Fat, Forty, and Falling


I may have mentioned a few months ago in my Metal Mom piece that I live in a cookie cutter, Wisteria Lane type neighborhood. Everyone notices when something is not right.  When we first moved in, my husband was putting in a raised bed garden in the backyard. The president of the homeowners association came right over and asked us if we were building a “structure.” I wanted to tell him, “Yes, we are building a small home for our servants.” I didn’t say that because I’ve learned that most people don’t speak sarcasm. Anyway, since we got that kind of attention for a garden, I was certain SOMEONE would come to my assistance while I was on my ass in the middle of my driveway mumbling “fuck” and shouting for my son. Certainly, someone would notice a short, chubby woman CRAWLING up her driveway at 7:45am. Nope. Unless your mailbox is the wrong color or you are building a “structure” no one cares. I’m lucky that the dogs alerted my son to my little accident. As much as I hate to admit this, my favorite cats were no-shows.

Like an idiot, I attempted to walk down my icy driveway to get that last little bit of trash to the curb before the truck came. I just HAD to get that tiny bag of trash out there. The world may have ended if I had to hold on to it for a week. I walked down the driveway like a moron. Usually, I walk on the grass, through the snow rather than brave the driveway. My only explanation for my moronic decision is I had not had coffee. I remember noticing dog and human footprints on the sidewalk near my driveway and thinking about how it was good that there wasn’t too much snow so that this person could walk a dog. Then, my feet slipped out from under me and I slipped and fell right on my ass in an almost cartoon-like manner. It would have been funny if it didn’t hurt so damn bad.

I felt like I would not be able to get up and walk ever again. I hit the hard ground and I felt like my spine broke. It was cold, and I really wanted to get back to the house. I swore and then yelled for my son. Then, I got too damn cold waiting, but I didn’t know if I could get up, and I was afraid to fall again, so I crawled up the driveway. At this point, the dogs that were staring out the front window and barking had alerted my son. He came outside to pick me up and take me to the ER.

Obviously, this was a painful experience that would have been embarrassing if I were the type of person to give a shit about what other people think. I don’t think my neighbors saw me fall, and if they did they should be embarrassed for not helping me. I am grateful for this experience though because I learned how to be better prepared for sudden trips to the ER.

Hospital ME
Be glad you can’t see my pits or my legs.

First of all, shave your legs and armpits at least every other day, even in the winter, ladies. You don’t want to look like a gorilla in a hospital gown like I did. It had been a good 5 or 6 days since my last shave. Create your own visual here.

If you have Elvis Presley sideburns like I do (Yes, I am a woman), you want to make sure you keep those things waxed. I’m pretty sure the doctors and nurses were staring at the sides of my face and expecting me to start singing Viva Las Vegas at any moment.

Just wear real clothes to bed. Lucky for me, I had worn sweatpants to bed and I didn’t have to go to the hospital in my snowflake jammies, or worse yet, my Bud Light jammies. (Note: I think Bud Light is vile. The pajamas were purchased for a costume party.)

DO NOT tell anyone that pain pills make you nauseous. You will get sent home with Naproxen instead of REAL pain relief. Naproxen is Latin for “will eat your stomach but do diddly squat for pain.”

Have a son, and make sure he can drive before you decide to injure yourself. A teen son can pick you up off of the floor and drive you to the hospital. A teen girl would look down at you on the ground, roll her eyes, and tell you that she hates you for messing up her plans by making her drive you to the hospital. I love my son.

Don’t be a neat freak. I just couldn’t leave the last little bag of trash for next week. I had to go walking down my driveway to the curb like I was trying to get rid of a bomb. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Try not to have a dog the size of a pony. My Great Dane almost knocked me down again when I finally got into the house. At least the cats didn’t try to hurt me more.

Be ready to pee. They are always going to ask for a urine sample. You could come crawling into the ER with a missing leg and a story about a man with a chainsaw, and they would say, “OK. We will take care of that gushing stub as soon as you give us a little urine.” What do they do with all of that pee? Are they like vampires, but they need pee instead of blood to stay alive. Oh, wait. They usually ask for that, too.

