Whom Did I PO This Time?

Most important thing in life is learning how to fall.
― Jeannette Walls

There is a brief moment when one starts to fall that disbelief sets in. “This cannot be happening!” Then the other thoughts start pouring out—“NO!” “Help!” “I can stop this.” “Don’t let me hit my head!”—followed by a string of four-letter words not suitable for gentle readership. After the actual splat, stunned silence usually precedes additional phrases that would have gotten mouths rinsed with soap years ago. I’m apt to give a little lenience for language use during falls, though, especially if I’m the one falling.

You probably guessed that, yes, I fell in Florence yesterday, but I swear it was not my fault. Let’s start at the beginning.

The Apartment

The Austro-Hungarian Embassy when Florence was the capital of Italy, the apartment where we’re staying in is a grand place with original frescoes still on the ceilings. There are five bedrooms and five bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, and terraces. Everything is updated—stove, oven, bathrooms, and the floor.

My room is upstairs in what, I assume, was once the caretaker’s room. It is quiet, comfortable, and quirky in that the commode is in a room on one side of the bedroom, and the sink and shower are across the narrow staircase on the other.

Staircase with bedroom on left and bathroom on right. Note there is a step down and up between them.

“You need to be really careful,” my hero husband said to me when I told him about the crossover. “Make sure you put on the light.” I didn’t want to tell him, but putting on a light isn’t going to help much as the whole set-up is dizzying. Each time I’m on the staircase, I hug the wall to make sure I don’t end up head-over-heels. Luckily, I have not yet tumbled on or near that staircase.

Da Floor

I mentioned that when they renovated this place, they fixed everything, including the floor. If you look at the photo on the left below, you can see the stained cement floor in the hallway, and the parquet flooring in one of the rooms. If you look at the photo on the right, you can see that inside the door, the concrete floor is about four-to-five inches higher than the foyer’s wood floor.

Let me just cut to the chase. I came in the door yesterday afternoon, was not paying attention, and forgot about that lip. I’m not exactly sure which of my feet hit the concrete step, but the next thing I knew, I was flying. Disbelief set in. “This cannot be happening!” and the other thoughts started pouring out—“NO!” “Help!” “I can stop this.” “Don’t let me hit my head!”—followed by that string of four-letter words I won’t repeat here.

If you see the rug in the photo on the right, you’ll know where I landed. By the grace of God, I did not hit my head, but I have fabric burns on both legs and knees, wood burns on both elbows and arms, and a right hand and wrist that are once again swollen and painful. And, yes, it is the hand that I had surgery on in February.

I can move my fingers and hand, so I know it’s not broken. One of my guests this time is a doctor, and she looked at it and suggested I wrap it in an ace bandage. I did.

Back in a bandage again

I am beside myself and angry about my carelessness. I’m angry that the floor is the way it is (We figure they raised it to put in the new plumbing.). I’m angry that I hurt. I’m angry that I undid so much progress. I’m angry that I have to wear that stupid bandage. And, I’m angry that I’m feeling sorry for myself.

Tomorrow, however, is another day. Here’s hoping the pain and swelling go down. And, Mike, for Mothers’ Day, just get me a case of bubble wrap.


  1. Kathy Guenther

    Ed and I had the same response when we read your Facebook post, “it’s not the hand!” But of course. We pray you have no more incidents. 😘


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