Tuesday, November 02, 2010


So, to solve a problem I'm having with the state, I'm waiting on a package from UPS, but, because I just moved into this building, I'm nervous that UPS won't be able to get the package to me. So, instead of going to lunch with my mom, I'm sitting here typing, waiting for a knock at the door (if they can get to the door). Instead of taking a shower, I decided to wait until they get here so that I don't miss them.

I think the effects of yesterday's coffee have worn off, but I'm still worrying about stuff that I'd be better served not worrying about.

I'm worried lately about a lot of things - both reasonable and unreasonable. I'm discovering that I'm still worried about wet floors in public bathrooms, for instance.

In June, the day before my birthday on Father's Day, I went with my brother, sister-in-law, nephews and father to Mall of Georgia for TOY STORY 3. It was DJ and Andrew's first movie in the theater, and I wanted to be there to have that experience with them. We were in the food court before the movie, and my father left to find the bathroom.

I used to work at that mall, saw that he was going in the wrong direction and got up to help him. I walked him toward the other bathroom, but I didn't want to follow him in there. So I used the family restroom next to the men's room while my dad made his way down the long hallway.

I like the family restroom because it's got some privacy. You can actually lock the door. You get your own stall and your own sink. On that day, I liked it because I didn't want to hear my father in the bathroom, which I know from experience can be particularly disgusting.

So I used the bathroom in the family restroom, using the dim lights without turning on the overhead flourescents, and was walking toward the sink when I slipped on this unmarked, soapy puddle in the middle of the floor. My right foot - in corrective shoes - slipped sideways, both legs gave out, and the left side of my right knee hit the floor hard. HARD.

I curled my other leg around my knee to comfort it, then laying on the floor I looked around to try and find a way up (while considering that I might slip again). And I saw my way up against the wall, so I pulled myself across the wet floor and then put my right hand in the empty dispenser slot of an old tampon machine (another amenity for the family restroom). I got myself off the floor, tried to stand and found that my knee was seriously fucked up. But I thought it would pass. So I held myself against the wall and unlocked the door and got outside to find my father leaving the men's room. And I had to lean on him to walk upstairs to the movie. (No, I didn't report it to the mall immediately - which was a point of contention for everyone.)

Anyway, it took getting my knee drained to stop the swelling and the bleeding, then I had several weeks of physical therapy (which also allowed me to work on my arthritic, displaced hip again).

But the day of the fall, I seriously thought that I had messed myself up forever. I thought that I would never walk without pain ever again. I thought that I would always be messed up, always hurting.

And I'm still afraid of the day when that will happen, either through age, through an eventual hip replacement or other surgery. I'm worried about eventual back pain, which my PT says will likely come. I'm worried about never feeling normal again.

When you're a kid, you run without worry. You fall on chubby, rubbery legs, and you get back up. You cry. Then you stop. It's done. You recover.

I'm worrying - too early, I think - about brittle bones, broken hips, canes and walkers. (I've already used canes and walkers.)

But my knee feels much better right now. I know that's what I should be OK with. But once you've fallen, you check every store bathroom floor you go into, looking for the moment and place where you'll slip.

I expect my disabled future will get kick-started on one of those slippery floors.

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