“Step on a crack; break your mother’s back!” Most of us oldsters grew up believing in the curse of stepping on a sidewalk crack. My childhood friend and I sang and giggled our way to elementary school every morning, strategically jumping over each crack lest we bring affliction of the dreaded curse to our mothers.
I’ve long paid attention to the condition of sidewalks. I’m no longer superstitious about breaking my mother’s back, but I know the risk of injury from tripping on sidewalks that are in disrepair. Ask any litigation attorney. Around my neighborhood, the sidewalks are all fairly new. Long lines in the concrete footpaths are metered out every four feet, each one flush with the others. There are no breaks in the sidewalk; nothing that might cause a person to stumble and get hurt.
So, imagine my incredulity, three weeks ago, when my theory of perfect sidewalks got thrown out the window. I had stood on the perfect sidewalk in front of my house, innocent as you please, basking in the sunshine and blue sky, surveying the winter damage to my yard. I made mental notes on what I would need to get the yard ready for Spring, and then, faster than you can say, Hold on Nellie! Things are about to get real! I felt the dreamlike, split-second free-fall sensation of jumping off a cliff, followed by pain, searing through my shoulder and elbow as I slammed into the fence. My legs, feeble now, went out from under me, anchoring me on my back like an overturned turtle flopping around to right itself. I reached out to stop my fall, but my arms and hands had become limp and useless, too. I didn’t notice foot discomfort until I stood and took a step. The pain nearly knocked me back down. And that’s how I ended up in Urgent Care.
“You say you tripped and fell?”
“No, doctor, I don’t know why I fell.”
“Maybe you got dizzy?”
“No, I didn’t feel dizzy; I was just standing there, and fell.”
“So maybe you stepped on a crack?”
“Oh, no. I would never step on a crack.”
“Have you ever been tested for Osteoporosis?”
Oh yeah, things are about to get real . . .
TO BE CONTINUED