For those that don’t follow me on social media, that title is not clickbait! Last Sunday, I did indeed fall down about six concrete steps. Outside of a funeral home, of all places. According to my family, I was lucky to come out of it with just scrapes and bruises by the way I tumbled. I only remember bits and pieces, like how I was so sure I’d be able to catch the railing somehow, or regain control by getting my foot on another stair. Neither of those things happened. Then I pictured actually dying outside of my 83-year-old grandmother’s wake at just 21 and laughed, or at least I laughed in my head. By the end of the fall I was merely focusing on protecting my head as best I could. My dad says I shielded my face with my arm and hand, which explains all of the scrapes and bruises there, but I don’t remember doing it.
Now back at home and giving my body much needed time to recover, below are three lessons I learned from falling down the stairs.
1. Appreciate your front teeth.
Especially the two at the top. Yes, I chipped mine while trying to avoid breaking my nose on the pavement. My nose is fine, but half of my right tooth is not. I never truly noticed how much I actually used my front teeth when eating. Whether it’s grabbing whatever’s on the eating utensil I’m holding, or moving food around in my mouth while chewing, they were incredibly under appreciated before, but never will they be again! I have a dentist appointment tomorrow to see what we can do about repairing them.
2. ALWAYS hold on to the railing.
Have you ever rolled your eyes at the adult in your life because they told you for the umpteenth time to hold on to the railing while you were going down steps? Yeah, me too. Though I almost always held myself to that rule, I didn’t this time. Maybe it was because I was getting out of the way of an open door, or maybe I just thought I’d be fine, like I was with the stairs at home earlier that day. Whatever the reason, I didn’t hold on to the railing. Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have a bloody lip and bruises down my leg now. Always hold on to the railing.
3. Finally, the ever so cliché, life is short.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I seriously considered that I might die during my fall. I’m 21 years old, bedbound for over a quarter of that time… I haven’t lived. I mean, I’ve done incredible things, don’t get me wrong, but my biggest dream in life is to be a mom someday. So, you see, I haven’t lived.
I’ve always known life is short. Adults tell you all the time when you’re young, “Life is short, don’t waste it!” I’ve never taken that for granted, especially these past ten+ years with chronic illness. But, trust me, you do not want to be tumbling down concrete steps with your loved ones watching, wondering what the hell you’ve been waiting for to do XYZ. Life is too short.