College Football and Falling Gracefully

Whether or not you follow college football, you need to know that the Ducks are pretty awesome. They won their game yesterday 66-3. I know, it was one of those warm up games, getting ready for league play, and it wasn’t the most scored by a team this weekend, but, still. That’s a whole mess of points. The most scored in a game was by Indiana who won their game 73-35. The Ducks also racked up 772 yards of total offense, a new school record, and enough to currently lead the nation in that category. It looks encouraging. The Oregon St. Beavers lost yesterday, but they still scored 46 points.

Now I must report a weekend accident and the lesson I learned because of it.

Let me set the stage for you … we have underground sprinklers that kinda work, enough to get the bushes around the house nice and wet, along with our front porch. Diane found a need to turn them on yesterday afternoon because she didn’t think the water bill was large enough. She’s given up on watering the yard, which has turned a nice khaki color, my favorite color. The only thing that grows in it are random dandelions. Not many, but enough to make it necessary to lop their tops off once in a while.

We have 4 sprinkler zones in the front that are layed out in an odd pattern … one zone has about six sprinklers on it and they all overlap a great deal, and one only has 2 sprinklers on it. The latter is the one that sprays the porch, and also sprays Diane’s side of the bed if she forgets to close the window on her side of the bedroom. This has been tested.

She only lets each zone run for about 10 minutes, then switches. After turning them off, she called me to the front porch to look at something but I can’t remember what it was because when I stepped onto the porch my feet slipped right out from beneath me, causing me to go airborne for a brief moment in time.

It’s really amazing how much data your brain can accumulate while you are in an unplanned free fall, no matter how short. For instance, as my feet slipped, I did a swift calculation as to about where I might land. I had to take into account that there are three cement steps in the landing zone, so I had to run through the calculations a couple of times to make sure they were correct. By the time I was done with that, I was about halfway down and I was looking up at the porch light. It reminded me that I need to switch that old thing out for the new one that’s laying on my table saw in the basement.

Knowing the steps were going to complicate things, I just decided to land on my elbows, mostly on the left one because it’s the worst one I have, anyway. Plus, I remember what happened to Jack’s wrist when he fell off a truck and tried to block descent with his hands. Yes, I didn’t fall nearly as far as he did, but it still crossed my mind.

About that time, my left elbow hit the top step about the time my rear end hit the third step, as planned, to distribute the impact a little better. Then, all of my parts slid the rest of the way off the steps allowing the back of my head to clang against the top step.

Then, all was still. Diane was standing right next to me the entire time and didn’t make one move to stop my fall. She just watched. Admittedly, however, it happened pretty quickly so she didn’t have time to think about it. She just said, “do I need to call 911?”

I layed there a bit, taking inventory of my previously moving parts, and discovered that I could feel pretty much everything except most of my left hand. That concerned me because I didn’t want a broken wrist like Jack. But, I hadn’t heard anything snap, and I could move my fingers without pain, so figured I dodged that bullet. Part of my hand is numb all the time anyway, so a little more wasn’t a big deal.

Though I didn’t lay there very long, it was long enough to actually get kind of comfortable. But, my head started to ache so thought I better move. Plus, Diane was still asking me if she should call 911. She didn’t take my pulse or anything. I guess I was blinking and breathing so she figured I was probably a good judge of whether or not I needed emergency treatment. I actually am pretty good at that and used to be on a first name basis with all the folks at Urgent Care here in town. Most of my severe injuries were accomplished while I was home alone thereby creating a need for me to either dial 911, or just drive myself to Urgent Care. The latter was always the easiest, and quickest, so that’s what I did.

Finally, figuring I wouldn’t know what didn’t work correctly until I tried to stand up, I sat up and jump to my feet. Yes, that’s what I did. I may have even say “Olay!” when I did it, but I’m not sure. I do know that on the way up I didn’t experience any debilitating pain, which pleased me, so told Diane, “No, we’re not going to the emergency room.” I wasn’t bleeding and nothing appeared to be broken, but I wasn’t really sure how hard I hit my head, so stayed awake for a few hours to make sure I didn’t fall asleep, while Diane went to bed to read.

