Diabetes Self-Management Blog

A couple of weeks ago I took what is, in hindsight, a rather amusing trip. And stumble. And, eventually — after what seemed like several minutes attempting to regain my balance (and another several deciding to just go with the flow and stop fighting it) — a full-on fall. Bam!

Actually, more of a thwump! My 6-foot-4-inch, 250-some-pound frame fell onto the frozen, uneven, craggy earth, which over the previous two days endured many a freeze–thaw cycle, and during which dozens of people and dogs had traipsed across the narrow path that leads up from the creek bridge.

It’s our normal Sunday morning worship: Kathryn and I head out to Paw Run with the labradoodle for an hour of walking. Ellie plays with the other dogs, or she runs about thirty yards ahead of us both on- and off-trail to explore the wonderful smells of nature and other dogs.

The previous day I ran five miles on the treadmill. I worry about my shins; I’m a big guy; I hate shin splints; I fear their return. When we got to the dog park that morning, however, my legs felt fine. The happiness in my legs led to the Paw Run Fall of February 2011.

On an out-and-back loop that takes us over the aforementioned bridge and around a several-acre field, I had some spring in my step. As we closed the loop, Ellie returned from her roaming, playful and poodle-fiesty. We crossed the bridge, and without giving it much thought, I decided to sprint with Ellie up the frozen, uneven, craggy earth.

Except for a tree root directly in front of my right foot, my plant foot. My big toe caught and held long enough for my body’s initial propulsion to keep going on along while my right toe stuck behind, under the root.

Kathryn said that, for her, the whole thing happened in slow motion, but she thought I’d regain balance and recover. I didn’t, though. I went down.

To my credit, however, my reaction was to not shove my arm out and fall directly onto it. Yay! No broken arm or wrist. To Kathryn’s credit, she waited several minutes until she was certain I was OK before laughing. (And I can’t blame her. Who doesn’t love a good trip and fall, after all?)

I went down in a heap and turned to my side as I fell, falling, I realized, onto my insulin pump. Where are my diabetes instincts? I didn’t think about my pump! In fact, I didn’t check on the pump until ten minutes later, once the adrenaline wore off. I pulled it from my pocket, certain it’d be broken or cracked or in some way not functioning properly. It was fine.

My knees and shins, however, weren’t fine. It’s nearly two weeks later and still they’re nicely scraped, some mud rash remaining. Battle scars soon.

Oh, right. Also: The morning after my dog-park fall, while on an early-morning walk with Ellie, while crossing the street at an intersection, guess what? My boot hit a patch of ice I didn’t see. Again I went down, this time my right leg buckling beneath me, my right arm taking the brunt of the tumble this time.

The pump, however, was fine.

Me? I’m fine too, even though it sounds like I’m a mess.

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