As readers of this blog know, I pride myself on never getting sick. I crow about it, ostentatiously taking a seat next to whoever is coughing and sniffling loudest in a room, because I'm immune to all germs and I never get sick. And if I should get a TEENSY bit sick, I get well instantly, after one good night of sleep. I haven't missed a class for sickness in years. I marvel at how inconvenient it must be to be someone who gets sick: how can you make any plans? how can you schedule your days with the specter of sickness constantly lurking?
Alas, I didn't bargain for injuries from a fall.
I took a terrible tumble Sunday night as I walked merrily home from a Colorado Music Festival concert at Chautauqua, the final concert of the six I was attending with my friend Diane, a glorious evening of Brandenburg concertos. A block from Diane's house, I stumbled on some invisible obstacle and down I went, flat onto my face. I broke my glasses and lost a lens. My nose bled all over my clothes. My ribs and chest were badly battered and bruised (though the next day's x-rays showed nothing broken). And oh, my face! Four full days later, my face looks ghastly: puffy, swollen beyond recognition, with a boxer's black eye, or rather crimson-and-purple eye. I've done nothing this week but hobble from bed to couch and back to bed again. All my grand plans have been abandoned. It's the first day of a new month, and instead of beginning a new life, I finally scrambled an egg and loaded the dishwasher and checked my email. Period.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen - literally! And it's hard not to see dreadful inklings of a distant future where falls like this will mean broken hips, and walkers, and care homes, and bed sores, and death! But perhaps these thoughts are a tiny bit premature? I probably still have twenty more good years before I have to face those darker possibilities. But I don't feel as carefree as I did a week ago, nor as glib and superior. Instead, I feel that I'm going to thank God on my knees for every day I can walk without pain and look in the mirror without wincing with horror at the sight.
And now I'm off to put a package of frozen peas against my throbbing eye and cheeks. And count my blessings one more time that this, too will pass.