Sunday, May 18, 2008

Diary of a Bruise

A week ago, last Saturday, after that long, strange week and a pleasant day of shopping with my husband, I came home and slipped down my stairs.

I don't know if it was because my hands were full, or because I hadn't pulled my slippers over my heels, or because the stairs are very narrow and steep and slightly crooked, but for whatever reason, my foot slid over the lip of the top stair and down. I jettisoned everything I was carrying and grabbed for purchase, stopping about mid-way down. Too stunned to speak I turned and crawled back up my stairs, walked into my bedroom and lay face-down on the bed. My husband, who had come running at the clatter brought me an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Among the things I had thrown into space were my camera (fortunately in its case) and a small box of earring barbells which had scattered like confetti on the way down. While I lay there he went an picked up. After the whimpering stopped I was able to gauge that nothing was broken. Somehow I had managed not to hit my coccyx, but had instead inflicted all damage on my left buttock with nary a mark on the right. An hour after the accident two purple circles had blossomed, each about the size of my palm. The first inside (for want of a better term) the cleft and the other along the bottom. By Sunday these two had embraced each other to form a lurid Pangaea, barbell shaped cupping along the bottom of my buttock. By Wednesday the purple had striated into rings of plum and crimson not unlike the coloring on a purple plum that is not quite ripe. Finally, yesterday, there was a third color, a weak yellow in the center, reminding me of nothing so much as an illustrated topographical map, "Notice children that the dark purple indicates 0-50 meters above sea level, the pink is 50-100 and the yellow is 100 meters and above," across the parchment of my ass.

The pain too abates. Driving is the worst. The comfy seats, designed to contain and cushion are too much pressure. At work I perch to the right on the front edge of my chair, left leg crossed over right, acant on a small pillow I brought for the purpose. Sleep too has been interrupted. I am a side sleeper by nature, and I usually begin on my left facing my husband's direction. Instead I must now lay on my right, clinging to the edge of the mattress, or try to find a comfortable position on my stomach. And woe to me if I shift badly in the night. Switching sides did not seem an option as we switched after our move and that too was strangely discordant and sleep disturbing. Plus all our totems and tools of ablution are arranged. To rearrange would cause more trouble than it would solve.

Walking has not been too bad, a slight pressure from the swelling. It feels, strangely, as though I am peeling away from a vinyl seat in summer, but the tugging goes deeper than the skin. Exercise is not an option--how would I perform hip lifts and squats? I thought of trying to do basic curls, but what would be the point without the rest? The most pain is still to the touch; it remains a sharp pain, not yet dulled as the color has dulled, just diminished in intensity.

What is most strange is that I feared that one of us would slip on those narrow and uneven stairs from the day we moved in and have always treated them with more caution than I would like to take when rushing about. Is this a self-fulfilling prophesy, as a friend suggested? As falls go, it could have been so much worse. I could have broken my tail-bone. I could have fallen forward into space to careen into the picture of St.Paul's Cathedral at the bottom. I could have fallen backward and whacked my head or snapped my neck on the stair. All things considered I am very lucky.

But it makes one think...that we are all a footstep away from disaster. For the mind already morbidly inclined it has induced a kind of paranoia that I am struggling to ignore.


musing said...

Itai! Itai! So sorry to hear about your fall. I'm glad it wasn't any worse than it was.

Art said...

Wow. That sounds painful. And scary.

It's a long way down those stairs.

I hope you recover fully soon.