VIEW FROM THE GUTTER
5 July 2003
Everyone was surprised that there were no photos.
I explained that pictures of me lying in the gutter bleeding were now old hat. It’s been done.
Yes, I fell again. I’ve been telling everyone that Jeri pushed me down, but that’s not quite accurate.
It happened while we were getting ready to go to Santa Barbara. Walt was trying to move our old Toyota into the carport, but the motor wouldn’t start. He thought he’d just release the brake and push it, but he wasn’t fast enough and it started rolling down the driveway.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had to push a car, but I used to do it all the time and I reacted instinctively, forgetting that I have a non-functional arm and a banged up knee. I started to hold the car with one hand. Jeri, behind the wheel of the other car, shouted “Don’t try to push that with your bad arm!” and leaped out to help, as sthe Toyota was rolling into the street.
I backed up to give her room and started to walk around her. Just at that point, her foot slid back a bit, I tripped over it, and saw the concrete hurtling up in front of me. Again. In that split second, all sorts of thoughts—will I hurt the shoulder again? Don’t break my wrist. Don’t knock out teeth. Don’t break glasses. Somehow I managed to miss most vital parts and fell flat on my chests, my forehead banging on the concrete.
It took a second to assess all body parts and decide I was OK. Walt and Jeri helped me up and I went into the bathroom to clean off. I had the most strange reaction—I didn’t really hurt any more than I’ve been hurting for 2 weeks, but I burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying.
It was the feeling vulnerability, I think. The sudden fear of walking anywhere. Not wanting to leave the house. I was shaking and crying and it took a few minutes, the time it took to clean the dirt out of my newly scraped knee, to get the tears under control.
The feeling lasted most of the day. We got into the car to drive to my mother’s and every time I closed my eyes, I could feel myself falling again. When arrived in Santa Barbara and everyone got ready to sleep for the night, I was propped up in a soft chair, my leg elevated (again). The lights went off and I was suddenly wide awake. When I tried to sleep, I was falling again.
I ended up working on the Internet until about 3 a.m., by which time I was too exhausted to worry. I slept 2 hrs before waking up.
When morning came and we were going to go out to the supermarket and other stores, I found myself uncomfortable being in crowds and crossing streets, getting in and out of the car.
But I seem to be OK physically. My whole body is sore and my knee is hurting again (though there doesn’t seem to be any more fluid than I had before). I was complaining today that I didn’t understand why I was having so much time just moving around today…and then realized it was because my whole body is sore. But no additional damage, thank, goodness.
We’re here with the family. Tom (who turns 33 today) is hosting his annual big beach barbecue and it’s nice that everyone is here. Our first day here (Friday) was a laid-back day. I managed to get a nap in, and then we watched Tom and his group finish a round of golf.
Then home for pizza and setting up chairs on the deck of Walt’s sister’s house, where we watched fireworks.
Now I’m going to limp back to my chair again and hope I can sleep better tonight.