The other day, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Okay, so it was me. And nobody in their right mind would look at me and think, “Wow, she’s the spitting image of Humpty Dumpty!” (I am one of those women with a body which fat women like to call “skinny” in order to make themselves feel better.) But I fell nonetheless – not off of a wall, but off of our bed.
Now, picture this: two bright, college-educated people in their forties have a brand-new spankin’ house built, which they can furnish any way they like. When it comes to their bedroom, they’re going to think ahead thirty years and realize that they want a bed that will be easy to get in and out of well into their hundreds.
Well, whichever couple that is, it’s not us. While planning out our house’s interior, I say to J, “Hey! Our bedrooms are going to be super-small, so why not built a high-platform bed in our bedroom so we can store stuff underneath?”
To which he replies, “That makes sense.”
As a consequence, to get into our bed requires either a pole vault or a stepladder. I’ve had second thoughts about the bed ever since we moved into this house, but my third thoughts have always been, “Well, when we get old we can get the stuff out of our room and have a bed of normal height.”
What I didn’t realize was that one of the many afflictions of perimenopause includes clumsiness. Okay, so I’d read about it somewhere, but I thought it meant I shouldn’t try to balance trays of drinks on my head or try to simultaneously rub my belly and pat my head. I certainly didn’t think it would mean that one morning, after having gotten out of the bed for over seven hundred times with absolutely no incidence, that my foot would miss the stepstool.
Here’s how it plays out: I have just finished the main part of my daily core workout on the bed, and am stepping down to use one of the steps to do my morning calf stretch.
Uh, no, not that kind of calf. We’re vegans, remember? I’m talking about the part of my leg behind my shins.
I am sliding off the bed, thinking I’ve aimed my foot to land on the top step of the two-step stepstool, but I am wrong. Only my right big toe lands on the very edge of the top step. I lose my balance, and my left foot, instead of its usual graceful reach down onto the bottom step, mostly misses it. It’s already a twenty-six inch drop from the top of the mattress to the top step, making the extra nine inches down to the bottom step much more disconcerting than it might otherwise have been.
And when my left foot mostly misses that bottom step…BAM! A second later, I am on my backside after my left foot slams down on the tile floor. For the next two hours or so, I hurt from my neck to my toes. Literally.
“Blankety-blank-blank-BLANK!” I shout, bringing J immediately into the room. Because he is a mere seven feet away in the kitchen. And B grabs a piece of paper to write down the interesting new vocabulary words I have just taught him.
What do you think happens next? My husband sweeps me up into his arms and gently settles me on the bed and tells me to rest and not worry about a thing – he’ll do all my chores for me today, including the morning smoothie preparation? He brings me my mp3 player and tells me I’ll be getting breakfast in bed?
Let us dream together.
I think he was afraid to touch me. How would you feel if your independent and strong-willed spouse was sitting on the floor, spitting nails at God? (More on that in a moment.) So J just stands there, staring down at me helplessly – hoping, I’m sure, that I don’t find a way to blame him for my accident. Not that I would do such a thing. I am, after all, the Perfect Spouse who never attacks her husband in self-defense.
Do you hear my husband laughing in the background?
While alternately biting my tongue to keep my son from learning any more new words, and ranting about how much life sucks to J, I find myself feeling begrudgingly thankful to find that I have not re-broken my left arm. Three years ago, I had used my left arm to break a fall.
Instead, I broke my arm to the tune of a $25,000 surgery.
Being a masochist, this arm also decides to help out my left foot in trying to break my fall off the bed. But the impact this time is not nearly as fierce as it had been when I broke it, and in addition my right arm and butt both try to do their duty to save my head from bashing against the tile floor. Thus, even though the lovely knot of scar tissue from the surgery as well as the muscle on the underside of the arm are sore for a while, the arm is otherwise fine and dandy. And the muscle soreness disappears before lunch.
And it was all God’s fault!
Remember when I shared my revelation that from now on, nothing would really be my fault? I could have easily blamed hormones on this one, particularly because I was, indeed, P-M-S-ing. But when I’m hormonal, it’s never the hormones’ fault. It’s either my stupidity, my husband’s existence, or God.
Usually God. Because isn’t He in charge? Couldn’t He have done something to stop my from falling?
“God hates me,” I like to say at times like these. And so I do on this occasion.
“My hamstring is finally healed and my back was finally getting better,” I whine with tears threatening behind my eyelids. “I finally could dance again. But I guess I’m not allowed to be happy for more than two months at a time. God wants me to be in physical pain. I’m not allowed to be active, like I want to be.”
Yada-yada. And so it goes.
And as you can see, lightning does not strike me. Thank God, He knows the heart, and isn’t shocked off the throne when one of His children need to vent.
Anyhow. Yeah. This is all God’s fault. Because He hates me.
As I check my body for injuries, I am sure I have given myself whiplash. Think that my upper left arm is going to hurt for the next couple of days. Am positive that I’d pulled my left thigh muscle (not the hamstring; the one in the front), have undone all the healing in my lower back that I’d achieved, and have badly strained my big left toe as well as fractured my big right toe.
Exercise is worth it!
Some – or all – of those may have come true if not for the core workout, back stretches, and other exercises I’d been doing for the past several weeks. As it happens, none of them do. Well, except I do discover two days later that I pulled a muscle in my lower back, but it’s nothing debilitating.
Other than that, the worst outcome of the fall is straining the muscle on my right big toe because of how it landed on the top step of the stepstool. And that takes only three days to get back to normal.
However, all the other muscles just feel sore for a couple of days as if I’ve used them intensely and unexpectedly.
You know, like what happens when you are in a fender-bender. Or when, I don’t know, you fall off of a high platform bed.
And however much I am irritated by the condition of my toe, I am beyond relieved – and utterly grateful – that indeed, my lower back has not been re-injured. At least, not nearly to the extent I initially feared. If nothing else, this little incident showed me that the time I take every day to do my back exercises is totally worth it.
It also reminded us all that when I am having a day so bad that I am convinced God is out to get me, we can predict with nearly 100% accuracy a specific event that will occur the next day.
I am going to start my period.