The first time I slipped on the ice this winter, it was one of those slow motion falls where you have enough time to think on the way down "I must look like one of those cartoon characters whose feet are scrambling "woah woah woah" before I landed flat on my back in the middle of the street. No big injury, but some very large and colorful bruises.
The second fall was much faster and completely unexpected because I didn't see the patch of black ice on an otherwise dry sidewalk. I only had time to emit a loud piercing shriek of surprise before I hit the ground. This time, the only injury was to my pride: what as that noise I made?
Number three was when I was trying to pick my way down a steep icy path in a dog park where the steps were slick with ice from all the other people who had walked there. I foolishly broke my fall backwards using my hands, which jarred my wrists hard, but luckily nothing broke. My fear with winter ice falls is the broken elbow or wrist that leaves you unable to type with both hands. A few scrapes, but nothing serious.
Last night, I was stepping over the crusty little snow hill between the street and the curb and onto a sidewalk that looked as if it was completely clear of snow and ice, because the warm weather had melted so much snow. But there was a thin layer of black ice where the snow melt had refrozen and was invisible, and one leg shot out to the side and back, and I came down in a very deep lunge. The fact that I was wearing a heavy backpack meant I had a little less control, but I didn't hit the ground. Unfortunately, the bent leg is the one for which I'd been having physical therapy for a pulled groin muscle, and although I didn't re-injure it completely, I am now having a lot of pain again. Dagnabit.
I am normally not a winter whiner, and I wear good winter boots, but this stinks. I can't walk very well this morning, so I have canceled class, office hours and a meeting to ice, rest, take some aspirin, and see the doctor. Still, I grateful nothing is broken, because I now know of four people who have suffered broken bones from falls in the last few months, some of them requiring surgery. I am taking calcium supplements religiously.
Fibromyalgia amplifies the pain response, so I know I will have a flare-up in the next few days. I'm hoping to keep it to a minimum.