Not my finest moment – I was walking back from the supermarket a couple of days ago with my usual bulky bag of groceries when out of the blue my ankle gave way and I landed in an ungainly heap on the pavement. My groceries went flying, and my poor bewildered husband, who had been walking beside me also heavily loaded down, like me was caught by surprise and had no idea what had just happened to cause me to fall.
I have a history of falling over like this, quite often at the most inopportune moments, so we both know the drill by now. Let me sit tight for a moment, get my bearings, give all my limbs a cursory feel to check for serious injury, and all being well, I can slowly get up with help. It’s embarrassing to fall over in public, and when a passing stranger quickly crossed the road to offer help we reassured him I would be fine but thanked him for asking.
I quickly realised I’d twisted my ankle, grazed my knee and jarred my shoulder when I put my hands out in an attempt to save myself, but nothing worse than that so after gingerly getting back on my feet I retrieved my shopping, limped home with my husband’s support, and sat with my foot up for the rest of the day. I had some puffy swelling and woke up stiff as a board the following day, but thankfully am well on the mend now.
But it made me think – that’s the third time I’ve fallen over in public on a busy London street and on every occasion a stranger has come to my rescue, offering help. The first time I fell I was with my husband, and both he and two men who had been walking behind us showed a lot of concern until they saw me get up again. I don’t really like too much attention when I fall, I feel bad enough sitting like an idiot in the street without being overly fussed over, but I do appreciate that people care.
The second time I fell in public I was on my own, and a young man in a cap and hoodie saw me fall and immediately ran across the road to offer assistance – he asked if I’d hurt anything and I told him only my pride, but he helped me up and made sure I could walk before he carried on his way. London’s funny that way, it’s as if everyone goes around ignoring everyone else until something happens, and then they suddenly spring into action to offer help where they can 🙂
PS Two other famous falls of note I remember – in private this time – have caused me to (1) fall down a few stairs and have a huge haematoma on my right thigh that lasted for weeks as well as bruising on my back, and (2) need an uncomfortable trip to A&E to treat a concussion and a painful split in my scalp after falling out the shower and hitting the wash hand basin on my way down. Clumsy? Me? Nah! 🙂