The Fall


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Sometimes the only way to survive a misstep in life is to laugh at it.  Otherwise, you’d just sit and cry.

Ted had been working at cleaning out the gutters.  Leaves had piled up into a gooey mess, and the rains had been heavy.  It was a job that had to be done.

He was home alone, but never gave a thought to the possibility of injury. He was, after all, a man of action.  He’d always climbed up and down ladders with no problem, working on roofs and ceilings and trees or whatever else came his way. Always a man to fix it himself, he was strong and capable in his late sixties, and he planned to stay that way.

Well, as they say, best-laid plan of mice and men. . . .

It was a beautiful August Saturday morning.  He placed the ladder carefully on the driveway, making sure it was secure. With  no concern whatsoever, he climbed up to take care of those gutters.

And suddenly the ladder was swaying backward!  Ted was so shocked, he barely had time to react. Before he could think, his foot hit the pavement heel-first, and although he didn’t think he’d been seriously hurt, he didn’t try to get up right away.  When he felt safe to stand, he realized quickly that something was very wrong.  His heel felt like jello.  He went back down to his knees and crawled down the walk to the front porch. By the time he got that far, the lady across the street was there to help him into the house.  She’d heard the clatter of the ladder, heard him shout.  He still doesn’t remember shouting, swears he didn’t, but she heard what she heard. She got him seated in a dining room chair, propped the insulted foot on another chair, and helped him clean up the bloody scrapes on his hands and arms.

Ted’s wife had stayed overnight with their daughter.  When she walked into the house and saw him sitting there with his foot up, she knew it was something serious. He wouldn’t let a small bump keep him down. “I think you’d better take me to the ER,” he said, never batting an eye. You’d have thought he had an ingrown toenail or something.

He crawled to the car, and off they went.

Long story short, he’d smashed his heel bone (calcaneus) to smithereens.  The foot swelled up like a football, and they had to wait two weeks before the repair surgery could take place. The injury changed Ted’s life. It’s a very serious injury, resulting in chronic pain and some serious debility.

So be careful on ladders, folks.  One little misstep can be life-changing.


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