WDP — Life-Altering Risk

Daily writing prompt
When is the last time you took a risk? How did it work out?

It had been constantly raining for weeks and, finally, there was a break in the rain. I checked the weather app on my iPhone and it said that the rain would be starting back up in about two hours. I thought this would be a golden opportunity to clean out the gutters on the east side of my house, as they were clogged with leaves.

My wife was busy in the kitchen chopping up something for us to have for lunch. I didn’t want to disturb her, so I went to the garage, grabbed my ladder, and headed to the side of my house.

I opened the ladder and noted that the ground directly beneath the gutters was soggy from all the rain we’d been having. For a fleeting moment I thought that I should ask my wife to come out and spot for me, to hold the ladder while I climbed up it. But then I thought, nah, she’s busy in the kitchen and I’ve been up on a ladder hundreds of times. What can go wrong?

So I climbed up the ladder and started pulling gunk from the gutter. I stretched my arm to reach some more of the stuff that was clogging the gutter and I felt the ladder start to slip. I tried to stop the ladder from slipping further, but failed. The next thing I knew I had fallen back onto a cement walkway that ran from the front yard to the backyard along the side of our house.

I somehow managed to pull my iPhone out of my pants pocket, called my wife, and told her that I’d fallen and can’t get up. My wife came running out to the side of the house, and seeing me on the ground writhing in pain, unable to move my left leg at all, she called 9-1-1. Within a few minutes the paramedics arrived, put a hard board under my body, lifted me onto a wheeled gurney, loaded the gurney with me on it into an ambulance, and drove me to the emergency room. Shortly after arriving, I was wheeled into an X-ray room. And then, not long after that, I got the news from an orthopedic surgeon. I had fractured my hip on the left side and my humerus in my right arm at the shoulder. In a few hours I was in surgery undergoing a partial hip replacement.

That was on January 14th. I spent most of the rest of January in the hospital and hospital-based rehab. The next month and a half I was recuperating from home with twice weekly visits from physical and occupational therapists. And since mid-March I’ve been going to outpatient physical therapy for my hip and shoulder three times a week. I’ll be continuing with that through the end of June.

I took a foolish risk by not having my wife hold the ladder for me when I went to clean the gutters on my house and it basically altered my life (and my wife’s life) for the first half of 2023.

If only I could turn back time….

15 thoughts on “WDP — Life-Altering Risk

  1. rugby843 April 28, 2023 / 8:38 am

    I took a risk like that in 2015 against my grandson’s advice of course and broke a bone in my hip and elbow badly hurt.  Complications because I had just gotten out of hospital for cancer surgery a month before and then more, so yeah, not taking them anymore🤪

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 3 people

      • Lou Carreras April 28, 2023 / 2:01 pm

        Likewise, anything larger than my three step Gorilla step stool with hand holds, and even then I am likely to have my wife spot for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Light April 28, 2023 / 8:40 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s so important to avoid falls as we age. I’m glad for your steady recovery! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marleen April 28, 2023 / 2:25 pm

    On a recent birthday (a couple Januarys ago) of one of my sons, said son asked his dad about taking a ski trip, getting brothers together. This dad is in his latter sixties. I’m not even going to consider skiing now, and I’m younger. Dad doesn’t want to say he’s not up to it, so I took it upon myself to speak up. At least then Dad could say he doesn’t want to worry me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Renard Moreau April 28, 2023 / 2:39 pm

    🤔 From now on, I want you to get help from some young teenager in the neighbourhood. They can run up and down a ladder without hurting themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Geoff Stamper April 28, 2023 / 5:43 pm

    I have taken a few similar ill advised risks in my life. I was lucky my punishments were a little less severe than yours this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 28, 2023 / 10:42 pm

      That’s smart. I will from now on.


  6. jilldennison April 28, 2023 / 10:42 pm

    And now I remember why I don’t climb ladders! Hope you’re almost healed now, but stay off the ladders, ‘k?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 28, 2023 / 10:44 pm

      ‘K! For sure!


  7. leigha66 May 11, 2023 / 8:25 pm

    Something can seem so unimportant at the time and turn out to be so important in hindsight. Hope you are still mending well.

    Liked by 1 person

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