Lockdown Day 14: Last Step is a Doozy / Encierro Día 14: Ultimo Paso es un Problema

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

MY FRIEND NATALIE (of Bee Meadow Farm) recently shared some good advice passed down by a nurse for how to stay out of the ER during the covid-19 crisis. One recommendation: “If your to-do list task requires a ladder. Skip it.” I wish Natalie had mentioned stairs.

I carried a huge bag of cat litter down to the trash before lunch Friday. With the addition of some other trash I’d guess the unwieldy bag weighed about 30 pounds (13 kilos). For me, it was a great opportunity for a brief workout, so I took the stairs.

Since the bag was so large, I couldn’t easily see my feet, so I stopped as I neared each and every landing and peered to the side to make sure I didn’t miss that final step. Well, each and every landing until I reached the lobby. There, I forgot to look and missed the final step to the lobby floor. My foot hit the edge of the step and made a sharp twist in a direction it shouldn’t really twist. I thought, ‘Oh, shit! I broke my ankle!’ (Don’t worry, I’m fine.)

It’s amazing how many thoughts can quickly fly through your head in moments like these. My immediate thought was, ‘I’m going to the ER, Natalie!’ I thought about how much it hurt. And the fact that I was flying through the air with an unstable bag of cat litter in my arms. And that the effects of the marble floor might end up being worse than the broken ankle.

However, thanks to the cat litter, as and far as I can remember, the only part of me that came in hard contact with the floor was my left knee and shin, which are bruised. My head missed by inches crashing mid-air into the large, square support column just past the bottom of the stairs. After some moments on the floor wondering if I would be able to get up, I wiggled my toes and moved my foot a bit and realized my ankle was obviously not broken. I didn’t have to go to the ER. Oh, and since this was one of the first questions San Geraldo asked when I hobbled backed upstairs (using the elevator): The bag did not break!

It took a bag of frozen, “very tender baby peas,” being waited on by SG as I lounged on the divan (aka the swooning sofa) over lunch, 1,000 mg of Paracetamol, and four hours knocked out in bed (I’m a lightweight) with my foot elevated to appreciate that it’s not a bad sprain. More paracetamol and my leg propped up on a folded-up comforter helped me make it through the night and left me with a paracetamol hangover. It’s still a bit swollen but it doesn’t hurt all that much. My left side is kind of sore, so I guess I’m not clear on precisely how I landed. And now, every time I take out the trash I’m going to hear, “Be careful now.” (Just like I hear every time I pick up a sharp object… like a knife. I’m a danger to myself.)


MI AMIGA NATALIE (de Bee Meadow Farm) recientemente compartió algunos buenos consejos transmitidos por una enfermera sobre cómo mantenerse fuera de la sala de emergencias durante la crisis de covid-19. Una recomendación: “Si su tarea de lista de tareas requiere una escalera. Saltarlo.” Ojalá hubiera mencionado las escaleras.

Llevé una enorme bolsa de arena para gatos a la basura antes del almuerzo el viernes. Con la adición de alguna otra basura, supongo que la bolsa difícil de manejar pesaba alrededor de 13 kilos (30 libras). Para mí, fue una gran oportunidad para un breve entrenamiento, así que subí las escaleras.

Como la bolsa era tan grande, no podía ver fácilmente mis pies, así que me detuve al acercarme a cada rellano y me asomé a un lado para asegurarme de no perder ese último paso. Bueno, todos y cada uno de los rellanos hasta que llegué al vestíbulo. Allí, olvidé mirar y perdí el último paso hacia el piso del vestíbulo. Mi pie golpeó el borde del escalón e hizo un giro brusco en una dirección que realmente no debería girar. Pensé, ‘¡Oh, mierda! ¡Me rompí el tobillo!’ (No te preocupes, estoy bien).

