there is a wrong way and another wrong way. Nobody (except maybe stunt people) gets up one morning and says to themselves, “today, i believe I will trip over something ridiculous and break half the bones in my body simply for the fun of it”. I can’t think of a single normal person who hopes for such maladies. I’m sure there are others who will be glad to see November end, but I feel that I want it very badly and am anxiously awaiting the stroke of midnight tonight. While the date on the calendar has little to do with karma, fate, cosmos or other things that have little to do with anything and everything to do with nothing, they can certainly cause an immediate attitude adjustment.
I spend much of my time hiking and simple climbing over rocks and through crevices, sliding down hills and holding myself upright with trees because the trail I am on is too steep to stand otherwise. I’ve had minor incidents on these rambles, bruises and sprain or two, but it took much more simple, mundane and downright boring ways for me to actually put myself out of commission with injuries.
I have gone my entire life with only two serious falls that caused great distress over breaking things. The first happened when I was somewhere around the age of ten. My mother had just bought me these incredibly great bracelets. They were colorful and at least an inch wide each. There were three of them and they were great; I could scarcely wait to show them off at school the next day. As it happened, however, I was walking upright, as humans often do, and just fell over. Tripped over an imaginary line and fell down the patio steps. I skinned my knees and elbows pretty badly, but that was not the worst of the incident. I broke my bracelets, all of them, and actually cried over them. The second, which was much more serious, resulted from a slip in the shower and nearly destroyed my ankle. I remember threatening my (now late) husband that if he called the paramedics before I was dressed, it would be himself who needed immediate emergency care. Thanks to an exceptional Orthopedic surgeon, I can’t even tell that it was ever broken (except when going through a metal detector; that still requires much explanation and often being pulled aside for questioning).
This month, however, the record has been, like my poor body, shattered. Did I fall while climbing the treacherous trail to the white rocks? No. Was it while descending the winding rock steps to my favorite falls? No. Did I do it while standing at the edge of a 2,000 foot drop, inches from the edge, just to get the perfect photograph? No. Mayhaps by climbing the steep, shaded so usually slick hill to the cabin behind our property. No, not that either. I did it first by tripping over my niece’s Basset Hound and, just as those broken bones and stitches were healing, secondly by tripping over an open dishwasher door. Not only are these very boring ways to seriously injure oneself, it makes it hard for people who ask what happened to hold in their snickers.
They may as well laugh about it; I do. The alternative is to have a continuous pity-party and make myself feel worse than I do by reminding myself that, until clearance is given from the current orthopedic surgeon, I am unable to steady my camera with it’s heavy zoom lens with my left arm. Being the bad patient I am, when the moon was so beautiful the other night, I decided to blow off his recommendations and take some shots of the moon. As wonderful as the high of photographing something so magnificent was, the doc was right. It was excruciating. But man, oh, man, I did get some great moon and Jupiter shots! Some pain is just plain worth it.
While my broken nose is healing, my fractured ribs are less slowly trying to send me over the edge, the chipped kneecap doesn’t squeak quite so much, the progress with my shoulder is much slower. The feel of that bone moving around makes me sick and when I get sick, my ribs hurt and my collarbone threatens to go on strike and stop doing its part to hold my head where it has been all my life.
I guess the moral of this story of the wrong way and the other wrong way to fall is to just not fall to begin with. I’m convinced that if I didn’t get as much exercise as I do traipsing around the countryside, strengthening my muscles and bones, it would have been much, much worse. As it is, three broken and one chipped bone, a busted mouth, a scar worthy of acceptance into the Klingon clan scar directly between my eyes, gashed chin and a separated shoulder joint has been an eye opening experience. These events tell me that is safer to climb a steep, slippery trail with big rocks and little leverage than it is to walk across my own (flat) driveway or through my own (also flat) house. To cheer myself, I had planned to head to the mountains tomorrow, however, this being the height of hunting season, it would be just my luck (as the streak has already shown itself to be targeting me personally) to have a stray bullet find its way into my skull as I drove along the winding mountain roads. For those who laugh at the escapades, don’t feel bad. Laughter is the best way to get through difficult situations and I have no problem poking a bit of fun at myself. Have had many laughs up to now because looking back, it was pretty funny. It’s still quite painful, but is beginning to be more funny than painful. The downside to that; it hurts to laugh. I find myself impatient to get back to the difficult, dangerous climbs and trail shoots so that I will be, once again, safe and sound.