A couple of days ago, wile preparing lesson plans for my classes, sending out galleys to my contributors, reading slush for both magazines and cleaning my house what felt like every five minutes, I was eyeing the pile of research I’ve been collecting for my new novel. I wished I had a day or two–no open houses, no classes, no time-sensitive magazine responsibilities–to just get some novel groundwork done.
And then got what I wished for.
Last night, I was on the phone with my writing buddy Tanya, leaning back in my rolling desk chair, wheeling myself around my bedroom, and gesturing grandly as I held forth about one topic or another. As I leaned back to make what I’m sure would have been an extremely articulate and enlightening point had I been able to get the entire thing out, the wheels on the chair whooshed out from under me. What happened next is pretty confounding. I somehow flew over the top of the chair, got some air, and came down quite hard–on my spine–across the wooden edge of my bed’s frame.
The barbaric howling Tanya heard on the other end of the phone line sounded, if I had to guess, like a cross between a wounded coyote and a foul-mouthed pirate. (I later got a text message from her to the effect that she thought someone had invaded my home and was in the process of murdering me by dismemberment.) And, for a few moments, I was pretty sure I’d broken my back. Between curses, I realized that, while my hands and feet felt numb–and, well, weird–I could move them, and therefore I probably wasn’t going to be wounded for life.
After about a half hour of being extremely dizzy and nearly blacking out a few times, my husband, who’s had enough of my freak accidents to last a lifetime, hauled me to the emergency room. Four hours, four X-rays, and a few more spells of nearly blacking out later, the E.R. doctors declared me fracture-free, and quite fortunate to be so. And while I have what they termed an “impressive” injury that will take a while to heal, and will likely continue to be dizzy for a few days, they assure me I’ll be just fine.
So here I am, flat on my back in bed, slung over an ice pack and pumped full of pain pills. The open house today is cancelled, there’s no way I’ll be driving to teach classes for a little while, and I’m miraculously caught up on the most exigent magazine work for a couple of days. Research–liberally dosed with pain-killer-induced napping–here I come.