Es sorprendente cuántos pensamientos pueden volar rápidamente por tu cabeza en momentos como estos. Mi siguiente pensamiento fue: “Voy a la sala de emergencias, Natalie”. Pensé en cuánto me dolía. Y el hecho de que estaba volando por el aire con una bolsa inestable de arena para gatos en mis brazos. Y que los efectos del piso de mármol podrían terminar siendo peores que el tobillo roto.

Sin embargo, gracias a la arena para gatos, por lo que puedo recordar, la única parte de mí que entró en contacto con el piso fue mi rodilla y espinilla izquierdas, que están magulladas. Mi cabeza erró por centímetros al estrellarse en el aire en la gran columna de soporte cuadrada justo al final de la escalera. Después de algunos momentos en el piso preguntándome si sería capaz de levantarme, moví los dedos del pie y moví un poco el pie y me di cuenta de que mi tobillo obviamente no estaba roto. No tuve que ir a la sala de emergencias. Ah, y como esta fue una de las primeras preguntas que hizo San Geraldo cuando cojeé, retrocedí escaleras arriba (usando el elevador): ¡La bolsa no se rompió!

Tomó una bolsa de “muy tiernos baby peas” congelados, mientras SG me esperaba mientras descansaba en el diván (también conocido como el sofá desmayado) durante el almuerzo, 1.000 mg de paracetamol, y cuatro horas noqueado en la cama (estoy un peso ligero) con el pie elevado para apreciar que no es un esguince malo. Más paracetamol y mi pierna apoyada en un edredón doblado me ayudaron a pasar la noche y me dejaron con una resaca de paracetamol. Todavía está un poco hinchado, pero no duele tanto. Mi lado izquierdo está un poco adolorido, así que supongo que no tengo claro exactamente cómo aterricé. Y ahora, cada vez que saque la basura, voy a escuchar: “Ten cuidado ahora”. (Tal como escucho cada vez que levanto un objeto afilado … como un cuchillo. Soy un peligro para mí mismo).

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

46 thoughts on “Lockdown Day 14: Last Step is a Doozy / Encierro Día 14: Ultimo Paso es un Problema”

    1. David:
      But it was such a good workout! Maybe elevator today and dragging my feet outside to take advantage of the sunshine.

  1. Oh, darn it! That’s the last thing you need in our current troubled times.
    Btw: Why is that anything for cats’ own needs weighs several times more than the little critters do themselves?

    1. Raybeard:
      But I don’t go to Emergency! We recently replaced our large cat litter box with an even larger one. Although Dudo is slender, both our cats are long. Dudo has a habit of missing the litter box. And Moose, well, he took up a lot of space! So SG thought we should give them more room. It’s worked. But it takes a lot of litter to fill it, which means a lot of litter to haul downstairs when it needs replacing. And they complain if they don’t think it’s fresh enough!

  2. Ice then heat…..ice then heat….3-4 times a day. Works for us (Ron mostly).
    Do take care and listen to SG!! ‘Be careful now’ !

  3. Hope the weather sends some sun your way while the body healing continues. Stay safe–from the virus and steps.

    1. Mary:
      Glorious today. I’m going to sit on the terrace… with my foot elevated!

  4. Yeah, that’s swollen. At least with the lockdown you aren’t going out restaurant hopping so you can rest.

    1. Frank:
      Yeah, it’s not a bad time to do something stupid like this. I spent the entire day in bed without complaining. (OK, I may have whined once or twice when I had to move my foot or get up for a toilet break!)

  5. You poor, poor thing 🙁 ! At least you weren’t in your girdle and bra. Most importantly, was the litter the clumping kind? Yeah, you need all the hugs you can get. Since getting up and walking to, say the bathroom, may be a little harder than usual, I’d stay away from anything prune related. Glad you weren’t hurt too badly.

    1. Deedles:
      Ha! And Jerry baked prune cake that was out of this world thinking he would use up all the three containers of prunes he bought. He used less than half a container!

