The day I fell

I considered making a list of resolutions and sharing them here. I even thought of funny ways to say them that I’m sure you would have enjoyed. But I’m going to assume that you’re either so impressed with all the resolutions you’ve already read, or so sick of them, that my version would fall into one list or the other and be forgotten. So instead, I’m going to share a story.

About a year ago I was taking a shower. I shave in the shower, though I admit it’s a bit risky. I wouldn’t have admitted that before, but I can no longer argue otherwise. I perched my razor in the little corner where we keep our shampoo. I even tucked it in nicely behind the shampoo so it wouldn’t fall. It was a system I’d used for years with no problem. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me that it would be bad to pick up the shampoo.

I heard two clacks. I knew what they were, because I also felt the tiny vibration of a razor hitting the floor and breaking apart. I even felt it bounce off my heel. I thought to myself that I shouldn’t move my feet until I could get the shampoo off my face and look to see where the blade had landed. That was the last sane thought I had. I found the blade somewhere in the middle of the red whirlpool at my feet.

I don’t like blood. I just stared at it for a moment, confused and unconvinced that it even was blood I was seeing. Nothing hurt. But then I remembered that little bounce, and I glanced at my heel. Now before I tell you how I reacted, I need to explain the actual injury. It will make a difference, I promise. In my defense, this was no little scratch. I had somehow taken a chunk of skin from the inside of my heel where I didn’t even know a chunk existed. But! I would say the entire injury was about the size of a dry pinto bean. So don’t feel bad for me. Feel free to laugh. I put my thumb into the hole in my heel and sat down.

I was sitting in blood, thumb in my heel, with hot water raining down. I saw stars. I’m not sure why they call them stars, though. If you’ve ever seen them, then you know that they move. If you were able to appreciate it when you were in the condition to see them, you might even say they were pretty. Like fireflies. I did not think they were pretty. The spot that had previously felt like an innocent bounce against my skin turned to a searing pain as soon as I saw it, as if the panic of seeing blood wasn’t enough. My body was telling me that I was dying, and for a moment I was fool enough to believe it.

I explained to myself, not kindly, that I was being stupid. I had, after all, been through two C-Sections. No one had ever died of a heel injury, except perhaps Achilles. All I had to do was turn off the water and get out of the shower. I tried to do that but found that I was too small to reach up and turn off the water without taking my other hand off my heel—not an option. I didn’t figure out how to partially stand and do it until the water started turning cold. I hate cold almost as much as I hate blood. By then, I had begun to berate myself out loud.

I was fully aware of how ridiculous the situation was, and I was helpless to improve on it. I crawled, yes, crawled like I was dying, out of the shower and curled up on the rug, still holding my injury and still seeing stars. I considered calling my son to help me, but I had enough pride left to prevent that. Thankfully, I could reach my towel, which I draped over myself to stop the shivering. Noah did find me, and what he saw must have looked much worse than it was, because he went white. I told him not to panic. Then I laughed like a maniac at the irony. That didn’t help either of us. He asked if he should call 911, and that’s when I realized I had to be the most pathetic thing in the world at that moment.

I don’t know if I was laughing or crying as I crawled out of the bathroom. I know I left a trail of blood that still didn’t make sense to me. Gabe had somehow managed to hear that I was dying, so he came in to see. Noah tried to herd him out, with whispered promises that he would try to keep me alive. I know for certain I laughed then. I considered calling 911 just to cap it off. But no. I got up, sort of. I never took my thumb from that hole. But I managed to get dressed enough to face my sons. I even figured out how to hop around while holding the injury. I wasn’t ready to let it go. I even considered just living that way until it healed.

I hopped out of my room and onto our tile floor. I have great balance, so don’t worry. I never fall down. Except when I land on Gabe’s lasso, which I did at that moment. It slid forward, taking my foot with it, and I landed flat on my tailbone. That brought the list of injuries up to five. Heel, tailbone, wrist, back, cheek. (I bit my cheek when I landed.) And I still hadn’t taken my thumb out. Not even to stop my fall. It’s a testament both to how special my boys are, and to how bad I must have looked, that neither of them laughed. Noah said, “Mom, please let me call 911 now,” and Gabe said, “Get Dad!” Dad was at work, but I appreciated the thought.

I survived, against the odds. I no longer perch my razor in the shampoo spot, but I do still shave in the shower. There’s a little pink scar on my heel to remind me that it takes very little to turn me into an idiot. My sons still don’t laugh at that story, and that is a reminder of how blessed I am. If I were to make a resolution, it would be to be more like them. To be able to see someone in very little trouble but making big trouble from it, and not laugh. To be willing to help those whose problems may seem smaller than my own.

Happy New Year!


~ by Rachel McMahon on January 2, 2013.

2 Responses to “The day I fell”

  1. […] The day I fell. […]

  2. Ack! That makes me cringe!! How sweet of your sons, though!

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