Picture the scene: late winter Saturday evening. The company of good friends. Delicious Italian dinner. A breathtaking balletic move where I face-plant on the sidewalk! Splat! My husband and friends picking me up off the pavement. I’m dazed, have no idea what just happened, bleeding profusely from my nose but I’m worried about my new coat. Did I get any blood on it, I ask? They’re whisking me along, back to their apartment so they can assess the damage. I’m giggling and mumbling, asking them why am I bleeding?
Once inside the apartment, I’m told that I tripped and fell on the sidewalk, landing on my face, and that’s why my nose is bleeding profusely. In the bathroom, I try rinsing myself off to no avail. Then I’m sitting in a chair, tilting forward, replacing bloodied tissue after tissue but my nose doesn’t want to stop bleeding. They’re reassuring me that it’s not that bad, probably not a broken nose because if it was, there would be a protruding bone. Well that’s good to know! I’m mostly worried about my coat but Luci assures me that she’s gotten it clean. No torn clothing, my glasses are intact, my other body parts seem undamaged.
I’m baffled by all this fuss because I still have no idea what the hell went on. When we left the restaurant – the excellent Fieramosca in downtown Toronto – I knew I was a little tipsy from the pre-dinner martini back at the apartment and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner. I was deliberately walking carefully, step by step. Apparently, my precautionary pace didn’t work. It’s all a blur. I have no recollection of going down, just of being picked up and led away. After I get cleaned up a little more, with an ice pack in hand, we head down to the car. Michel is obviously driving us home. Unfortunately, I catch a glimpse of myself in the foyer mirror and give myself quite a fright – swollen nose, purple circles under my eyes, a bloody scratch at the eyebrow. A sight for sore eyes, one might say.
At home, I have a chance to take stock of what a mess I am. By now, my nose is throbbing, and the purple is spreading. I look like I just went 10 rounds with Mohammed Ali. Everything about my face is starting to hurt. I can’t touch my nose because it’s already made itself very apparent that the bruising is spreading, I’m sneezing and sniffing, which hurts tremendously, even yawning is painful. I may have a had a few moments of wallowing in self-pity. Surprisingly, I manage to sleep but have a fitful night. The next morning, Michel insists we go to the emergency room to determine if it’s broken; I resist but he wins. Four hours later it’s official – I have a hairline fracture at the bridge of my nose. Although the ER experience was tedious, I have to give the kudos for the comprehensive tests and evaluation. My 18-year-old physician was very thorough and pleasant. And the whole thing was free; thanks Canada!
In retrospect, I was damn lucky. Being a little drunk probably saved me from suffering major injuries. AARP recently published an article for seniors about what to do if we find ourselves falling: relax your muscles, stay bent and roll into the fall. If I’d been sober and aware that I was crashing, I probably would have done the exact opposite of the recommendations and suffered much worse damage – broken wrists or knees, concussion, smashed teeth, badly fractured nose. A frightening thought of the injuries I could have sustained.
In the end, other than my nose, nothing was hurt except my pride. Maybe I can use this experience to get some street cred, claim I was fighting off a purse snatcher. On the plus side, I can do some wardrobe color coordinating as the bruises change from deep purple to yellow. At the very least, I have a great mug shot and “colorful” story to share with everyone.