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Jewish Journal

In Case of Emergency Avoid the Stairs

by Ilana Angel

December 29, 2013 | 3:07 pm

The other day I was rushing out the door, reached into my far too big purse to find my sunglasses, lost focus for a split second on where I was, and went flying down a flight of stairs. It was so shocking and violent that I had an out of body experience. I actually floated outside of my body and watched myself tumble down the stairs. It was an incredibly frightening experience.

The heel of my boot snapped, I did a summersault hitting against a wall, then used my hand to break my fall. My wrist bent backwards farther than it is meant to, and my head hit the pavement with tremendous force. I looked down on my motionless body and while I am sure I was not knocked out, it felt like I was there forever. I didn’t cry, just lay there alone and shocked.

I remember praying someone would come to help me at the same time I was praying nobody would come and see me. I eventually got up, and then I cried. My ankle was throbbing, my wrist felt like it was on fire, and I could feel a bump forming on my head. I was scared and alone and didn’t quite know what to do. I went to urgent care to make sure I had not broken anything.

My ankle was swollen, but fine. My wrist was swollen, but fine. My boot had a broken heel, I ripped my far too big handbag, and I had a bad headache. In the end I survived the fall, have a mild concussion, a completely black and blue ass, and interestingly enough the physical pain is not nearly as strong as the emotional aftermath of having fallen and being there alone.

If my son where not away, or if I was in a relationship, chances are I would have been alone when I fell, but since my son is away and I don’t have a partner, I felt particularly alone. As I approach 50, I know my life is more than half over and while I am surrounded by people who love me and who I love, I was struck by how empty my life felt at the moment I fell.

I tweeted about my fall and was immediately supported by strangers who were concerned about me. It is odd that I tweeted about the fall rather than call anyone. I didn’t want to worry my mother or son, and did not want to bother my friends, so I reached into the World Wide Web to get some comfort and validation that I was not alone. My followers jumped into action.

I was thankful to have them respond and it lessened the pain of loneliness I felt. It was sad to fall, sad to hurt myself, and sad to realize my in case of emergency name and number at my local urgent care was the Englishman. Nine months after we broke up, how is it that I am still going through life with him as my in case of emergency person? That is just wrong.

It got me to thinking about my will and what I want for myself when I pass. I need to update everything and make sure my son is aware of my wishes and should there be an emergency, he is the one that is called. He is about to be 18, my best friend, my child, and the only person in my life that I would trust with my wishes, as well as who I would want to have with me.

I am home today nurturing my fabulous but colorful ass, icing my wrist, raising my ankle, and thankful my headache is gone. The fall was brutal, the pain was intense, the bruises are ugly, and the aftermath is the lesson that I need to update a few things in my life. I am grateful to have received the inspiration for change, could have skipped the fall though.

As 2014 begins I am going to make things right. I have always been one to count my blessings, but my goal is to also appreciate them. I am going to take care of all the things that need to be taken care of, knowing I am not alone. I am surrounded by love and support from people I know and people I don’t. It took a knock to the head for me to adjust how I keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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