“Please hand these out to your students on Monday,” I say, handing over the stack of Student-Led Conference brochures. With that, I exit the room, off to deliver the next stack to the teacher next door.
Stepping into the hallway, my left foot gets caught on something, and I lose my balance. As I try to right myself, my other foot becomes entangled, too. I begin flailing, unable to regain balance.
I, along with the stool that I’m stuck in, comes crashing to the floor. Brochures fly down the corridor. I land flat on my face, completely stunned and wondering what just happened. I hear footsteps running toward me from the copier down the hall. Someone heard the crash and is coming to my rescue.
Face down, unsure of the damage, I find myself instantly surrounded by people. Somehow I sit up, and that’s when the tears start. The pain, not in my ankle, as I had feared, begins to set in. I’m suddenly bombarded with, “Can I get you a tissue?” “Do you want some water?” “Did you hurt your face?” “What happened?” “Let me help you up.” The well-meaning offers of help are overwhelming.
“Can I just think for a minute? I need some space,” I manage to get out. That’s when I see the culprit. The gray plastic stool, with the step on the bottom, laying on its side in the hallway. The same stool I tripped on. The one I hadn’t seen when I walked out. Why was there a stool right in the doorway? That’s unsafe. I know I’m accident-prone, but that shouldn’t have been there. How did I not run into it on my way in? How did I not see it?
Taking the tissues and the water, the shock begins to wear off, and that’s when I notice the bruises just starting to show on my knees and feel the pain and tingly feeling in my left arm, the one I’d used to instinctively break my fall. Not again…this can’t be happening again. I’m just getting over the last fall, the one that landed me in a boot for the better part of six weeks.
Just then, I notice my boss hurriedly making his way down the corridor. Crouching next to me he asks how I’m doing. “Is it your ankle again?”
“No, I don’t feel any pain in it, and I’m able to move it around,” I say, demonstrating. Replaying the accident, I explain that my arm is hurting, but I don’t think I’ve broken any bones.
That’s when the corners of his mouth begin to turn up, stifling a smile. “You know, you are really the most accident-prone person I know.”
“I know,” I say, a small smile forming on my face.
After refusing the wheelchair the security guard brought me, and taking the nurse’s hand, I walked to her office where she iced my arm and applied some anti-inflammatory cream. I was given some pain killers, too. Her assessment was that I had not broken any bones, and had probably not sprained it either.
Just to be safe though, I decided to go to the doctor to have it checked. The tingling feeling made me uneasy, and I would feel better knowing if anything was wrong. My lovely friend Miriam insisted on going with me, and I was grateful not to have to do it alone.
Luckily, the doctor determined it was nothing serious. No broken bones and no sprain. It just might be sore for a few days. Oh, and my knees would definitely be bruised. I’m sore today, but I’m thankful it wasn’t anything serious.