It’s OK to be chubby. I was so glad I had never been able to lose those pesky 20 pounds. My fat ass saved me from breaking my tailbone. At least, I’m pretty sure I didn’t break it, based on my symptoms. There’s no way to be certain, as it’s difficult to x-ray. Well, there is an exam they can do, but I don’t recommend it.

Say no to the tailbone exam. There’s no way to tell if you have a broken tailbone because that involves a rectal exam. There is no way to slap a cast on a coccyx bone, so why bother to be violated like this. I looked around when the option was given, and since there was not an open bar and a plate of roofies, I said no.

I think I’m going to go back to my original plan for avoiding winter injuries – just stay inside until May. If you MUST leave the house, bring ski poles with you and wear golf shoes. Also, wrap yourself in bubble wrap. It will keep you safe and it will make other people stay far away from you, except for those freaks who want to pop you.

So, have you ever fallen on ice? Were you injured?  

Any words of wisdom you can share with us?

24 thoughts on “Fat, Forty, and Falling

  1. Wow… sorry to hear of your adventure and injury. This winter is terrible! There are like these concrete piles of ice everywhere around driveways, on driveways, and beside sidewalks… and I hear summer will be hot enough to wilt us. I can’t wait for the spring flooding!!! I must say, your reflection on this experience was a very good read. Unfortunate for your experience but expressed in a manner that is so easily identified with. I hope you are feeling better soon and do as I do!! Stay inside!!! Thank you for something nice to read this polar vortex Sunday morning!!

    1. This winter has sucked out loud, Diana. I spent January on antibiotics for a stubborn UTI, February coughing my ass off with more antibiotics, and March falling on my ass. My ass needs a rest.
      I hope you are staying warm. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. OMG thank you for the great laugh this morning! (Not at you, but your wonderful writing) AND reminding me to never move out of Florida. What was I ever thinking? I only have to worry about hurricanes. And if I need the garbage taken out during one of those, I’d just open the door and throw it outside, letting the wind do it’s work!

    1. Christine, Snow and ice suck, but I wouldn’t move back to FL. After seeing California, that is where I want to be. There are beaches AND mountains and everything in between. That is where I want to spend my elderly years. STAY in Florida. You will never slip on ice there unless you go to northern Florida and it is one of those rare freaky cold winters.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. Alway sticking up for those cats of yours, even when the dogs are the heroes of the day! lol. Stupid neighbors. I was in bed one morning and I saw a picture on FB posted by a neighbor. The more I looked at it, I noticed it was my 4 year old son standing out in the driveway in his pajamas and a funny hat. I thought it was odd a neighbor would post such a thing, but then it dawned on my that it was taken just that morning and my son had apparently gone outside on his own to do whatever it is 4 year old boys do. They really are nazi about their structures too. You’re right about that! lol. Okay, hope you’re feeling better. BTW, have the boy take the trash out. It’s part of why we have kids in the first place.

    1. Don, my husband agrees with you on the cats/dogs thing. The boy usually takes it out, but he was running late for school and I didn’t want to add to his stress. Well, then he was REALLY late after he had to take me to the ER. Lesson learned.
      I have a female neighbor who texts my husband about our patio furniture blowing over and other such things. I don’t have her husband’s number.
      I hope you had a great birthday!

  4. Ouch! Glad you’re okay and survived to write this hilarious but educational post! The title immediately reminded me of a fun moment in the ER some years ago. There’s a helpful phrase doctors learn in med school: “Fat, Forty, and Female.” This trio is commonly seen in gallbladder patients. At the time I’m speaking of, two of the three applied (I’m 65 now.) Anyway, I was in the ER because there was a swelling in my groin (it’s okay – we’re not going there) where I’d previously had a graft placed in my femoral artery. I knew from experience with the graft on other leg that this could mean a couple of things, either of which would require surgery. So the on-call vascular surgeon comes down to the ER to see me and he’s accompanied by a half dozen med students. While he’s examining the swelling, which is at the place where the leg bone attaches to the torso bone, in the groin, this twerpy student with spiked hair who’s standing in the back asks me, “Do you still have your gallbladder?” I burst out laughing. I mean, really. He was trying to impress the vascular guy with his medical knowledge, right, but they didn’t call this surgeon down there to examine my abdomen, did they? And since the first thing the twerp thought of when seeing me was the three Fs, he was an ass. So I laughed and said, “Come over here so I can slap you.” His buddies started giggling and the startled surgeon looked at me for a sec, and then he rolled his eyes, like, “See what I put up with every day?” The twerp was looking at the floor. It was a moment. 🙂

