Last week, I fell while walking.
I had met up with a symphony friend in Del Mar, and we headed for an easy stroll along the cliffs overlooking the beach. One thing lead to another, and I – invariably – tripped over something. Yes, I have never admitted to being the most coordinated person out there.
And it was one of those amazing falls – I was so close to catching myself….. I almost had my legs under me a number of times, SO CLOSE – before forward momentum and an unstoppable force in the form of my torso decided to prove that Newton’s Laws of Gravity were in fact correct.
I bit it – HARD.
And I now have a perfect understanding of how someone can loose consciousness when they have extreme pain.
Because, on my way down to proving Newton’s Laws of Gravity, there was an object – in the form of a tennis ball sized rock – between my right lateral quad, and the ground. I certainly didn’t see it.. and wouldn’t ever intentionally aim for a rock. It was just there – with my name on it.
And I felt it.
Yes…. I have raced Ironman…. ripped out an ill-placed belly button piercing during a botched snow tube ride (ouch)… and even broken my back in a bike crash. NEVER have I felt pain like this…. when my thigh connected with the rock.
I felt the rushing in my ears, saw the blackness as it pressed around my eyes, and struggled to maintain my dignity – which was silly, as I had lost all of it during my fall. My world turned black and white, and tunneled and I focused on the distance waves to maintain consciousness. Gradually color returned, my pinprick view expanded, and the blackness was replaced by a throbbing unlike what I have ever felt before.
HOLY MOTHER F*CKER, PIECE OF $HIT, BLOODY F*CKING HELL &**$!(*(!!#*&*&#@)@!*&*!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Waves of nausea mixed with pain passed through my body, and I spat up bits of my breakfast.
I’m not sure how long we stood there – both of us were shook up. But gradually we gimped back towards the Coastal Highway. I was having a hard enough time not passing out. The pain was unlike anything I have EVER experienced, and I discovered that I could not flex my quadricep muscle at all…. It was as though I had no quad…. bending my knee was impossible, and it was all I could to to keep from falling.
Long story short – after icing my lateral quad and making a panicked call to my nurse friend, I decided to head to the nearest Emergency Room. It feels SO ODD to check myself into a hospital for something as trite as a fall.
BUT…. but….It needed to be done.
I was concerned about my coumadin and how being on blood thinners would affect my body after such a hard impact, but more importantly – I started going into shock. Bleeding and pain will do that, I guess. That much I realized. I needed help.
There’s something very humbling about going to the doctor for what amounts to falling – especially at 30. I joked with my nurses that, I felt like an old person. After going over my medication list, she sympathetically commented – You’re not. You just take medications that typically old people take.
Um… thanks? I think??
I hope she was referencing the coumadin.
But this is how it is. This is my new reality – When I fall, I’m more susceptible to serious injury and medical complications.
I can’t change it. I hate it. And denying that I’m upset would just deny how I feel about it. Honestly… it sucks. I trip while walking – and because I’m taking blood thinners for a condition caused by lupus – my body bleeds 10X more than it normally would, and I go into shock and nearly pass out as a result. This is why I can’t yet bring myself to ride my bike outside. There are ALWAYS risks – with everything we do. But that’s not one I’m willing to take…. not yet, anyway.
But I’m also really lucky. I understand this…. don’t like it…. but I understand it. And I’m working hard to change my reality, and embrace the many things that I CAN do, and that I still have.
Yes, I have a new found capability of sprouting massive bruises…. But I’ve also got a wonderful family, a fantastic support system, my sense of humor has largely remained in tact, I love to play the violin, have fun splashing around the pool swimming mad lap after mad lap, express myself through writing and photography, and have two kitties that – even though they appear to hate each other – actually can get along.
Six days post fall – I’m feeling better. If not slightly wary of walking. But I know I’ll be back out there at some point.Perhaps tomorrow. Yeah – tomorrow…. I’ll play it safe and swim today. We’ll see. For now, the saga continues…