Sunday, February 18, 2007

Black Ice is Not Nice!

Now that the snow is finally melting in the culdesac, and we'll all be making appointments to get our backs realigned and our shock absorbers changed, it has brought to mind a story from my past.

Black ice is a phenomenon around here and the official dictionary definition is: "a thin film of ice on paved surfaces that is difficult to see." Pretty simple and straightforward - and so very true.

It was a January day - the Broncos were playing a game leading to the play-offs. I was going out for my daily walk, for my health, don't you know?? It was a year much like this one when there had been quite a bit of snow and the city had not done such a hot job of getting rid of it that year either. The streets were rutted and the blacktop was showing where the snow had melted in the ruts. I was walking in the ruts to prevent myself from falling on the icy snow in the streets. The sidewalks were treacherous as well. Anyway -- on the sides of the streets were parked cars and trucks. If it so happend that one of those vehicles had been there for awhile, the snow as it melted formed a very thin sheet of ice on that blacktop and because the vehicle caused shade, the ice had not melted. Enter me - doing a 15 minute mile, getting my heart rate up. Boom - down I went.

The first reaction was to look around to see if anyone saw me. The next was a realization of pain. I discovered I was on a street where a former neighbor now lived, quite a ways from home. I rang her doorbell with my uninjured arm and asked her for a ride home. She was a good neighbor and complied.

When I got home, DC looked up with a greeting. I told him what had happened. You know from previous posts that I am married to a super guy who would do anything for me. But, let's face it, he didn't get the severity of this situation and the Broncos were going great guns! He said, "Hon, just go lie down and I'm sure you'll feel better when you wake up."

I did - and I didn't! When I woke up, it was even worse. Oh, I forgot the other part - he also said, "If you don't feel bette by half time, I'll take you to the emergency room!"

I didn't - and he did! Remember the rutted roads? Well, let me tell you, that was one hairy trip to the hospital. Every rut caused my shoulder to scream in pain. I held it as tightly as possible.

When we got there, they laid me on a delightfully freezing cold stainless steel table, with a harsh light shining in my eyes. I soon learned that my arm was not as important to them as the two elderly ladies (this was 19 years ago, before I might be classified as more elderly - I recall the exact number of years, because my nephew was born that day - good news, bad news kind of a day) who had slipped on the ice and broken their hips.

DC and Kristen decided there was no reason to stay in this bare, unpleasant room, so they went out to the lobby to watch the rest of the game. Okay with me - I was too miserable to visit anyway!

Finally, they x-rayed my shoulder and found that I had a fracture. They sent me home with a pathetic excuse for a sling and I had a very miserable night. I went to a orthopedic doctor the next day and they gave me a better sling. The break was too high to cast it, so it just had to be immobilized with a sling. The good news was that it healed in a couple of weeks. But it makes for such a good story that I decided you had to hear it. DC kind of cringes every time I tell it.


Morning Glory said...

But who won the game???

Kristen said...

I remember that day like it was yesterday. You failed to mention that it was a play off game. Priorities, you know. ;-)

Tell about the other time you fell when I was with you.

Judith said...

I am so glad it wasn't a fractured hip, or your head.

Susie said...

Owww! That sounds very painful.
My husband really isn't in to many sports, but he would have probably told me to wait a bit before going to the Dr as well.
(don't want to rush things you know!!)

Dawn said...

What's funny is that none of us can remember who won the game, or if we went on to the playoffs that year. Shows the relative importance of our memories, doesn't it??

Maine Mom said...

Great story! I'm glad it didn't take too long for you to heal.

Lala's world said...

oh man, how painful! glad it didn't take too long to heal! I fell on the black ice here too and my leg is still a bit sore!!

Linda said...

Oh my!!! See - this is why I'm so happy to live where it is 70 degrees today. When we do get ice (every few years or so) we just don't move because we simply don't know how to behave in the stuff. It's been too many years since I lived up north. However, I can still remember the awful sensation of having my feet slip out from under me.
Great story Dawn.

PEA said...

LOL giggling at Morning Glory's comment! Oh dear, that musta hurt!! Isn't it funny, though, that the first thing we do is look around to see if anybody saw us fall? lol xox

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

I didnt fall on it, but I went flying in my car. You absolutely could not see it on the roads. Finally I just stopped in the middle of our street, started yelling the neighbor man's name til he came out, and asked him to please come finish driving my car down the street. Which he did. Bless his heart. Good grief, landing on it would be awful. At least I was in a car. Wont you just be glad when it's spring?!

Tammy said...

That was a harrowing tale, Dawn!
Hmmm...I bet hubby hasn't completely lived that one down! ;)

You know, I remember your mentioning something about this when I took my much less severe fall a few weeks I know the rest of the story!

Barb said...

How absolutely horrible, Dawn. Black ice is, in my opinion, the most dangerous winter weather condition there is. Nothing scares me more. I'd rather walk through hip deep snow than on that thin little layer of black ice.