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On Saturday afternoon I was standing on the back porch and yelling at my dog for not shaking off dirt before she came into our house (we have a serious dust problem in our house–I’m dusting everything two or three times a week, and I don’t need the dog bringing in more dirt) when I lost my balance and fell off the porch, hitting the flowerpots that line the patio on my way down and landing on my right hand. Luckily the porch is only two steps up so the fall wasn’t that far. I had a brief moment where time slowed when I realized my feet were trying to find something to stand on but failing to do so, and I said “S**t” and hoped the neighbors weren’t around to see me fall.

I have a bruise the size of an apple on my right thigh and my wrist is still aching, three days later. And my whole right side aches a little even though you can’t see anything besides that one bruise. I worry that the fibromyalgia is making the aches and pains last longer than they would if I didn’t have it. The pain is mostly just annoying, but I am getting aches when I use my right hand to write or type. Luckily the semester is over and my grades are turned in, so I don’t have to have to live with that much pain while trying to do my job, but it’s still there.

Mostly I feel embarrassed that I fell again. My husband came out to see what was up when I was doubled-up on the ground and when he saw that I was mostly okay and just smarting from landing on flowerpots he made the joke that I need to stop falling down stairs. (Last summer I fell down some stairs and ended up with an upslipped pelvis and needed months of physical therapy.) Now, I have never been graceful, but I’m worried that fibromyalgia is making my balance worse. I talked with my mother about it and she recounted the many falls and slip-ups that I’ve had through the years, so maybe it isn’t affecting my balance. But it certainly is affecting the aches and pains I feel from the fall.

Oh well; by now I know how to deal with it: heat from the shower, massaging, a muscle balm that numbs pain, trying not to do too much with that side of my body, gritting my teeth to deal with the stings of pain running from my fingers to my elbow. Hopefully in a few days it’ll pass. And since it’s not keeping me glued to my bed or my home (I even went on a bike ride on Sunday, despite the pain) I’m grateful.

I can handle the small setbacks quite well by now.