The Huisman boys missed very few weeks of Sunday school and we had the attendance award pins to prove it. Accordingly, I am familiar with the Genesis account of the fall of man. You know the fall I’m writing about: the devil tempts the naked lady who in turn encourages the naked man to eat the forbidden fruit. He does and everything goes to pot. There is a wonderful story of redemption from the consequences of this fall, but I’ll save that for Christmas and Easter.
Meanwhile, another great fall occurred last week. I call it the fall of a large man.
It was a lovely Monday evening and I had driven to the drug store to pick up a prescription. Upon arriving home I drove the car into the garage.
Prescription in hand I pushed the button to close the overhead garage door. I’ve done this thousands of times before. In previous times, however, I never noticed a piece of trash behind the right rear tire of my wife’s car.
A bit of a neat freak, I ducked back into the garage to remove the piece of trash, apparently forgetting that the garage door was on its way down. Yet some distance from the piece of trash, I felt the garage door brush my neck. Not wishing to experience pain or discomfort, I quickly stepped back outside the garage, losing my balance as I did so.
Being an optimist, I assumed I could regain my balance by “walking it out” – a maneuver somewhat akin to a ballet dance. Being tall, heavy and clumsy, I had used this “walking it out” method many times before, always with success. About a dozen feet down our concrete driveway the method failed me. Down I went.
I first landed on my knees, then my elbows and hands and then my head.
Though it was October, the weather was mild and I wore shorts on Monday. When my bare knees hit the coarse-textured concrete my nervous system told my brain, “That hurts!” That message was repeated by my elbows and hands.
When my face hit the concrete the first contact was with my left cheek, just below my left eye. The left lens of my eyeglasses went flying down the driveway and the frames were destroyed. I felt near instant swelling in the cheek immediately under my left eye.
Some unsavory words came to my mind in the first couple of seconds I was spread out on the concrete but I refrained from uttering them. Instead, I let out a loud moan.
Recognizing that I couldn’t spend the night on the driveway I attempted to get up… but couldn’t. Nothing was broken, I thought, but the body was unwilling to move. I laid there another minute or two and just as I was attempting to get up again my across-the-street neighbor shouted, “Are you okay, Arvid?” I lied; I assured him I was okay.
Thankfully, Dorman didn’t believe me. He came running across the street and arrived just as I stood up, not sure if I could remain in that position.
Dorman assisted me to our front door where we surprised Julie who had not heard my loud moan or felt the tremor.
Julie washed my wounds and applied antibiotic ointment and bandages. We were both concerned about the swelling under my eye and, after some deliberation, she drove me to the nearest emergency room.
The first person to work on me in the ER looked like she was a high school student. Her badge, however, assured me she was a nurse and her skills confirmed her training. The physician’s assistant on duty — who didn’t look old enough to be a P.A. — shared our concern about a fracture of the eye socket (my term, not hers.)
Three hours and one CAT-scan later we headed for home, assured that while I was a mess there we no fractures.
As I write four days days later I remain a mess. My face looks like I was in a bar fight in the toughest part of town. The large abrasions on my knees hurt whenever I bend them. Certain keys on my computer keyboard create discomfort in scraped and cut fingers when I type. And lower back pain is diminishing, thanks to a good chiropractor.
This fall went much better than that first one. Overall, I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in.