22 June 2015

Un accident est si vite arrivé...

I suffered a nasty fall last Friday morning. I had gone out for my regular walk with Callie the collie. We walk along the south edge of the vineyard, into a small patch of woods, and then along the edge of the next vineyard plot before heading back up to the gravel road. I try to be careful where I step. The ground is rough and uneven in many places.


Along the edge of the gravel road there's a shallow drainage ditch. I've stepped over it a million times. This time, however, maybe because the grass between the grapevines and the road is getting to be almost knee-high, I thought I was stepping over the trench but I stepped into it with my right foot. Surprise!

As they say in French, un accident est si vite arrivé. An accident can happen at any moment, without warning. One moment you are just strolling along, enjoying the morning air and light, and an instant later you are rolling on the ground, flailing.


So Friday morning, about 7:30, down I went, like a sack of potatoes. I was sprawled on the rough, sharp gravel of the road (photo above). I landed first on my right knee and then on my right shoulder. I lay stunned for a minute. I realized I was holding my newest camera up in the air, to protect it from damage. It was unscathed, but I wasn't.

Callie came rushing over, wagging her tail and squirming around, kissing me all over the face. Maybe she thought we had invented some new kind of horseplay. I thought: what if I can't get up? Would Callie go home and get Walt? Probably not. She'd just stay there with me, waiting. Eventually, Walt would realize I had been gone too long, and he'd come find me. Or some vineyard worker or a neighbor might just come driving along the gravel road.


After a couple of minutes, I was able to "reboot" myself — to get myself up and running (or walking) again. Nothing was broken. My knee felt sore, and so did my arm and shoulder. My ankle was not sprained. I continued the walk and followed my usual path around the other side of the vineyard, back to the house. When I got home and took my jeans off, I realized my right knee was not just bruised but scraped, and I was bleeding.

I think I cracked or badly bruised a rib. When I got up yesterday morning, I was in excruciating pain. In fact, I had been in pain for 48 hours. Because I've been having allergic reactions to pollen for a few days (again, sigh),  my sinuses are plugged up and my throat is sore. That means I'm sneezing some, and coughing quite a bit — or at least I was yesterday. Every sneeze or cough was agony because my ribs are so sore.


I guess falling once in a while is an occupational hazard when you like to go for a walk with the dog every day. Or maybe it's just my age. I've fallen down out in the vineyard three or four times over the past ten years, including last Friday's accident. I've promised myself that I would be more careful, and wouldn't do anything stupid like trying to climb or step over any wire fences or vineyard support wires (I fell that way at least once). At the same time, you just never know when an accident will happen.

I feel a lot better this morning. My knee is healing. My ribs hurt less. Turning over in bed is still very painful, and I can't lie flat on my back — it hurts too bad in that position. I got a much better night's sleep last night than the night before, partly because the allergies seem to be receding. I'm not coughing today.


So that's my tale of woe for the moment. Included here are some recent photos I've taken on my walks.

35 comments:

GaynorB said...

Sorry to read about your fall. I think that as one gets older the shock of the fall, or at least the landing, adds to the pain. As a fellow hay fever sufferer I can only imagine the pain caused by the bruised or cracked ribs when you sneeze.
Take care and we hope that the pain recedes and your confidence returns.
Best wishes.

Chrissou said...

Well, that's the pits. I hope you mend fast and feel better soon. Lots of sympathy is coming your way from here from a fellow sneezer and faller.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Thanks, Gaynor. I do feel better today. It was nice to get a night's sleep again.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I thought about you Chris. I guess we are people who try to do too much. I was glad that I didn't sprain an ankle or break a wrist when I fell.

LaPré DelaForge said...

Rest Ken... Walt will cater for you...
in sickness and in health and all that....
and don't worry about napping in a chair... out in the sun!
We can all heal faster in sunny, Summer weather...
and as your sleep is unbalanced at the moment...
sleep when you can.

Thinking of you,
Tim

LaPré DelaForge said...

And, of course, you were probably thinking about your Aunt and your family Stateside...
which probably aided the "accident gremlins" who widened that ditch a tad!!

