February 05, 2005

Bad things don't always happen in slow motion

People say that when something bad is happening, its like time slows down and they can see every aspect of the bad thing right down to the texture of the paint on the car or whatever. They say that, while they are powerless to change the outcome, it all goes so slowly.

Not always, I discovered.

Sometimes, it is almost over before you know it.

I fell today while carrying my son. I fell on some black ice while turning from the sidewalk into my driveway. I fell so fast that I didn't realize I was falling until I was already down. Nothing slowed down for me; it all sped up. The Boy Child fell from my arms, missing the concrete retaining wall by six or eight inches and went belly up onto the gravel driveway. He was just a little scared, not hurt at all. I was up to get him so fast that I didn't even realize I had cut my elbow or that I had even come down on my elbow. I just wanted to see if he was ok. Only later did I realize that I had hurt myself, my hip, my elbow, my back, and really given a wrench to my left shoulder and arm, the side I was carrying him on when I went down.

I expect I will be pretty darn sore tomorrow. But the Boy Child is ok and that was really all that mattered to me.

It was just so fast. Me on my side looking at him face down on the gravel. I've had better days. I just hope that, with respect to my boy, I don't have worse.

Posted by Random Penseur at February 5, 2005 09:37 PM

Ouch. I hope it's not too bad tomorrow.

I know exactly what you mean though - you don't feel the pain until you see the child isn't hurt. When Bear was 1 1/2 he had a fall down our stairs. Completely my fault - I was at the top encouraging him to climb up to me. He was bubbly with excitement and stopped to clap his hands. Unfortunately there was nothing under his butt when he sat down and he tumbled backwards.

I jumped from the top landing to the bottom one with a slight contact about half way down. I landed at the bottom on one foot and a knee. The stairs were padded and carpeted and about as dangerous as a stiff accent pillow. He was fine. I checked him over and calmed him down. I picked him up and started to stand up and then fell back on my ass. The knee didn't work. At that point I felt the pain. It was the size of a melon within an hour.

If we could bottle parents' child-in-danger anxiety endorphins we'd have the most potent pain killers the world has ever known.

Posted by: Jim at February 5, 2005 10:41 PM

i am so glad to hear the boy child is alright.

i can only say - i can begin to imagine that feeling.
i am also glad to hear...you weren't hurt too badly. i hope this morning finds you achingless than you thought you would.

Posted by: standing naked at February 6, 2005 07:33 AM

Glad to hear Boy Child is alright and wishing you a speedy recovery.

Posted by: Wicked H at February 6, 2005 12:48 PM

OUCH - Good to hear your son is OK. RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

Posted by: Mark at February 6, 2005 01:24 PM

Thank god you're alright!

Black ice can do that to you... now I bet that if you had slipped down a hill for 20 meters, things would have gone in slow motion. But black ice is all about... surprise tactics.

Take care of yourself... and hoping your not too sore to continue typing... ;)

Posted by: Philippe Roy at February 7, 2005 12:54 AM

I too am glad your son is ok.

But you did show off the bruises as war wounds to the Mrs, right? Ask for a kiss for the boo-boos, ask to have breakfast brough to you in bed?

I would've done that.

Those have "wounds of bravery" written all over them, especially since you were so concerned about your son you didn't even realize you had hurt yourself. I think it commands rewards, should you ask.

Posted by: Helen at February 7, 2005 06:13 AM

Oh Random! So glad the BC is okay. And you too. Those things happen. :-( That doesn't make it any easier, knowing that, but it does happen.

Always made my heart stop.

Posted by: Amber at February 7, 2005 01:51 PM

Whew. So glad you're both okay. Wow. I can't imagine how you felt when you looked over at him.

Again, happy you're okay.

Posted by: C at February 7, 2005 09:10 PM

Great that the BC is fine and hopefully you're not to achy.

Perhaps a slip and fall seems not to happen in slow motion because when we fall we a) are surprised, and b) don't feel a force acting on us so we can't make sense of it; our minds go blank until the ground slams up into us. I dunno.

A couple of weeks ago I was walking, at night, along a poorly lit sidewalk and carrying to heavy bags of groceries. I got to spot where a tree root had pushed the black pavement up quite a few inches. I didn't see it, and my left foot was stopped cold and then my right. My upper body and the groceries were still moving forward at a brisk pace, of course, and I tried to get my feet under me. I moved them faster and faster, which only thrusted my upper body faster and faster and with a split second I running forward with my feet not quite under me yet. I finally had to just drop the bags, fall forward and land on my back. Slo-mo all the way. Never felt a thing except po'd at the sidewalk!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at February 7, 2005 09:39 PM

Thanks very much for all the comments, stories, and expressions of concern. Everyone is fine. My arm and shoulder are still sore, but are getting better every day. It really was very kind of you all to chime in. I actually had considered closing comments on this post because I did not want to be seen as fishing for sympathy. I'm glad I didn't as I enjoyed the comments very much.

Posted by: RP at February 8, 2005 09:59 AM

I found this website because I did a search on "seeing in slow motion." My Dad experienced this twice in his life. The first time was a rather mundane event; my sister knocked a bowl of ice cream of the table, and he saw it fall in slow motion, and then grabbed it and put it back on the table.

The second time, he was running behind my other sister as she was riding a bike for the first time. She fell down, though, and he thought as he was running, "Oh no, I'm going to trample her!" Then he started seeing things in slow motion and was able to jump over her. My sister remembers seeing him jump over her, and he was literally airborne - arms stretched forward and legs back like Superman flying in the movies, but only three feet in the air.
It's almost like the first incident was a test run, to make sure it would work, so the second event would definitely be avoided.

Posted by: Derrick Campbell at June 23, 2005 12:41 AM
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