|Google Maps view of my street.|
1. Lots of raking in the fall and
2. Massive root systems.
Massive root systems can be trouble for a few reasons...interfering with underground pipes, breaking up concrete, and my personal favorite, providing lots of things to trip over.
So there I was, trying to clean up DBF's yard (as he has since reminded me), getting some exercise, enjoying the fall day, and I stepped on a tree root, twisted my right ankle, and started to fall.
Here's a tip from me to you. If you start to fall, let yourself. If you try to catch yourself, you're likely to wind up more hurt than if you just let yourself fall.
Case in point: Imagine a really silly gym class relay race where awkward 12-year-old kids going through growth spurts are supposed to run to the middle of the gym and then run back to their relay race lines BACKWARDS. Sounds like a bad idea, doesn't it? Well, it was. But the worse idea was mine. My 12-year-old self lost her balance about halfway back and instead of falling on her ample rump, she tried to catch herself.
And wound up with 2 broken wrists.
So more than 2 decades later, I was raking leaves and I twisted my right ankle and started to fall. Did I remember my 12-year-old self? Of course not. I shifted my weight to my left side and brought my left foot down on (no surprise) more tree roots! But this second patch of tree roots was far more diabolical than the first so I ended up with a hyper-extended knee and 3 broken bones in my left foot. Not to mention the twisted right ankle.
At that point, I didn't know that my bones were broken, I just knew that I'd fallen (into the road, no less) so I jumped up and got back to the sidewalk. And since I had only raked about two-thirds of the front yard, I figured I'd just walk it off and I continued to rake.
Yes, I was in pain. But being me, with an insanely high threshold for pain and a near-pathological aversion to leaving things unfinished, I finished raking the front yard.
And then I swept the driveway that can hold 6 cars.
And then I swept the front porch and the sidewalk.
And then I put the tools away in the shed and picked up some stray branches in the backyard.
And then I went inside, took off my shoe and sock, and sent DBF a text message:
"I think I may have broken my foot."
There it is, my broken foot. The second, third, and fourth metatarsals are all fractured. The fourth was so badly displaced that it required surgery to realign and pin it so it would heal properly.
Now, a week after my "great idea," I sit at my desk with my pinned and splinted foot propped up, sharing my symphony of clumsiness so complex that only I can achieve.
Oh, and the day before surgery, it rained...and brought down so many more leaves that you can't even tell I raked. That, my friends, is the Universe, in its best Nelson Muntz voice, saying, "ha ha!"