Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Time I Tripped Up the Stairs

Thank you to friend and fellow blogger, Christine, for making light of the terrible night at I just had. "At least this will make a great blog post!" Why yes, yes it will :)

Necessary background info: I am clumsy. (And yes, that needed giant font.) I trip over the front of my shoes almost daily, and if you and I take a 15 minute walk and I make it the whole way without stumbling once, well then I deserve a pat on the back. And that's fine. I'm used to it. But this time, this was a whole 'nother level. I honestly wish I had just fallen down the stairs. At least that's a more normal way to hurt yourself.

My night started off innocently enough. I was running late for a private class. The buzzer for their apartment was broken, so I had to call the mom to be let in. We were still on the phone as I walked up to the elevator, and rather than wait the few seconds it would take to say bye and jump on the elevator, I decided to just use the stairs for once. Terrible decision.

The light bulb had apparently burned out in the stair well. So not only could I not see anything, but I was on the phone not paying attention, and I was late. So I was running. Which meant that when I missed the step before the landing and my foot caught it at just the right angle, I went flying into the wall ahead of me with all the force I had been using to run up the steps. 

Cristina, the kids' mom, heard the crash. And rushed down the steps to find me sprawled across the landing completely disoriented, not caring one little bit that I was crying like a baby. Not one of my finer entrances. 

Where was this sign when I needed it???
As I got up I was shaking uncontrollably and (naturally) had a pounding headache. The smart thing to do would have been to cancel classes. But no. The poor-wanna-be-world-traveler in me said "20euro?  Sold!" And I stayed.
I spent that hour trying to hide the tears of pain that were streaming down my face, unsuccessfully I might add, because the 8 year old girl kept giving me curious looks and asking if I was alright.

After class ended I went to the pharmacy and tried to ask for an ice pack, but whatever came out of my mouth was clearly not that, because the pharmacist looked extremely confused. And then extremely worried as I burst out crying.

Let me just say, it is 10miliontimesharder to speak a second language when you are in pain. Or at least, it was for me. I couldn't think straight and finally I resorted to crying hysterically and mumbling something about how I had fallen on the stairs and my knees were huge (I didn't know the word for swollen).
Two seconds later the pharmacist was demanding that a taxi be sent to the pharmacy so I could be taken to the hospital. She also asked me in a very concerned voice if I lived alone (she nodded satisfied when I said I had roommates) and told me that if I needed anything tomorrow that I had to come back and see her. (She also spoke English. Huge plus.)

The taxi driver dropped me off at the main entrance instead of in front of urgent care (which was my fault because I didn't understand his question when he asked me). Oops. The next 10 minutes could have been from a movie. Tears streaming down my face, walking dazed through the maze of halls trying to find someone who would take pity on me and point me to the check-in desk. (I swear I am not over-dramatizing this, it was bad.)

3 hours, 2 x-rays, and a lot of embarrassing "Spanish? Yes of course I speak it...wait uh...English please" moments later I was free to leave, happy knowing that at least I didn't have a concussion. Which would have been entirely possible considering the force with which I hit that wall.

Final injury count? 2 swollen knees, bruise on right rip, bruise on upper right jaw bone (this makes chewing difficult), bump on the right side of my head, and a sore neck. Thank god its only bruising and swelling, but did I really have to do this 5 days before Christmas? And did I really have to injure both knees? Seriously?

But at least I didn't do this....

Next day update: The mom of the kids just called to check up on me and make sure that I was okay :)

1 comment:

  1. Ahh I'm so sorry that happened!!

    Totally understand the whole Spanish/English at the doctor's thing. It's definitely reminded me that I am a foreigner here.

    Feel better!