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.
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?