Ken Broadhurst said...

My aunt's burial service is to take place today. I wish I could be there with the rest of the family.

Ellen said...

Sorry for your fall, Ken. As you are thinking of your aunt and your family that has gathered for her funeral, I bet they are thinking of you, too, and missing you. That's a downside of us living so far away.

LaPré DelaForge said...

I bet you do...
just make sure you have some quiet moments at the same time...
and be there in spirit!

Jean said...

It never rains but what it pours.
Grieving for your aunt, suffering from allergies, having to clear the room for the decorator, falling over........
Problems, tragedies and mishaps never come singly in my experience. Falling over is a big deal when you get older. Apart from bumps and bruises the shock can leave you out of sorts for a while. Falling over is not good over the age of fifty!
Perhaps you should both consider taking your mobile phone out with you when you walk the dog. We do - when we remember.

Diogenes said...

Ken that tall grass camouflaged the trench completely....it could have been any of us to have a misstep. Glad you are improving.

Hope you have some arnica at home, for bruising and swelling, which I have heard is a staple in French homes (don't know if that's true)....but the stuff works wonders. Wishing you speedy healing.

Susan said...

My sympathies for all the crappiness just now. Not going to a relative's funeral is a real guilt trip, I know, and it means you have to work through the grief on your own too. I'm only just feeling more or less human after a bad cold so I how miserable and frustrated you must have felt. I hope it all gets better soon. Rest seems to be the answer, at least for the health probs. I agree with Jean -- take the mobile. I always take mine to the orchard in case I fall or impale myself or something. I've never had to use it for that but it pays to be careful.

Anonymous said...

Ooh ow ow ow. Ouch. I felt every jolt of that post. I'm great at falling over, I do it all the time - short sight and big feet. It does sound like a cracked rib, and there's nothing to be done about it, except to rest and let it recover at its own pace. Shock/adrenaline will have tensed all your muscles and given you an overdose of fatigue poisons which make you ache all over, but it doesn't last. I'm glad you're feeling better today! Best wishes, Pauline

Ken Broadhurst said...

Thank you all for the sympathy. I had just found out about my aunt's death on Thursday night, and then I fell when walking Friday morning. I don't remember what I was thinking about when I accidentally stepped into that shallow trench and stumbled nearly face-first onto the gravel road. Maybe I was just really distracted. I know that falling after the age of 50 or 60 can be really dangerous, and I do try to be careful. Stuff happens. As Montaigne said, Tout ne branle-t-il pas votre branle ? Whatever you are trying to do, doesn't everything else just get in the way?

Ken Broadhurst said...

We've talked about the mobile phone. I guess I should try to remember to take it, especially in wintertime when I could freeze to death out there if I fell. I already know though that I'll never remember to take it with me.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I am truly sorry to hear this. I hope you are completely healed and soon....Probably that suggestion about the mobile phone is a good one.I always have mine with me, in my pocket. I'm 70 and would not like to fall far from home........Or anywhere. My sympathy for the death of your aunt and not being able to attend the funeral with your family. I am sure you are with them in spirit.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Oh you make me groan in pain for you ! one of those injuries would have been enough, what a bunch of hurts you have !
Bless her heart, Callie must have wondered, this is a new game ? here ? why ?
I hope you are feeling much better each day, I took a fall months ago, in the garden, no good excuse but not watching where I was going. I did not get hurt half as much as you but I did find my back ached for a long time after. Strange, when we are only just twenty-somethings, that our bodies ache for longer than they used to :)
Hope you feel good today ~ C

melinda said...

yes you should definitely take ur phone....at our age, u just never know, and especially since u walk in relatively deserted areas...i started taking mine on my walks on the lake road here, where there may be lots of people in the summer but not other times.....i forgot it a lot before it became a habit.....plus I was worried about coming across a bear (but not sure i would have time to call anyone) hope u heal quickly

Carolyn said...

Sorry to hear about your tumble, Ken.

I don't like to walk alone, not because of falling, but because of a possible bear encounter.

