I just put one innocuous line on Facebook yesterday, and now, apparently, I have to explain to the world how I broke my ribs. All I wrote is “I broke most of my ribs on the right side. Hiccuping hurts.” That’s all. Eleven words! (By the way, “Webster’s” says you can spell that with one or two Ps. “Word” only wants two Ps, and “Mac” only wants one. It’s hard to win with spelling.)
So here’s the story: I was getting take-out from a sushi place. Picture this now as I explain, because you need to see it in your head. I had a plastic grocery bag of sushi. It was all in separate Styrofoam containers that never stay closed, and since the bag was plastic and not paper, the containers were lying sideways no matter how I arranged it. So, I was trying to be careful not to spill anything. I had a liter bottle of Sake in a paper bag. Victor wanted me to put it in the plastic bag also, but I knew that would make all the sushi fall out of the Styrofoam for sure, so I carried the bottle against my chest held by my crooked arm, with the plastic bag of sushi over my right wrist.
Are you following?
I ALSO had a large letter that I was mailing my son for the second time because my address book keeps morphing to an earlier version for some reason. (It was a larger envelope, because I had to fit in it the old envelope with the wrong address inside. I have re-mailed letters and packages continually since Thanksgiving, but that is off-topic.) ALSO, I was checking my phone to see if I got any messages, since phones have to be turned off in the sushi place and I’m compulsive. I’m sure that comes as a complete surprise to all of you.
Here’s where my clumsiness enters the picture. The sidewalk was uneven. I tripped on the lip of a higher-than-usual block of sidewalk and fell flat. It all happened super fast. I don’t seem to have the reflexes of a normal person who would have put out an arm to break her fall. I just came down hard on my bent arm holding the extremely hard glass bottle. Luckily, although my arm and elbow were really bruised and swollen, nothing was broken there. Unfortunately the bottle was just about the right length to cover most of my ribcage on the right side. Boy. That hurt. It really did.
Victor, who was, you may be interested, carrying nothing, was heading in the other direction to the car. I was heading to the mailbox. He was about a block away when he heard me making sort of whooping noises on the sidewalk. He was embarrassed.
“Get up!” he yelled.
“My ribs!” I answered.
“Get up!” he yelled.
Victor gets embarrassed by human failings, but only in his own family. He’s totally sympathetic to any one else on earth. (Okay, maybe not Hugo Chavez or Kim Jung Il, but everyone else.) He tromped over to me and told me that I was fine and to get up and mail the letter. I asked him to hold all the stuff, but he had already pivoted and stormed off in the other direction and left me there trying to whoop as quietly as I could on the sidewalk. I got up and hobbled to the mailbox and mailed Tim’s letter again. I walked slowly making these little whooping noises so as not to attract attention. Were I in an empty field or something, they would have been really loud whooping noises.
By the time we got home, my right knee was getting blue and was about double the size of the left knee. I had a weird random bleeding spot on the side of my right foot. My elbow was bruised and bleeding and below the elbow was getting bluer and bluer and swelling up. I thought I broke the arm too, but it was better in the morning. Just bruised. Naturally, all this happened after the doctors’ offices all are closed and I have to be dying to go to an ER. I think you can all understand that.
Okay, the end of this story is that really not much is all that bad. When ribs are broken, they don’t do anything but wait for them to heal. My arm wasn’t broken, just sore. My knee was just sore. Everything is fine except for the fact that I make annoying whooping noises whenever I laugh, hiccup, breathe anything but shallowly, try to get into or out of a chair or bed, reach for anything or try to bend over to say, fill the dishwasher. Everything is a new experience now. Taking a shower entails raising your arms to undress and to wash your hair. Drying off entails getting the towels off a high hook and bending over and putting your arm back to dry your back. Drying your hair is an adventure. Then you have to get dressed again, and you haven’t even begun your day yet.
I’m a really clumsy person, always have been. Ask anyone; I’m always covered in bruises. Just this past trip to Africa, my legs were so bruised from the crazy jeep driving over the savannah chasing exotic wild animals, that I was actually taken aside and asked to confess to abuse. I was wearing shorts! If I wanted to hide abuse, I certainly would’ve worn long pants, even in the heat of Africa. Victor is incapable of hurting anything. He even uses 3 X 5 cards and paper cups to relocate the nasty insects and spiders we find in the house, rather than see them get hurt.
When I’ve had physicals, my doctors have routinely asked me quiet but probing questions. I’m all bruised up because I’m clumsy. I have no proprioception. I bang into everything because I really don’t have a good idea where my body is in space. It’s a thing. Really. Ask my trainer, Amy. She just shakes her head every time she sees me and asks me how I got the latest bruise. She’d be surprised if I didn’t have a new bruise each workout. Just ask her!
So none of you should worry. I’m fine. Time heals all wounds, as they say. Thank you all for your concern. (I should also learn to keep my mouth shut and appreciate the breadth of reach that Facebook has. That right there was what you’d call an eye-opener!)