  6. egad, man! perhaps next time elevator down and stairs back up when your hands are free? can’t have you killing yourself and leaving SG and the cats all by themselves! rest that left leg!

    1. anne marie:
      [he whines] But it was going to be a good workout! Anyway, doing so much better today. No chaise lounge on the terrace (we had two old ones we dumped), so I’m going to try and rig some chairs together for myself.

  7. For the love of Dudo and Moose, and of course, SG, watch your step!!Take care, mend, stay off ladders AND stairs!

    Now, two stories …
    As a young queerling we were going on a picnic with a neighbor family, Dale and Nancy, and their two kids. Nancy was about nine months pregnant and thought it best that she carry a watermelon down the hill to the picnic site.
    Of course, she fell, tumbled all the way down, and as she lay there,Dale shouted:
    “God damn it Nancy, you broke the watermelon.”

    Cut to a couple of years ago…
    I stepped out into the garage.It’s two steps down. I did it! But, coming back in, I somehow caught my foot on the top step and began falling, in what felt like slow motion, into the kitchen And as I hurtled to the floor, my one thought was:
    “God, that’s an ugly tile.”

    1. Bob:
      Ah, Bob, you make me happy. Yeah, I would have had I’m sure the same thought about the tile. So, did Dale live to tell that tale? That’s frightening to imagine Nancy at 9 months rolling down the hill! Glad she was alright. We have acquaintances here, grandparents of a good friend. They have been miserable married for more than 50 years. We have never once heard them say a kind word to or about each other (or most anyone else). She was making him tea one day and slipped as she turned to the counter. She fell and broke her hip. As she lay on the floor howling in agony, he looked from his seat at the table and yelled, “You spilled my fuckin’ tea!”

      1. Nancy and Dale stayed married for many many years until she passed away. And Dale was brokenhearted about it.

  8. Wow, that was a close call — glad it wasn’t worse! And thank gawd the bag didn’t break. You go above and beyond for Dudo and Moose.

    1. Debra:
      I can’t stop imagining what COULD have happened. Can’t believe I came out of a fall like that with so little harm done. And had the bag broken, San Geraldo would have had some work to do. As it was, and I have no idea what I was thinking, once I managed to get up from the floor, I hefted the bag and limped across the street to dump it!

  9. Ouch, Mitchell! So glad you didn’t miss a step at the top landing – you would have been at the ER (or worse) for sure! Are the boys at least comforting you, or do they think you are no fun when you are less ambulatory than usual? When I tripped over a tree root while out running with the dogs, they immediately ran over and STOOD ON TOP OF ME! Combined, they weigh more than I do, so it was especially hard to get up. But at least it was’t used kitty litter weighing me down. :-). Hope you are back to normal soon.

    1. Wilma:
      I’ve had some imaginings about how much worse it could easily have turned out, but I never considered the fall from the top step. Wow! The boys think I’m no fun… except for all the time Dudo got to spend in bed with me yesterday. I can’t believe the dogs stood on top of you! I would have imagined them crying and licking your face. One never knows. Glad you hadn’t broken anything and they didn’t make it worse.

  10. Ouch….. that hurt even to read about it! That chorus of echoes you hear every time you take out the trash is us telling you to be careful!

    1. Willym:
      I promise to listen. I’m sure the chorus will be sung in exquisite harmony. (Now that I’m doing so much better, I keep thinking about how bad that could have been.)

  11. Your foot must be very sore, there is a sign on it that says, “Very Tender Baby!”
    Love your blog BTW, my late friend owned property in Malorcia, that’s as close as I ever got to where you are. I loved all of that part of the world.

    1. Tom:
      Hi and thanks so much for your comment! I’ve never been to Mallorca, but we love it here and are taking great pride in our chosen home and chosen compatriots during this crisis. Yes, the pea package describes me perfectly. Look at me sideways and I bruise. Hope to get to visit with you more!