What if you keep your phone near Callie's leash and your camera, which I believe you always take with you?

Take care.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

oh no! a nasty tumble, hurt ribs, and allergies... ugh. so sorry. Callie was probably making sure you were ok. i've had some bad falls here, my Dog#1 knows to get me up - he's much bigger than Callie and will "brace" so i can pull myself up or he'll get his head under me and lift me up. i didnt even teach him that! one thing we did teach all our dogs was "go find daddy/momma" - so they really will go get the other of us if we need them to. glad you are healing!

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

Oh, shoot, I wrote a message last night, and it didn't take.
I was just sympathizing with how it adds to the sadness of losing your aunt, when you can't be there with the rest of your family today. I'm sorry for that.
I'll bet you were just a little distracted when you stepped in the wrong spot-- surely thinking about everything going on.

Ken Broadhurst said...

That's great that you could teach the dogs to do that. Callie is smart, but she needs better trainers.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Well, we never take a leash, but I do usually take my camera, just in case, even if I don't plan to take a lot of photos.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Bears! what a thing to have to worry about. We don't have any animals that we have to be afraid of here. The rib is bothering me again this afternoon. We of course moved furniture this morning, because we have a man coming in tomorrow to re-do a room.

Ken Broadhurst said...

LOL. 20-something times 3 for me.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I am (or will be) there in spirit in a few hours when the service takes place. I think they all know that.

ladybird said...

So sorry to read about your painful fall. A bruised or broken rib can be very painful. Make sure to see a doctor if the pain persists.

I'm sure Callie would have gone home to fetch Walt. She's a smart dog and would take your command, even if you haven't taught her before.

Hope you'll soon feel better! Martine

Anonymous said...

Wow...a reminder to all of us over 60 that walking on uneven terrain is tricky. Luckily, it doesn't seem like there were any broken bones. I think the suggestion about taking the cell phone with you is a good one. The good news is that these sorts of things do heal. Our bodies have a miraculous way of repairing themselves, even at our age ... and even if it takes a bit longer. In the meantime, heat and ice or ice and heat...maybe even a visit chez le kineso, just in case.... .....hope you feel better soon so you can go back and take walks with your dog ...am sure she can't wait.....

DR

Mary said...

Okay...Enough of us have had falls and we are still around! We are survivors - ALL OF US!

I was much younger when I cracked a couple of ribs - and my problem was everyone was trying to cheer me up - and it REALLY hurt when I laughed. SO, the recommendation is to think sad thoughts, bad thoughts, how old we are and it's not getting easier... blah, blah, blah, and then : YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT LAUGHING!!! Really, though, rest if you can (hard to sleep in different positions, etc.). Callie must have made you feel comforted, though. Even if she hasn't been trained to return to Walt, she was keeping you safe.

Once I terminated my landline for the house phone, I have had to resort to carrying my cellphone with me all the time (I live in a tri-level and I carry it up and down the stairs constantly). Seems like a good idea. Or - perhaps each of you could put a whistle out and take that with you for the walks. A predetermined code: 3 short beeps, for example might work?

My dearest thoughts are for a rapid recovery, Ken. Your family will have missed your presence at the service I am sure. I send you my condolences for your dearly loved Aunt.

Mary in Oregon

Evelyn said...

Thinking of you while you're sleeping. I hope the pain lessens soon, but the rib may take a while. I hope that your family is doing OK, Ann's illness must have been very difficult for you all. I'm glad Callie was attentive and that you are still able to move furniture. Carry on! Bon courage!

Ken Broadhurst said...

DR, walking doesn't hurt in this case, so I'm headed out with the dog in just a couple of minutes.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Thanks for that, Mary. I'm not doing a lot of laughing right now. I just wish my sinuses would stop causing me to sneeze or cought. But the pain is less sharp now than 24 or 48 hours ago. I guess that's a good sign.

Ken Broadhurst said...

E, : ^ )

Mitchell is Moving said...

Ow. Hope you recover quickly and fully. How awful. But so glad you saved your camera! Priorities?

Anonymous said...

Ow! Hope you heal soonest!