Fun was had, tokens were spent, electronic dinosaurs were chased, and all was well until almost-four-year-old Bree had to go to the bathroom.
“Mimi will take you,” I gallantly volunteered.
We were the only ones in the large rectangular women’s room and the echo of Bree’s constant little girl chatter reverberated off the cold tile walls and floor.
They had one of those heavy duty metal kiddie step stools and Bree dragged it over to the sink so she could wash her hands all by herself. The step stool had weird little bars extending from the base and as I finished washing my hands and started to skirt around Bree’s little ladder on my way to the paper towel dispenser, my foot snagged one of those extending bars and sent me flying.
It all seemed to happen in slow motion. One second I was upright and the next I was free falling through the air face-forward like a tree axed down in a forest.
Now let me freeze the action right here to insert that during my 36 years as an orthopedic hand therapist, I treated hundreds of fall victims. I am well aware that most injuries caused by falls are fractured wrists, occurring when the fall-ee attempts to break their fall by extending one or both hands to the ground so that the impact of their body weight lands on the radius (long bone on the thumb side of the forearm) or perhaps the scaphoid (small carpal bone at the base of the thumb).
Neither of these bones is designed to absorb that much impact, so something must give. And it’s not usually the floor. So the result is a fracture. A painful, sometimes surgery-requiring, long-recovering, totally inconvenient fracture.
We rehab types call this type of accident a FOOSH (Fall On Outstretched Hand).
So when I started my slow-mo trajectory toward that sea of germy tile in the highly-traveled public bathroom, I’m not sure if the ravages of FOOSH were playing in the back of my mind or if my guardian angel was pulling my arms out for a celestial hug, but my hands never went down to brace myself at all.
Nope. No FOOSH here. I crash-landed with my arms fully extended beside my head like Superman flying.
Freddie and Flopsie, my Bobbing Twins, caught the full brunt of the fall. And at this point of my fluctuating weight continuum, my bosom buddies are quite cushy these days.
Upon impact, I felt my brain jar inside my head – which miraculously stayed inches off the floor so there were no broken teeth or dislocated noses from my face-forward descent – and an explosion of exhaled air from my suddenly deflated lungs.
I lay there, stunned and in shock, for at least ten seconds in my super flying position, breathing in the fumes from that filthy tile, repeating the words, “I’m okay, I’m okay …” while going through an internal checklist for injuries:
- Wrists okay? Check.
- Face? Check.
- Neck? Check.
- Back? Check.
- Elbows? A teensy bit skinned but check.
- Knees? Sore but they’re always sore. Check.
- Ankles? Check.
- Chest? Well, Freddie was moaning and Flopsie was screeching, but I was pretty sure they’d be okay with a little TLC, albeit perhaps a bit purple.
Wow. It was a super miracle.
And at the moment of that gratitude-filled realization, the bathroom door behind me creaked opened and I heard a gasp followed by a dumbfounded voice (it was my daughter, Bree’s mama, who after spending over 30 years with me really shouldn’t be surprised by anything) say: “For heaven’s sake, Mom – why in the world are you on the floor of the Ladies’ Room pretending to be Superman?”
So, dear BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever), won’t you join me today in giving a little extra thanks for our bosom buddies? They do more than just hang around bumping into door jams, dipping in our soup, and oozing out the sides of our bathing suit tops.
Why, they’re just … super! Yep, Freddie and Flopsie are my superheroes of the week.
How do you feel about yours?