Saturday, December 17, 2016

Dealing with a Bad Fall

I took a bad fall on my front steps this morning that were covered by ice. I know, irony.

The edge of the step hit me in the back just at the level of my diaphragm and knocked the wind out of me. I went all the way down the steps on my back, rolled off the sidewalk then lay flopping around on the ice covered grass for about 30 seconds. Legs work? Arms work? Can I get up? I passed the checklist. A-OK

So I got up and staggered to the house, very carefully negotiating the steps on my hands and knees. Then because I had dropped my purse, I went back and got it. Then had to go back down again and find my keys. Finally, I got in the house and settled on the bed.

I lay there decided whether to go to the rink. Mmmm, can't tell how much I hurt myself. I was in pain, but pain is what you make of it. I decided to apply my traditional solution when I haven't broken any bones.

1. Take an OTC anti-inflammatory.
2. Lay down on a heating pad for about 10 minutes.
3. Get up and start moving.

I don't have any medical proof that this is the best approach for dealing with the issue. It's what works for me.

Here's my theory:
1. The anti-inflammatory keeps the muscles that have taken a blow from hurting in the future by  reducing  the inflammation that will probably hit me in 4 hours.
2. 10-20 minutes of heat right after the injury is a technique to deal with immediate pain.
3. The walking around keeps the muscles from stiffening up later in the day.

When I had the breath knocked out of me, I thought I'd had it for the day. But after about 20 minutes lying down, I got up and went to Advent confession.  Usually there's a line but Hey! after an ice storm all the people desperate to go to confession before mass were staying home, so zip zap thunderclap I was done.

Then I went to LOWE's and bought myself a gallon container of sidewalk ice melter.   I'm prepared now, just in case it happens again.

Off to the rink! Feeling all better!


  1. Oh no, Babbette! Take care of yourself. My worst skating injury years ago came after I slipped on icy stairs and hurt my back, then tried to get back on the ice while I was still feeling pretty bruised. I proceeded to lose my balance and break my fibula. So please, do take it easy for a few days at least. Heal quickly!

  2. Sorry to hear that you are injured. Glad that you are on the road to recovery. Oh... Just a tip.. Ice packs are better in the first 48-72 hours after injury. Get well soon!

  3. Thanks to Sillyant and joskates for the sympathy. I actually fell during a spin when my coach had me do a new technique. It turns out I'm much like a rubber ball off ice or on, I bounce back up! Apparently, today was in the stars for me to go down on the ice regardless. :-)

  4. Sorry to hear you're injured... but have to admit I just choked on my coffee laughing at that .gif. Totally me on my way to work more than once. Being a skater doesn't save you unless you've got skates on... ;)

    1. But being a skater meant my mind screamed "TTTUUUCCCKKKK!!!" so I didn't hit my head.

  5. You and Julia Lipnitskaia have something in common; (scroll down until you see her newsy news story:

    Glad to read that you bounced back and glad to hear that Lowe's had ice melter.

    1. You'd figure the Russians would make better boots for ice and snow.

  6. They probably do but, like those little slip-on rubberized ice cleats I have in a drawer somewhere, they only work if you're wearing them at the time...

  7. I second the advise on ice immediately after the injury. Though heat may feel better, it is a vasodilator and causes more blood and therefore inflammation and pressure to occur at the site of injury. Cold has the opposite effect, vasoconstriction, less blood flow, less inflammation at the site.

  8. There's no evidence that icing an injury works. For example, for ankle sprains:
    "Randomized controlled trials provide insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) therapy for acute ankle sprains in adults." Ouch! "insufficient evidence", that's gotta sting.

    For a more popular approach there's this:

    As I said, Heat, Analgesics, Movement works for me. It's based on the MEAT protocol I wrote about here: