Thursday’s Terrible Tumble

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I wouldn’t call it ironic, but yes, I did read this passage of Scripture in the early morning hours with my cup of coffee.

The day seemed to start so typical in routine. Awake by 7am-ish, make a cup of coffee, feed Muffy breakfast, watch a deer eat the farmer’s soy beans, eat my own breakfast and morning readings. This morning, my intent was to get to the gym for an exercise before coming home to finish a few lingering projects. I should stop planning my days.

I leave a note for my sister that I headed to the gym with a salutation, “Be back soon, xo.” I had used the bike yesterday, so today I wanted to walk two miles in preparation for Sunday’s NF Walk in Cincinnati in corporation with raising awareness and funds for research with the Children’s Tumor Foundation. We have known about this for months, but I was not fully interested in taking part of the event until I participated in the Miami Valley Women’s Center, “Walk 4 Life,” in May. Shortly after this, I emailed my family to see if they were interested still in the idea, as I would only be I interested if someone walked with me. I would not walk again by myself. Although my parents would be out-of-town that day, my sisters committed to the walk.

So, taking my momentum of excitement to the gym, I decide I can walk the two miles better in a straight line than 16 times in a circle around the indoor track. I go for a treadmill. My thoughts betrayed me.

I was doing just fine. I actually have no idea what went wrong. I am a symmetric person (the accountant in me to balance like an equation), and when I exercise it is no different. I warm up for five minutes then do a faster walk for ten or twenty minutes then cool down for five minutes. I was walking slower than an average person’s stride for the first five minutes, clutching the handle with both hands. I barely notch up the speed to get my legs moving and I don’t even think it was but a few minutes later that I just came down.

It was slow motion: my nose planted in the middle of the handle bar and I try to pick myself up and regain balance but then my feet just buckle from underneath me and down I go…hitting my mouth on the way while belly flopping on the moving tack. I very ungracefully glide off and somehow landed on the floor sitting up cross-legged. I had lost my glasses on the way down so I can’t see and hold my nose and say, “Ow. That hurt.” Then I realize I am bleeding from my nose and considering my fall plus blood thinner pills–well, the equation was very messy and did not balance.

Within seconds I had at least from what I remember, four people at my side. One gave me towels for my nose, another had my glasses and two finally helped me to my feet when I was ready. The lady there helped me to the bathroom to wash my hands and arms and then when I was a bit clean (still bloody nose), I sat out at the tables and they did paperwork. They were very concerned and helped me call my sister (we woke her up) and she came to pick me up.

The rest of the day goes from there…while I sit on the couch with ice on my already blackish-blue nose, Marcia is making all the necessary phone calls in order to figure out what to do next. My doctors at Children’s wanted a CAT scan of the nose and neck to ensure nothing was broken but most importantly the bleeding factor, even though I was not showing any signs of something drastic. We ended up leaving twenty minutes later for the ER and spent the next few hours there. Thankfully, my nose is not broken and nothing wrong otherwise but a low INR count.

The point of my story is not necessarily my poor decision to decide to walk on a treadmill with weak legs and ankles (and not attaching the safety stop clip to myself either), but that I would have not made it through the day without the kindness and help from those around me or those on the other end of the phone with my sister. Even if I did not have NF2, I still believe that after a tumble like that, I would have required a helping hand.

This is why I am excited to be part of the NF Walk on Sunday–because I can be a helping hand in bringing hope to others just as others have done for me.

We can’t do everything, but can we do anything more valuable than invest ourselves in another? Elisabeth Elliot

For more information:

My team, “We walk with Mel!”:

NF Walk in Cincinnati:

The Children’s Tumor Foundation:


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Hospital Trips, Muffy, Random

12 responses to “Thursday’s Terrible Tumble

  1. Ashleigh

    Oh my goodness! I am so glad you are okay! I hope your nose gets better soon and that the walk on Sunday goes really well!

    • mel

      Thanks Ashleigh! I am thankful things did not go worse either! I am sore this morning but keeping up on the Tylenol helps. I looked in the mirror when I got up and thought, “I look like the scarecrow on the Wizard of Oz.” LOL. At least I don’t have black eyes!

  2. It is amazing how God watches over us, even if He is using others to help us. I’m glad you are ok and as always, you are in my prayers.

  3. A. B.

    Oh Mel – I am thinking about you. Feel better. As always, you’re in my prayers.

    • mel

      Thanks A.B. I feel much better today! I think I sat for too long yesterday but maybe that rest was what I needed. All ready for the walk tomorrow! 😀

  4. Phil and Barb

    Wow Melinda… we are so glad the Lord protected you… and we pray your protection as you walk on Sunday. Sounds like a fun time….We sent in the last amount to reach your goal…. We are proud of you and all that you do for the Lord. You are a testimony for Him. I was thinking of Eric Liddle, the famous Olympic runner. He used his running to be a testimony for the Lord. And now you can use your walking to testify of His grace in your life!! God bless you…….

    • mel

      Looking back at the situation, yes…I can totally see God’s protection! Thank you for your support and prayers! I look forward to writing about tomorrow’s events! 😀

  5. Jane Thomas

    Melinda – I am so sorry you had such a bad fall! I’m hoping and praying you feel better today and will be up for your walk tomorrow! I wish I was there to walk with you and your sisters. I’m praying for you dear friend!

    • mel

      Thanks Jane for praying and your support!! I feel SO much better today and so excited for tomorrow!!! Maybe next year I can come to the Denver walk and then we can all walk together then. 😀

  6. Megan

    I remember hearing about this when it first happened and thinking “Oh no!! Dear God, please no internal bleeding of any sort”… I’m so thankful you are and were alright after this fall :):) And I’m so thankful to be given an opportunity to do a NF2 walk in Sept – since I wasn’t able to do the OH walk.

    • mel

      This was the worst fall by far, but there have been others since then where I have hit my head hard (i.e. the Amish store and the art festival) and I can be very thankful that there has not been any bad results from those either. God has me protected!!!! 🙂 It is a super OLD OLD OLD song by Amy Grant where she sings about “Got his angels watchin’ over me every step I take…” I often think of that song–even though the story line of the song is when the Apostle Paul is in prison and the angel comes in the night to rescue him. 🙂

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