up and straight while sitting at the computer.

It took a long time for me to heal. The bruising was horrendous, causing everyone who saw it to say, "Are you sure you didn't break something??" Ice did take me to the hospital at one point. The ER doc came out to the waiting room, looking like he thought I was wasting his time, and asked if I was able to put weight on the leg. I said yes, barely, but that the bruising was causing me (and everyone else) some concern. He said, "Show me." I did and he said, "Oh. Ok. Yeah, I think we'll x-ray that."

As it turned out, nothing was broken and it was just a matter of waiting for the swelling to go down, for the bruises to fade, for the numbness to go away.

Like I said, this all happened five years ago this month.

Today, I had to run some errands and while it wasn't all that warm outside, I decided to walk and K&J decided to come along. We went to several stores, picking up what I needed, and, at the same time, we were trying to find things I could photograph for an online scavenger hunt. I took some pictures but we came to the conclusion that we would have better luck (and feel less obvious) if we waited to take more until after the stores were closed. So we headed home.

Coming down our street, we had to cross part of the sidewalk that is (or at least, was) under construction. A section is missing, another section is covered with plywood. I thought I was being careful, stepping around the rough bits, but the next thing I knew, I was on the ground. Clumsy should be my middle name.

I banged up the very same knee but this time, just to make things more interesting I guess, I also hurt my ankle. The ankle on the other leg. Again, the nausea was intense. Again, I didn't think I was going to make it home.

Oh and I also dropped my camera. It has some nasty nicks in it but otherwise seems to be fine.

The swelling isn't as bad this time so I expect my recovery time will be a lot shorter. And, fortunately, I still have that wonderful stool.

Posted by Ripley on April 28, 2005

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