This past weekend my husband and I were cleaning out our basement. We’d been hauling out a bunch of old wood (yes! more wood!) and I was ducking into the bulkhead to fetch another armful when- WHOOPS! I tripped and fell down the concrete stairs. Here they are:
The most remarkable thing isn’t that I fell down the steps, but that it took me 9 years to do so. I mean, LOOK AT THEM. The top metal “step” (if you can call it that) juts above the surrounding grass, so you have to step up and over it just to get to the concrete. But getting there isn’t easy, because this metal “step” isn’t aligned properly. It’s angled and obstructs a good portion of the first concrete footfall. SO you basically have to step up and over SIDEWAYS, making sure to duck quickly so you don’t brain yourself on the rusty metal door. I can’t tell you how often I’ve stumbled over this threshold, catching myself just in the nick of time. This weekend, I just wasn’t so lucky.
And yet, I was. Because I fell down this rock hard death chute and came away unscathed. SURE, I was crying and shaken, and scared, but I DIDN’T DIE. I didn’t hit my head, break a bone, or – most amazingly – sustain a single bruise. To look at me, undressed, you would never know I’d fallen down a set of concrete stairs 4 days ago. My only visible injury is a tiny dime-sized abrasion on my elbow- and it’s already scabbed and halfway healed! Even the brand-new hoodie I was wearing was spared- no rips or tears! As soon as I’d stopped sobbing, I told my husband I must have a guardian angel; I just couldn’t believe I was okay.
That night we stayed outside, burning discarded wood and drinking beer. I felt like I’d won the lottery. I posted this photo on Instagram:
and captioned it “DIY is FUN.” I slept soundly, and in the morning felt pretty much fine. I mean, I was a little sore, but after all the work we’d done the day before, not to mention falling down the stairs? It seemed par for the course. I took some Tylenol and had a full day of activity. I went to bed Monday night slightly sore, but by the next morning…I was in AGONY.
I awoke in the early hours feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. My waist was an explosive band of pain, shooting fireworks down both legs. My thighs, where they met my core, seethed so intensely, I felt like I was dying. I’ve given birth 3 times, without an epidural. I’ve endured pinched nerves, I’ve pulled muscles. I had a heinous hemorrhagic cyst last year that left me begging for breath. But sciatica? It’s unrelenting pain. Pain that seeps into every crack, robbing you of humanity. You can’t sit; you can’t sleep. For the past 3 days I have taken ibuprofen like clockwork. Once the medicine kicks in, I feel fine- it’s like HEAVEN! – but last night before bed I forgot. I woke up in the wee hours to an aching so amped it took a full hour for the ibuprofen to soften its blows. TONIGHT, you damn well know- I WON’T FORGET.