    1. Candace, THAT is a funny story. What a twerp for saying that. Fat, forty, and female is where I got the idea for this title. My mom had her gall bladder out in her 40’s. So far, I still have mine, but with the way I eat butter, I bet I will get mine out some day. Maybe then they will give me real pain meds and not Naproxen. 🙂
      Thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks, Millie. This has always been how I deal with things — humor. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Be careful out there!!

  5. OMG you poor thing!! At least you have the boy.. my husband would have made me drive my busted ass to the hospital myself. You know…like all 3 delivery days. Glad you’re going to live though because you know your work around here isn’t done.. 😉

  6. “Fat, Forty and Falling” — you forgot to add Funny.
    Next time throw the last little bit-o-trash bag down to the curb. On second thought, have the boy do that. You might lose your balance. And fall.
    Again with the Like button.

    1. Dear Maizie, I need to get that damn like button TODAY. I will figure it out. Right! That is why I had a son. If he weren’t running late for school I would have had him do it.

  7. OMG, I’m glad you’re okay. I don’t know when this happened, but I’m glad you’re on the mend. I’m impressed that you’re able to write about this with such humor. From the neighborhood association asking about your structure to your Elvis sideburns, you made me laugh. I had a fall yesterday as well. My first shower post bunion surgery and the frigging “durable” medical equipment shower chair collapsed. As I went down on my ass to the bottom of the shower, I cracked my head on the tiled wall. So yesterday, in addition to surgical pain, I probably had a mild concussion and my head was killing me all day. Oh man, I hope it’s not time for us to get those life alert systems. It’s not as much fun to make fun of the “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials if I’m the old lady on the floor!

    1. Holy crap, Parri!! Are you OK? Durable medical equipment isn’t what it used to be. Geez. Is it time for us to be Golden Girls already?

  8. Oh ouch Lisa and I’m sure it still hurts like hell! I’m always thinking of ‘what if I GET IN AN ACCIDENT! My Mom and the nuns ingrained it into me about the clean underwear thing. Why do we do this to ourselves. Gotta go sharpen my razor blades!

    1. Hi Debb,
      It was doing better until I over did it a bit today cleaning out the pantry.
      YES. Shave every other day. I will always remember this now.

  9. OMG, poor you. But hilarious. Hope you’re better now. I need to take that shaving advice. I’ve had some close calls these last icy weeks.

    1. Thanks, Liz. I’m doing much better, but now my stomach is very sore from all of the damn Naproxen. I have decided to just live with butt, hip, and back pain rather than take that stomach stripping garbage. I took it with food, too. UGH. I’m getting old.

  10. wow!!! What a story and what great comments! I turned 50 this Feb and I watched every step I took, especially the last two weeks before my birthday. You see, in our church there are many of us who were turning 50. Days before one man’s birthday, he broke his first bone. That bone behind the shin bone on his left leg. Months later, another man, days before HIS 50th birthday broke his first bones. That obscure behind bone on his left leg and his right shoulder. I, also, have never broken a bone and was definitely walking on bubble wrap! Thankfully, I made it thru safely. (the others who have turned 50-they had broken something previously. Odd? yes!)

    1. I’m going to wrap myself in bubble wrap now. I’m 43. I’ve got 7 more years to avoid falling and breaking something. Plus, I have pets who live to trip me, especially when I’m walking in the kitchen. I’m doomed. 🙂

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