Just call me “Gimpy”

Rather than working on my novel (which I have unfortunately and unavoidably had to put aside for a few days), I am writing a post about my current position: lying in bed with my right foot elevated atop a pile of pillows and freezing from sitting under a bag of ice, hoping and praying that my big toe is only sprained and not broken.

How did I wind up in this sorry predicament, you ask?  I fell out of bed this morning.  That’s right, I actually fell out of the bed, something I have not done for at least twenty years.  I was half asleep, so I can’t be positive, but I think my foot was tangled up in the sheets, so the momentum of my attempt to stand up was suddenly halted, throwing me on to the ground, rather than allowing me a graceful maneuver into a standing position.  My bed is quite high, too, so I had a long way to fall.

The moment of my fall was a sort of paradox: it all happened so suddenly, and yet time seemed to slow down in a fashion in which I knew what was happening, and even what was going to happen, but I was completely powerless to stop it.  It was like looking in the rearview mirror and realizing that the person swiftly approaching behind you is not going to slam on the brakes in time to avoid a collision: you know it’s going to be bad, and all you can do is close your eyes and wait until it’s over.

Being sick or injured when you have someone to take care of you makes the bad time pass more easily.  When I was a kid, if I got sick or hurt, my mom would nurse me back to health with the same recipe no matter what the ailment: Tylenol, ginger ale, chicken soup, toast and a stack of books.  If I was hurt, she would check in on me every half hour to make sure the bleeding and/or the pain had stopped.  If I was sick for more than a day and getting kind of ripe from lying in bed, she would draw my bath, full of bubbles and good smells.

That said, it sucks being alone when you’re sick or injured.  Sure, there are some emotional aspects to having someone take care of you that are infinitely beneficial, but in this case, I’m talking more from a practical standpoint.  Because I live alone at the moment, I have to take care of myself, and I think I may have aggravated the sprain even more just by collecting the supplies to start the healing process: I had to walk to the kitchen for some ice, walk to the medicine cabinet for some Advil, walk BACK to the kitchen for some water, all before walking back to my bedroom to situate myself.  Then I realized that the whole reason behind my initial attempt to get out of bed in the first place was because I needed to pee.  You see where this is going.  If the phone rings, I’ll have to stand up to get it.  If the cat doesn’t stop meowing, I’ll have to stand up to pick her up and hug her.  I have to be completely self-reliant for the duration of my injury.

I’ve suffered a few bad injuries in my life, but none life-threatening.  In high school, I sprained my ankle and was reduced to crutches for a month.  In kindergarten, I fell from a tree and scraped my face on a stone birdbath on the way down.  A couple of years ago I sliced my finger open trying to negotiate an acorn squash.  Again in kindergarten, I slammed my head on the headboard of my bed (my brother and I were running down the hall to get the biggest leap onto the bed.  I missed.).  I’ve had cuts, bruises, scrapes, bloody noses, sprains, strains, boo boos, and most likely a few unchecked concussions.  But I’ve never broken a bone.  Hopefully I haven’t broken that personal record now (pun intended).

What is the worst injury you have ever sustained?  What is the stupidest injury you have ever sustained?  I think I can safely say that falling out of bed and spraining a toe tops my list of stupid injuries…


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. raggray
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 10:55:27

    It may sound like a stupid injury, but I am sure that it hurts. It sounds as though you are treating it correctly by icing and elevating. I hope your pain subsides quickly. Didn’t Mike have a “stupid toe break” last year?
    In a related vein, last week poor Max fell out of a high bed in the middle of the night and a deep sleep onto a wood floor–WHUMP! He just sat there with his ears pinned back and a pathetic stunned expression. (No injuries)

    Hurts, it does! At least I’m fairly certain it’s not broken – there’s hardly any swelling, and no major bruising.
    Mike did indeed have a “stupid toe break” last year. Within a minute of my telling him not to run in the house (“You’ll hurt yourself!” “No, I won’t!”) he slammed his foot into that monster ottoman in the TV room.
    Poor Max! That is definitely a jarring way to wake up.


  2. Thom
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 21:30:11

    Poor Max!

    My worst injury is clearly the lack of oxygen during birth. 🙂

    At least the doctor didn’t misuse forceps and give you Sly Stallone Slurred Speech Syndrome.


  3. that girl
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 23:37:58

    When I was 5, I scraped my chin on the sidewalk after I decided it would be a good idea to ride a skateboard on my stomach.

    When I was in 7th grade, I sprained my finger playing basketball with some boys.

    Most recently, I was acting like a goofball and accidentally kicked my own hand! It ended up hurting for a really long time but it never bruised or anything. After about a month of not being able to move my fingers properly, I went to the doctor and learned that I probably had tendinitis. At least it wasn’t broken!

    I hope you get better soon!

    I think I’ve had both a scraped chin and a jammed basketball finger…not fun at all. I must say, though, that I don’t think I’m talented enough to kick my own hand. Be sure to save that story for fancy dress parties.
    Thanks for the good wishes – it’s feeling a bit better already!


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