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a bit of a tumble

I am writing this from a hospital bed on Sunday evening. What happened, you ask?

Yeah, um, I kinda fell, about 20 feet off an extension ladder while putting up Christmas lights… no big deal.

OK, it is a bit of a big deal. I fractured my pelvic bone in two places. Do you wanna hear the whole sordid story? Sure you do! We all know how much people love to tell their accident stories to anyone within earshot. Of course, I do too, so here goes.

Let me begin by acknowledging that we all have our fears and phobias. I, for instance, am deathly afraid of fire. Strange for someone who uses fire in the form of a gas range every day, but I’m not afraid of that sort of controlled fire.

I’m afraid of fire in fireplaces, or campfires, the sort of fires that can easily and quickly get out of control and rapidly spread. In fact, thirteen years ago when we moved into the home we now live in, I insisted, against a lot of opposition from Dave and the kids, that we switch from a real Christmas tree to an artificial tree because the house is a 2-story and I couldn’t even think of the kids sleeping upstairs with a real (and eventually dry, crispy, fire-hazard) tree downstairs.

That said, let me quickly assure you that I am not in the hospital due to a fire. I mention the whole fear and phobia thing to let you know that my husband, Dave, is afraid of heights.

Because of that, every Christmas when we put up the lights on our house, he puts up all the lights except for the ones on the two high gables. I climb the extension ladder and put those portions up. He deals with extending the huge ladder and securing it and I climb it and put up those lights. He also holds the ladder while I climb up and while I’m up there… holding it the entire time until I descend. Above is a 2008 photo of the side gable, which I did first this year and, as usual for the last 12 years, all went well and without incident.

This is a 2008 photo of the front gable … this is where the accident occurred. The ladder was propped up against the house, just on the right side of the center peak.

I was about 20 feet up on the ladder, ready to put the attach the lights when I noticed that the strand of lights I was working on looked like it had several dark and possibly burned-out bulbs. I asked Dave if he’d tested the strand. He had. I said that there were quite of few dark-looking bulbs. He said that he’d go get an extension cord to test it again and for me not to move. I said OK and that I wouldn’t move. He turned to go and immediately the ladder started to slip and fall from beneath me. I felt it slip and then felt myself start to fall … and for that terrifying split second I actually thought, “I am going to die.”

As you can see, there is a decorative brick wall around that area of the front of the house. It is about 3 feet high. As I fell, I hit that wall with my back, and for that next split second thought, “Oh no, my back is going to break.”

From there I fell through dusty bushes, on my side, onto the gravely ground. I opened my eyes and Dave was standing over me. We were both freaking out not knowing what to do. I was in pain. I finally let him help me up. He was holding on to me and when I went to take my first step, I nearly crumbled back to the ground. Long story short – he took me to the hospital. I had x-rays on my chest, back, and pelvic area. They reveal that I’ve fractured the left ring of my pelvis, front and back, and bruised my kidney. Thankfully my back appears to be OK.

To say that I am blessed and so grateful that that is all that is damaged is, to say the least. It could have been so much worse. So much worse!

Dave leaves town in a few hours, hopefully, he’ll come by and check on me here in the hospital before he flies off. I’ll be on my own for most of the next week, I’m sure I’ll be fine. I see the orthopedic doctor in the morning (which is today as you read this) and then go to physical therapy and figure out the plan for recovery. As a result, I should know more later in the day. Hopefully, I’ll be released in the late afternoon on Monday, that’s “MY plan” anyhow. 🙂

From my vantage point at the moment, it looks like it is going to be a very low-key Christmas. I shall keep you posted on my progress. I have quite a few recipes that I’ve already photographed and are “in my back pocket” to blog about. I know what the last two days of my 12 days of Christmas gifts will be. We’ll have to wait and see if I can actually stand in the kitchen to make them or if I just post the recipes and “borrow” photos from the internet to use with those posts. But there will still be all 12 days!

Now you’re all caught up on my awesome Sunday afternoon and evening. I hope you had a much better and more productive and fun weekend.

Oh, I did go to a wonderful ornament exchange on Saturday. I had so much fun and the beautiful and talented hostess, Cheryl, put on a delicious and beautiful spread! I’d planned to write a big old thank you note, Cheryl. I still will, it’ll just be a little later than expected.


*Disclaimer: I’ve read this post over about a dozen times and each time I find more mistakes and more run-on sentences (more than normal anyway). I’m afraid this is the best I can do with the drugs I’m on, please forgive me!

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1 kelly { 12.10.12 at 11:13 AM }

Heal quickly! You are in my prayers!

2 Cheryl { 12.10.12 at 11:26 AM }

Linda – no thank you notes, please – like you don’t have something else to think about right now!! It’s just enough that my friends come and have a good time…..and want to come back. Is there anything I can do to help you? When are you coming home? Need any shopping or errands run. I am out and about the next few days and can help with that….or wrapping. Whatever. Just let me know.

3 Marissa { 12.10.12 at 2:30 PM }

Don’t worry! I got Christmas cinnamon buns covered!

4 Linda Hopkins { 12.10.12 at 2:33 PM }

Thanks Cheryl and Kelly! And Marissa, love, that makes my day (and no doubt your Dad’s and Connor’s too) to know that we won’t miss out on our traditional Christmas morning traditions!

5 Shelley { 12.10.12 at 7:38 PM }

Soooo sorry to hear about the ladder accident. Elizabeth and I both wish you a speedy recovery and happy holidays. To make you feel better, I too had two fractures in my pelvis long time ago, and they healed perfectly fine. You will be climbing that ladder again in no time. 🙂

6 Linda Hopkins { 12.10.12 at 7:49 PM }

Aw, Thank you Shelly and Elizabeth for your kind and encouraging words. Happy to hear of someone who healed so well, I expect the same, and I promise to take it easy to be sure it is so. xoxo

7 Sydney { 12.10.12 at 9:13 PM }

OMG! That wasn’t at all Christmasy. I hope that you will recover quickly and stay off of ladders! I am so thankful that your injury wasn’t worse. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

8 Sharon { 12.10.12 at 11:26 PM }

I can only imagine how scared you and Dave must have been.
Please know that you will be in our prayers for a speedy and not-to-painful recovery. We (the whole family) are so thankful you are ok.

9 Lisa Lorts-Conatser { 12.11.12 at 1:20 PM }

I hope you feel better soon and I hope for a speedy recovery but I know it will take time and back pain is the worse and I hope the pain meds will help!!!A few years ago I broke my back and told the Dr’s I had alot of pain the Dr did surgery due to he saw a space in my L5 but he did not know till he did the surgery that I had for over a year a bone was floating in my nerves and he fixed it and he was a miracle Dr but I have pain every now and then but feel much better with 4 screws in my back and the recovery took maybe 6 months if that even..so I hope they can get you fixed up soon so you can feel better!!!

10 Angie karakey { 12.12.12 at 9:40 PM }

Linda. I am sorry that this happened and hope you have a speedy recovery. Angie Karakey

11 Linda Hopkins { 12.13.12 at 7:11 AM }

Thank you Sydney, Sharon, Lisa, and Angie! Getting better everyday. xoxo

12 Mary McGarvey { 01.17.22 at 8:50 PM }

It’s now almost ten years later.
Im just curious, did the accident have any lasting effects with your health? Did you really get back up on any ladder?
My only brush with orthopedics was with an Achilles‘ tendon rupture. It only took three months to be walking again. Since then, I’ve been interested in other people‘s accidents.

13 Linda Hopkins { 01.18.22 at 9:28 AM }

Wow, it has been nine years and a couple of months! Time truly does fly! No long term effects for me. All is well, thank you.

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