Breathless

You’ve heard the expression “falling off the wagon.”  I’ve done that at least a thousand times when it comes to dieting.  My weight fluctuates like a seesaw – up and down and I never know when I’m going to get bumped off.

Falling has become a characteristic trait of mine – one that I’m less than proud of.  Two years ago I took a spill down 15 steps into our basement at 5:00 am on a Sunday morning.  It wasn’t my fault.  It’s was Meow’s fault.

Meow is our 10-year-old cat who is extremely picky and very vocal.  She embraces her name.  And she has weight issues.

We live in a home that has a basement and that is where we keep the litter box.  The basement has a door that stays closed but has a cat flap that she can use to go do her business downstairs.  And like I said, she is carrying a little extra poundage around her waistline which had caused her to be somewhat fearful of going through the swinging door.

To remedy this, she began pushing open our bedroom door at about 5 am every morning, planting herself next to my side of the bed and then meowing.  Every 5 seconds – MEOWWWWW – MEOWWWWW until I would get up and walk downstairs, open the basement door and turn on the light so that she didn’t have to squeeze herself through the cat door and she could see where she was going.

But the morning of June 8th, 2008, when I reached inside the door to switch the light on, I missed.  I remember looking at the coffeemaker and seeing that the time was 5:35 am, but my memory stops there.  The next thing I know is that I’m face down at the foot of the stairs, it’s pitch black, and when I tried to use my arm to push myself into an upright position it’s impossible.

Still quite foggy as to what had happened, I at least knew that if I wanted help I would have to make it upstairs to the first floor where my cell phone was located.

I don’t know how long it took me to get up those stairs.  But I made it and when I did, I found my phone and called Tom, who was asleep  in our bedroom directly above me.  The only problem was that he didn’t answer.  I thought about dialing 911 but I hesitated because I didn’t want them crashing down the entry to rescue me.  And I wasn’t wearing cute pajamas, I was wearing an old t-shirt of Tom’s and a pair of pajama pants that were too short – nothing I would want the fire department to see me in.  So I did the only thing I could – I climbed the second flight of stairs.

By the time I got to the top, I was delirious from the pain of having my arm do pirouettes and strange contortions, but in addition to delirium I was mad.

The time was now 6:45 am.  One hour and 10 minutes to get from the belly of the basement to the second floor bedroom.

Needless to say, my elbow was shattered and I’ve had 3 surgeries to repair it.  And I can’t even brag about my scar because the wrinkles in my arms cover it.  Bummer.

Which brings me to Monday morning, Tom’s day off.  Yesterday.

I had an appointment for 2 root canals and when I woke up I had already decided I didn’t want to go.  When you know that you’re getting ready to experience great pain, you don’t necessarily feel like jumping for joy.

After 20 minutes of anxiety and battling with my brain as to what I should do, I decided to stretch and do a few exercises to get the blood flowing.  I have a big blue ball that I use to stretch my back and do sit-ups, but typically I wait about an hour after I wake up before I start.  But yesterday morning, I didn’t have time to waste, so I just grabbed my blue ball and reclined, arching my back like a bridge…

What happened next is still a little bit of a blur.  I remember looking at the ceiling and then everything around me spinning before I hit the ground.  HARD.  Yes, it was only about an 18 inch fall, but it knocked the breath out of me!  I haven’t experienced that since I fell out of a tree when I was 9.  The only difference was that when I was 9 I thought I was dying and this time I thought I’d broken a hip, was suffocating, and in an instant my life flashed before me and I saw my children explaining to their friends that I had died from falling off an exercise ball.  And I was mortified!

Even though I wasn’t getting oxygen to my extremely small blonde brain, I remained calm and tried to call out to Tom for help.  He was probably less than 15 feet away from me, but he was in the kitchen and couldn’t hear my gasps for help over the roar of the coffee maker.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, I managed to get enough oxygen into my lungs to get his attention.

“Honey, can you please come in here and help me get up?”

He walks into the living room and asked the obvious, ridiculous question, “What are you doing on the floor?”

To which I reply, “I fell off the ball.”

We didn’t make eye contact.  Because I KNOW my husband extremely well after 26 years of marriage, I knew that once he determined that I was okay, he was trying to remain composed and keep from laughing.

“I can’t breathe, I got the wind knocked out of me and I’m sure my hip is broken,” I said in my most pitiful voice.

“Do you need mouth to mouth or are you just trying to get out of your dentist appointment?”  he asked.

Yeah, right, I purposely fell 18 inches off an exercise ball so I could get out of going to the dentist.  If I wanted to get out of a dentist appointment I wouldn’t do something that lame.  I would do something far more dramatic like chopping off a finger or my entire leg, but certainly not fall off an exercise ball!

All in all, I’m fine.  I have a bruise on my derriere and although I haven’t been to bed yet, I have a feeling that I’m going to wake up with some sore joints.

I gave my hubby another small memory to file away in his brain in the folder marked, “Now look what she’s done!” but more importantly, he took the exercise ball away from me.  Dog gone it, I’m grounded from exercising!  How sad!  Bring me some double-stuffed Oreos – celebrate good times, come on!

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