Don’t get me wrong, she was concerned, but not as much as a normal wife might be. She’s used to me injuring myself in odd ways much worse than this simple little fall, but I am getting up in zone where falls like that can cause serious damage. Apparently I’m part of the ‘Lucky Group’, so far.

My elbow hurt a bit, but feeling was returning to my hand. Oddly, too, my right shoulder and arm weren’t hurting and they’ve been hurting for weeks. Maybe I fixed it, somehow.

So, “what’s the lesson?”

Don’t wear your worn out Crocs out on a slippery wet porch unless you’re going to take tiny little steps and walk flat-footed. I knew that’s what I was supposed to do because I’ve slipped on the garage floor before, but never fell down. There aren’t any steps in the garage though.

Today I figured I’d be black and blue, but that didn’t happen. Can’t even see marks where I landed. I felt cheated, somehow, by going through all of that and not coming out of it with even a little evidence that ‘something’ had happened.

Maybe tomorrow will be different. I’m going out with the Lion’s Club to plant flags around town tomorrow morning in honor of Labor Day, so I better get to bed.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. In a couple of days it’s back to school for the kids. They’re real happy about that.

Physical Therapy, Eyes, and Bathroom Sinks

Today was filled with variety, as you can see by the title. True, I’ve had multiple things in the titles before, but those were all lies. This one is the absolute truth. Honest. It is.

Here’s what I did and I numbered them for clarity …

1. I cancelled a conflicting PT appointment with EB at the VA. I cancelled it because it was on a day that we will be in Seaside. For those not familiar with Seaside, it’s a tourist trap of a city just south of Astoria that both Diane and I have been going to visit our entire lives. It’s a fun place and, oddly enough, is situated right on the Pacific Ocean. One of the main attractions is at the foot of Broadway where there is a turnaround with a memorial marking the end of the Lewis & Clark Trail. Surely you know them. I think they were explorers of some kind. Anyway, these guys were actually in Seaside at one time. That’s true. Anyway, we’re taking Diane’s Mom, Jean, there for a few days to celebrate her 86th birthday. She’s really old, but hard to keep up with sometimes.

2. I made an optometry appointment at the VA with an unknown practitioner because the government sent me a postcard directing me to do so. This isn’t in response to my suspect diabetic retinopathy test, but rather my annual followup to see if I’m going blind for other reasons. I don’t think I am, but who knows? Maybe I am and just don’t know it. If that’s true, I will sorely miss my computer, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

3. I Kung Fooed the plumbing into place in “The Bathroom.” The pedestal sinks were temporarily mounted yesterday, a detail I forgot to share. Just for fun we’re going to mount Lydia’s sink a little higher than the boy’s to see if her OCD-ness can tell the difference. Regarding the sinks, Jeran thinks there should be three sinks because Lydia shouldn’t be the only one with a personal sink. In Lydia’s defense, she needs her own sink and she gets the one next to the wall because that’s where the plug is. Apparently she has plans to use it. The sinks were actually just propped up against the wall which made it easy to remove them so I could install the plumbing parts. I did that today. It was a challenge because I had to  cut some large chunks out of 2×4 studs so there’s an increased chance the wall may just collapse at some point. Maybe not. We’ll see. Until that happens, I trust the PEX tubing In installed will not leak. What did leak was three of the four new cut off valves, two for each sink. That was a bummer. It took a long time to convince myself to cut the supply lines, thereby making complete installation of the valves a requirement. Otherwise, the water would have remained off, no one could shower, no one could flush the toilets until the last person was done with it for the night, which would have created an iffy situation that could easily have ended with the involvement of lawyers and such. Not wanting to be responsible that kind of situation kept me going until it was water tight. I had to reinstall the valves three times to get it right. The final solution involved some incredibly gooey crap to seal up the threads. Now all that remains is to add the drains, finish the wall, and, oh ya, wainscoting. Actually, the latter aspect will simplify the process for finishing the wall.

I might have to take some pictures of the before & after to share with you. It’s been quite a process.