Walking and texting can be hazardous to your health

Walking and texting can be hazardous to your health. Or maybe it is only hazardous to my health. Either way I am on a crusade to save those of you who won’t put your phone down so that you do not end up like me….

Let’s start approximately two months ago shall we?

My long time friend got engaged and was officially a week and a half away from her big day. I was so excited for her. Usually I’m all “love sucks” and “down with love”, but not when I can honestly see true love and happiness between two people. Yes, that is what my friend had finally found. True love. I guess it really does exist! So now can you see why a cynic like me would be so wrapped up in the happiness of my friend that I would want to text her and share in her excitement for her upcoming nuptials? So that is exactly what I did.

Unfortunately, at the same time I was texting her, I had somewhere to be. I made a commitment to do the decorations for my church’s VBS and I had a meeting with the coordinator. So I slipped on my red Tom’s that I had just bought and headed out the door. Going toward the stairs that lead to the garage my phone beeped. It was a text from the bride to be. It made me smile. I started to reply when I put my left foot on the first step. My right foot hit the second step. My left foot hit the third step. As I put my right foot out for the fourth step something strange happened. A vague sensation of momentary flight occurred followed by searing pain. I was stunned. How did I manage to miss the last four steps and end up on the ground on my backside with my right foot underneath me???

It was time to assess the damage. I removed my right foot from under my backside and a numbing pain coursed throughout my entire foot. It was slightly bloody. Only slightly, because I had scraped off at few layers of skin and all you could see was the whites of my tissue in a large oval shape around the top part of my foot and ankle. The left foot was fine. No pain at all. It was time for the biggest test of all…..standing. I tried to stand up and immediately flopped back down. It was just too painful.

I looked around to see if anyone saw me. Forget about embarrassment. I was in serious pain and would gladly accept the assistance. Except, no one was there. Okay, I thought. I have to get up and get back to my house. I mustered up all the strength I had and stood up painfully. I hopped up each of the seven rock covered steps that I had just fallen down and made it back to my home.

At that point my first aid training must have kicked in because I immediately hobbled over to the freezer and pulled out an ice pack to put on my foot. What do I do now? I’m alone. I’m injured. Oh my goodness, I’m uninsured!!!

I picked up the phone to call my dad. He didn’t answer. My mom was supposed to be at prayer meeting so I didn’t want to call her. I called my sister and she answered. “How do you know whether or not you’ve broken your ankle?” I said. Her reply, “Mom, ______ broke her ankle!” I forget my sister can be a panicky one. Thankfully mom was still home. My mom has always been great in emergency situations. She is the yin to my sister’s yang. I tried to tell her I wasn’t sure it was that serious, but it was too late. My sister was already conferring with my mother about what to do. They told me they would be right over.

In the meantime I told the person at church what happened as well as my friend, the bride to be. The ironic part to all this is that the bride to be had fallen down her stairs a month earlier and also injured her ankle. She was still on the mend and understood my pain. She offered to bring me crutches so I wouldn’t have to walk on my injured foot and I gladly accepted.

I waited about ten minutes and the front door was opening. My mom, my sister, and my teenage niece to the rescue. I told them what happened and we discussed my options. Emergency room? Urgent care? We agreed urgent care would be my best bet. How am I going to pay? Thankfully my dad taught me fiscal responsibility and I was confident I had enough in my savings to cover any medical expenses. A knock at the door brought in the bride to be with the crutches. She lives in the same complex so she didn’t have to go far. She gave me the crutches and told me not to let them charge me for additional ones. I thanked the bride to be and hobbled out the door on my two new accessories: the crutches.

A murse (male nurse) brought out a wheel chair and wheeled me into urgent care. The receptionist had me fill out paperwork and I waited to be called. Then the receptionist asked if I had insurance. “No, I will be paying in cash”, I replied miserably. The wait wasn’t too bad. The pain was unrelenting. When it was time to see the doctor, the murse wheeled me into an exam room followed by my mom. My sister and niece waited in reception.

The doctor examined my foot. Told me to move it this way and move it that way, but I couldn’t. He checked out the rest of me, but thankfully the rest of me was fine. I was then wheeled into a room for x-rays and then back to the exam room once those were finished. Finally the verdict was delivered. My ankle was not broken. It was severely contused. “Stay off of it for the next week and keep it elevated above your heart with a chair or pillows”, said the doctor. “Thank you so much”, I replied. Now comes the hard part: the bill. The receptionist gave me the total and I had a slight heart attack. Maybe two seconds. Then I took out my debit card and sadly parted with an eighth of my savings.

At home I had lots of time to ponder my circumstance. I couldn’t walk at all and had to literally crawl upstair to get to my bedroom. Crawling was way more comfortable than walking at that point. How could I have been so careless? I know I don’t have insurance and I need to be careful. It was an absolutely miserable time. No walking. No running. No more Zumba.

Fast forward two months to today. I am able to walk without crutches or a brace. The oval shaped scar has healed and darkened but still appears on my foot. For me, it is a constant reminder of that painful day when I got into a fight with the steps outside of my house, and the steps won! At least that is how I presented what happened on my Facebook page and my friends got a great laugh from it.

I know we rush, we hurry, we can’t wait. But believe me when I say that some things can wait. I now walk up and down steps holding a handrail and looking at the ground at all times. That is my personal PSA. Walking and texting can be hazardous to your health….so be careful.


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