Stuff happens, right? You just never know when life is going to change direction. This past Wednesday, everything was going great. I had a Q&A at io9.com, which was a great publicity opportunity, and in the afternoon I went to the gym where I was able to run 3.5 miles on the treadmill in under thirty-two minutes, which is about peak condition for me, and something I haven’t been able to do in a while.
Then Thursday rolled around. As happens often, I heard feral chickens in the yard. They scratch the mulch out of my gardens, so I headed outside to chase them away. I trotted down the deck stairs, but as I reached the last step I somehow managed to trip. I was wearing old rubber slippers (probably better known to you as “flip flops”) that were too big for me. I’m not entirely clear on what happened, but I think I caught the toe of the slippers. At any rate, I went flying into the concrete, landed on my chin, and fractured my jaw. Such skillz! I have no idea what my hands were doing and why they didn’t instinctively reach out to break my fall. This is doubly strange because I have good reflexes. But it is what it is.
Not only was this the first broken bone of my life, it was also my first ambulance ride.
While this is a rotten thing to have happen, I can count multiple ways in which I was lucky: I’m not dead**; no serious concussion; I wasn’t alone at home; I have a fantastic husband and son to help me out; I have good health insurance; I don’t have to get my jaw wired so long as I behave and stick to a liquid diet***; it really doesn’t hurt as much as I would have expected; and the novel is presently with the editor, so I have a few days to recover before I need to return my attention to that. And I’m also extremely fortunate in that I don’t have to go in to a regular job in this condition, which so many others would have to do.
I’m not too thrilled that I have to lay off running and weight-lifting for at least four weeks, and probably six weeks–but such is life. I’m already learning some interesting things about smoothies–for example, poi-banana-milk is really good–so there’s that.
As for the chickens…I can hear them outside right now. I think I need to get a dog.
** While discussing the X-ray, the oral surgeon mentioned that the section of bone that broke, very close to the hinge, is lightweight and “designed” to break. Otherwise it would get jammed into the brain.
*** Amusingly, the oral surgeon also told me that if I were a man, he would have wired my jaw, no question, because apparently those of you who are men have no discipline when it comes to sticking to a liquid diet, while women of my age (53) take our obligations seriously!