The Fall

Bud told me that a woman at church had mentioned seeing me out for a run. “She doesn’t run,” he told her, “she just walks really fast.”

I was out for a walk the other day when I took a tumble. I do walk at a pretty fast clip, so when the toe of my sneaker caught on a bit of uneven sidewalk, I went down hard. Right onto my left knee.

I limped back to my car, about 3/4 of a mile away, stopping to rest on the stone bridge and take pictures of Tuga. On this day, no man was talking on his cell phone there so I didn’t feel self-conscious.

I kept reaching down to feel my knee through my jeans. I could barely touch it without severe pain, but I couldn’t see what the damage was. The wound was painful but, without seeing it, still abstract.

When I got home, I went into the bathroom to inspect my knee. The egg on my knee reminded me of the egg on Karl’s head the time “Fred” talked him into stepping into a spackle bucket with a rope on the handle that he had hanging over the edge of the cellar stairs.

“Let’s play Paul-in-a-basket and I’ll lower you down over the city wall,” he said.

It did not end well.

I iced my knee and put my leg up. Look up knee injury on the internet and the advice is nearly always the same — RICE: Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation. I didn’t compress my knee though; I could barely touch it.

Mary and Laurel were a huge help, cleaning up the dinner stuff and fixing my father his nightly bowl of ice cream.

I took two ibuprofen and went to bed early. The injury knocked the wind out of me.

I really don’t have time for this, I told God as I fell asleep. He listened. In the morning, I felt completely better.

Not really — but the egg was gone from my patella. I could still see the redness and the abrasion where I had hit, but the real swelling was now in big circle around the patella.

It has now been three days since the fall. Bruising is settling in below my knee.

I find the whole thing fascinating — the way my patella absorbed a huge impact, then dispersed a cushion of fluid around the point of impact, and now even that is settling. The tenderness is minimal and only around the outskirts of my knee. Okay — I still can’t kneel, but I can do everything else.

The human body is a pretty amazing piece of self-healing machinery, don’t you think?

And that silly fall is not going to prevent me from walking today or tomorrow.

Snow may take care of that.

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