Ever been to Iceland?

I narrowly escaped certain death yesterday. At least, I’d like to think so. I am a little battered, but I have emerged triumphantly from my fiery trial . Well, not exactly a fiery trial, I suppose, but it WAS very hard. Literally hard, like wood.

I fell down the stairs.

Not my own stairs, oh no. That wouldn’t be public enough. I had to do it in someone else’s home, in front of at least fifteen witnesses. And I didn’t know a single one of them, except for PG who was going down the stairs behind me, pretty much helpless to do anything except watch me fall.

You see, we were on the Vancouver Heritage House Tour, which we do every year. We pay some money, we get a guide book for a ticket, and between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm, we can wander around some really amazing private homes. All the homes on the Tour are heritage homes that have been lovingly restored by their owners, who are then generous enough to open their homes for one day of the year to people like me who adore peeking into other peoples’ lives. Over the past 10 years, we have seen some truly wonderful homes, some extremely large and elegant, some small and cozy, some churches, some apartments, even once a heritage barn that someone had restored and was happily inhabiting. It’s great fun and a day I really enjoy.

And then I fell down the stairs in this one house.

I’m not entirely sure what happened, other than my foot obviously slipped as I was descending. Of course I tried to catch myself, and there was this horrible moment when I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to, that I was really going to crash land in the middle of this long lineup of people. I landed hard on my left – uh – haunch would be the best way to describe the spot. Right about where the left rear pocket of my jeans is. Then I bounced down a few more stairs – five maybe? – whacking my left elbow and hand as I went. PG said my head whipped back and he was sure I hit it on the stairs too, but I didn’t. (Thank you Pilates for strong core muscles!) I came to rest against the legs of the woman in front of me in the lineup.

I lay there stunned, and the woman I’d just about knocked downturned quickly and asked immediately if I was all right. I said I thought so and asked her if she was okay herself, as I had no idea how hard I’d hit her. She was fine, and then I heard other people all around me gasping and asking if I was okay. PG was right there looking into my face, telling me not to move yet. The first pain was intense, but it was already receding a bit, so I was pretty sure nothing was broken.

After a couple of minutes, PG helped me up and walked me slowly and carefully the rest of the way down the stairs into the next room. Then I started to sweat and I felt like I was going to pass out. I recognized the feeling immediately (nice change from the last time I felt that way, about five years ago, when I didn’t know what that feeling meant and I pitched over at PG’s sister’s house for no apparent reason), sat down on a little table in the room, and put my head between my knees. I stayed there for a while, dizziness coming and going, talking quietly with PG and telling all who enquired that yes it hurt, but I was going to be fine once this dizziness left me. Very suddenly, I said, “Air! I need to go outside! Now!” PG again walked me carefully outside, where I plopped myself on the back stairs of the house, head between my knees, still sweating. Very slowly, I started to feel less shaky and dizzy and sweaty. PG kept talking to me, satisfying himself that I hadn’t hit my head, that I wasn’t concussed, that I wasn’t in great pain, that there was nothing broken, that I was only bruised, that I didn’t need to be taken to the hospital.

In fact, maybe ten minutes later, we were back in the car, heading to our next stop on the Tour. I was feeling normal again, although I was pissed that I’d chipped a nail on one finger of my left hand, and my left elbow and left haunch hurt to touch. I could already see the bruise forming on my elbow, but I wasn’t able to check out my butt till an hour later, in the bathroom of a restaurant. It was an angry dark red welt that seemed to be growing even as I gazed at it in the mirror.

But I didn’t hit my tailbone, so I was still mobile. I didn’t hit my head, so I think the dizziness was just from the shock. The bruises hurt to touch, but although by body was obviously quite jarred, I really was okay.

And now today, the bruises still only hurt to touch. I’m feeling a few more small aches, but nothing incapacitating, really. I’m walking around quite normally. The elbow bruise is very slightly swollen and faintly red and purple. It’ll get worse before it gets better, I know.

But my left haunch! Oh, that bruise is HUGE! I don’t mean to be indelicate here, but it’s now almost as wide as my one butt cheek, about four inches top to bottom, and solidly dark purple. Almost black, in fact. I have never seen a bruise like it in my life, on me or anyone else. It is a life form unto itself. It is roughly the shape of Iceland. I will have it for a long, long time, I think. (And no, I will NOT post a photo of it!)

imagesBut I’m lucky. It could have been so very much worse.

And you know, I’ve never been to Iceland …

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9 responses to “Ever been to Iceland?

  1. Oh you poor thing! I can imagine the shock and the pain of a fall like that and at our age, you do imagine breaking something very important. I’m glad you are okay, except for that island on your butt. I hope you don’t take a tumble any time soon again. You really do need to stop hurting yourself.

    • I know! I’m starting to wonder why things just seem to keep happening to me lately. I hope it’s just the normal ageing process (as crappy as THAT idea is), but it is somewhat disconcerting to realize that one’s body is breaking down, little by little. Weren’t we the generation that was going to be young and vibrant forever?!

  2. Well, it might appear insensitive of me to say so, but I’m SO happy I’m not the only klutz falling downs stairs. We are sisters in tumbling.

    • That said: Ouch

      • We do have a number of things in common, don’t we? I guess this is just an addition to that list – but tell me, does it happen often? I mean, I live in a house with a LOT of stairs – do I need to move for my own safety?!?

  3. You must stop hurting yourself. I say that because I care and love you. (PG needn’t worry, it’s in a fraternal way). Something like that is a huge shock to the system, hence your feelings of faintness. Really, quite an awful experience for you. So happy no broken bones, just your Icelandic bruise on your (ahem) ‘haunch’. I have flown over Iceland a few times but cannot attest to the fact that it looks like the bruise on your bum. Be gentle with yourself for a day or so. Seriously.

    • Thanks, Big Brother. I am taking it easy right now – well, easier. And remarkably, my wonky shoulder wasn’t at all affected by the fall. So again, I’m a lucky gal!

  4. OUCH! Poor you… sounds both painful and embarrassing.

    And no, I’ve never been to Iceland.