Friday, October 15, 2010

Flattened and Impaled

Certainly the title of this post sounds dire, no? Well, it's a brief health report. . .of sorts.

One of the joys of womanhood is the periodic demand to get flattened. By that I mean the annual (or biennial, depending upon whose advice you are heeding) mammogram. I am somewhat remiss--sometimes I let more than two years go by. I am not unmindful of the benefits of screening tests, but I follow medical studies, and the evidence is still coming in as to whether or not screening mammograms do more than BSE (breast self-exam) in discovering early cancers.

However, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and my husband kept reminding me to schedule my mammogram. So, I did--finally. And earlier this week, I trundled off to be flattened. I am always completely relaxed for my mammograms, even though I am not wild about the whole process. I amiably chatted with the radiology tech as she turned me this way and that. I noticed two ammonia ampules taped to the side of the mammogram machine. I asked--do people sometimes faint? Oh yes, she replied, we have a fair number of women who collapse as soon as the machine releases. I tried to envision that--being flattened, then released, then fainting dead (only temporarily) away.

The report--all is well; free from flattening for another year (or two).

The impaling part of this report, thankfully, had NOTHING to do with the mammogram. My husband and I were working around our house the other day, gathering up various yard items and storing them for the winter. We also refurbished and refilled the bird feeders. On a whim, I decided to reposition an iron tripod plant holder. It was wobbly, so I thought--why not move it.

When I got it in its new location, I decided to step on the lower brace to push the tripod stakes into the ground. I was wearing my wonderful Privo sandals, and gave no thought to the suitability for use as a sledge hammer.

The next thing I knew, a part of the iron ornamental stand poked through the bottom of my sandal, completing impaling my shoes but--thankfully, going right between my big toe and the next toe. It did whack the side of the nail on my big toe, knocking it lose like a child's tooth.

I could not pull my sandal up, being entirely captive to the iron spoke sticking through my shoe sole. For a second or two, I tottered trying to balance and then fell backwards, landing FLAT on my back. And I mean flat. Flatter than a mammogram, I might say.

It reminded me very much of the time our son took judo lessons. He was in his early teens and thought judo would be a fun thing to do. He spent hours in our back yard practicing falling. He would fall straight back, landing on his back. He flung his arms out to the side to dissipate the energy along his arms, and protect himself from being hurt. It worked.

I wasn't feeling very judo-like, but I really didn't hurt anything other than my pride and dignity. I must have looked ridiculous. My husband was momentarily horrified. Right before I fell, I had hollered that I couldn't move my foot--he thought that meant the iron spoke has gone through my foot! No, no--I reassured him--just my shoe.

Well, the end of the story is that I was sternly admonished to stand there, while my husband went and got a real hammer, and a board, which he used to hammer the stand into place.


Beverly said...

Oh my, I am so glad you did not impale your foot. Bad enough that it got your sandal.

A few years ago at David's, I stepped into a small hole in his back yard. He and Sabrina had just gotten through telling me to be careful. Down I went on my face in the grass...messed up my glasses, but after a day or so I was fine. My classic answer when I fall is "I thank God for fat."

Jayne said...

Oh heavens Donna! I was holding my breath as soon as I read that you were using your shoe to push it down. So glad it did not go into your foot. Now THAT would have required those ammonia ampules! As for the mammogram, I've never considered them that big of a deal and can't understand why women think it will torture them somehow or that the pain will be unbearable. It's smooshed for a second or two, nothing more really. And, as you said, the information is invaluable. Everyone needs to do regular screening.

Anvilcloud said...

That's one vicious plant holder.

Ginnie said... are so lucky!! A bruised ego is much easier to fix than the alternative.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

My two replies: ouch, ouch!

Ruth said...

Landing flat on your back was as potentially dangerous as using your sandal as a hammer. I have mixed feelings about mammograms. No man would endure that squeeze to sensitive parts.

Peruby said...

Am I the only one laughing? I am SO sorry, but I could not stop myself near the end. I am VERY glad you did not get hurt more than you did, but it made me laugh towards the end when you told us how you fell backwards. Sick ticket that I am. :)

KGMom said...

Thanks for the sympathy--and the laughter. It really was a sight (I imagine--dumb me, shoe impaled, me flat on my back on the ground).
That small area of the yard is--a kind of Bermuda triangle of mystery.
It is where the tree stood, that came down in a snow storm, and my husband and a neighbor pulled the fallen branch off our house, while I stood by the tree. Then CRACK--and the rest of the tree came down. Two remaining branches snapping off, and falling on EITHER SIDE of me. I was not hurt a bit. Amazing.

NCmountainwoman said...

Truly amazing that you weren't seriously injured. So many things could have gone so very wrong. Glad everything is fine.

Nance said...

Cool shoes! Silly situation!

I call my mammogram Getting Squashed. I am due for a squashing next month and, as the years pass, it feels more and more like a crap shoot to me. I'm relaxed for the process but vaguely tense for days until I hear the report.

Anonymous said...

Ah, teamwork. Wonderful, huh?

Glad you clarified about the impaling.

True story. I was crossing the street to the Post office one day and a woman pulled out of a parallel parking place. She was out in the middle of the street when she suddenly, inexplicably, threw her car into reverse. As it happened, I was in the middle of the street and her back left tire caught my RIGHT shoe, so I was twisted, caught behind her, and couldn't get out of her way. I screamed and beat on the back of the car. She looked in her side mirror, gave me an angry look, and drove off.

I went in the post office and asked to use the bathroom. (!) true!

Climenheise said...

I am glad you weren't hurt more -- loosening the toenail would be enough. And good to know that the mammogram found nothing. I agree that men don't like pain -- unless it's delivered all in one quick motion as wehn playing football. But please not anticipated ahead of time.

JeanMac said...

Cringed when I read your title! Glad to hear "all clear results" on the flattening:)
Very lucky your foot is ok.