  12. I am so glad you are ok – hubby and I find ourselves being overly careful about things too. A neighbor suggested we get up on the roof and spray the moss to kill it. I don’t think so. The moss can grow until we can hire someone else to do it. We are not ending up in the hospital right now. I have to say I love that the cat littler company dresses them up in clothes and glasses in their advertising…teehee

    1. Cheapchick:
      Although I don’t feel old, I do know that my recovery from injury wouldn’t be as quick or as guaranteed as it might have been a while back. So we choose to hire out a lot of things. We have no roof to climb up on but, if we did, we’d hire! Really smart of you. And like Natalie warned, you especially don’t want to end up in the ER right now!

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Oh no! Did you get hurt? Tell the story. I can’t believe that, unlike me, you didn’t immediately share the story and get sympathy. Hope you didn’t do any damage.

  13. RICE=rest, ice, compression, elevation
    Looks as if you’re doing everything except compression, so that’s next, buddy. I think falling is very frightening. We lose all control over our bodies and fly into the air with no one to catch us.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten up on my stepladder in the kitchen and have missed the bottom step coming down. And it only has three steps!


    1. janiejunebug:
      I had no ace bandages or compression socks in the house, so I simply wore tight gym socks. And it helped. And I remembered I had even older, tighter ones, so that’s what I changed to yesterday. I, too, regularly miss steps because I’m not concentrating and, every time I think, Phew that was close! I keep thinking of how bad Friday’s fall (and flight into the marble beyond) really was and how fortunate I was with the outcome.

  14. Frozen peas? Is that a new medical procedure to use in such cases? You know you could win the Nobel Prize with such a discovery.
    I was trying to visualize the bag of kitty litter and you on the staircase. I recommend you let the maid take care of that, house staff are good at those chores and you can just relax and watch the view eating BonBons.

    1. larrymuffin:
      Frozen peas are a very common way of icing an injury. More flexible and gentle than ice cubes. Not a Canadian trick? The maid would be happy to take care of it, except for two problems. 1) She couldn’t lift the bag, and 2) She’s not working during the lockdown. I do like the thought of BonBons, though!

      1. larrymuffin:
        Maybe in Canada people just shave ice of the hockey rinks when they’re injured.

    1. Parsnip:
      I regularly suggest that to Dudo and Moose. They ignore me. The jerks!

  15. I get more and more aware, and wary, of stairs as time passes. Our main stair is made of travertine and it twists down do the floor below. One “faux pas” (as it were) and it could be very bad, especially if the head hits the stone. I suppose I could lob the garbage bag down to the driveway from the deck, but I know it would just burst open! Just like my head would if I fell on the steps. So I will continue to take the stairs very slowly, especially when carrying the “ordures.”

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I am also so much more aware and careful than I used to be. And yet… I have my moments. You’re very wise. (And I remember gasping when I read about you climbing a ladder with your power hedge trimmer. So glad you stopped doing that.)

  16. I am relieved you are okay and didn’t have to go to the ER!! Falling on stairs is scary anytime but of course more so during a pandemic!

    I was actually on a stepladder a lot the past week… I need it to access a foster cat who is hiding out on a very high shelf in her room! But I’m being super careful…

    Sending you (non-infectious) hugs!

    1. Natalie:
      I so loved that list of 14 ways to avoid the ER. Hilarious that it was the first thing to cross my mind. Glad you’re being careful!

    1. Robin:
      Doing so much better today. Thanks. I’ll TRY to be careful. I can’t make any promises, though. I always TRY.

    1. Steve:
      He also asked what I did with the bag. I told him — in my stunned state — I got up, hefted it back into my arms, and took it across the street to the bin. He said how did you do that? And I said, “Like this!” as I dragged my foot out of the room like Igor. Had the bag broken, the adrenalin wouldn’t have lasted long enough for me to get upstairs for a broom. SG would have been put to work.

Please share your thoughts...

%d bloggers like this: