Falling in the bathtub wasn’t on my radar when I became infatuated with the bathroom in my current rental. I mean…look at this beautiful tub.
I envisioned long, relaxing soaks.
Not thighs covered in bruises.
And I’ve spent hours happily covered in hot, bubbly water since I moved in at the end of September.
I’ve been having weird mystery pain in my right leg. I decided to take a hot soak with epson salt on a Friday night home alone a couple weeks ago. I started the water so it could get warm and stepped in with my right leg.
I remember thinking, “Be careful so you don’t slip.”
And then I slipped.
It happened so fast, I don’t even know what went wrong.
My left leg hit the side of the tub and then my whole body was inside the bathtub.
The pain was great. The surprise was even greater.
And it was scary.
I sat there in stunned silence for a bit and then started to cry.
I texted my friend across the country, “I’m having a really bad week. Now I can add falling in the bathtub to the list.”
He quickly asked if I was okay.
I responded that if I wasn’t okay I’d have gotten in touch with someone closer for help. It was a little bitchy, but I wasn’t living my best life at the moment.
The water was still running, so I went ahead and took the bath. I felt too shaky to get out of the tub anyway.
Mom life keeps going, though
And then my teenage daughter who had been out with friends came bursting into my bathroom crying, “Ma!”
I didn’t even know she’d arrived at home.
“Why are you crying?” she asked.
“I just fell and hurt myself. Why are you crying?”
“I just cut myself!” She held up her hand and blood dripped down her finger. She’d just gotten home and went right to the kitchen to get a snack, slicing her finger while cutting a mango.
Spoiler alert: we both lived.
Falling in the bathtub
According to U.S. News and World Report, falling is the leading cause of death due to home injury. Approximately 6,000 people die from falls in their home each year. The majority of those deaths occur after falling in the bathtub or shower. It makes sense – these are slippery areas and hard surfaces.
I could easily have hit my head. I was able to brace my fall with my right knee and right arm. I had bruises on my arm as well as my right side. My left thigh took the brunt of it when hitting the side of the tub.
Watching the bruises was fascinating to me. The fall happened late on a Friday night. I woke up Saturday in pain and with some light bruising.
The bruises spread and got darker as the day went on.
I showed my bruises to all of my friends. A couple nagged me to go to the doctor.
The doctor at the walk in clinic said the bruise was “significant, but normal.” He suspected I bruised my muscle underneath. Walking and moving from lying or sitting to standing were very painful. He said there was nothing to do except rest, ice and wait.
I was kind of proud of my “significant” bruises and texted photos to my friends, telling them I deserved a trophy.
I had an appointment with my regular doctor to check on the OTHER leg five days after falling. He noticed the bruising, of course, and asked what happened. “You’re lucky you didn’t hit your head and die. Falling in the bathtub is dangerous.”
“I am brave. I am bruised. This is who I’m meant to be. This is me.”
I. AM. BRUISED.
That cracked me up.
There was lots of improvement by day 7, though it still hurt to walk. I had a massage around day 9 and the therapist asked about the bruising. “Alice from The Brady Bunch died after falling in the bathtub,” she said. “You’re very lucky.”
Today is day 12. The bruise is almost healed. Walking still hurts., but much less. It’s healing nicely. I took a long bath a couple nights ago. I’d been nervous about getting in the tub. I’m taking it slow and cautiously, but I’ve decided not to let fear of falling in the bathtub and ending up like poor Alice take away one of my favorite ways to relax.
I decided to share this story with bruise photos because: 1. I am so clumsy and I feel like something crazy happens to me every other day. I’m putting myself out there so you can say, “Whew! At least it isn’t just me these things happen to!” 2. Bathtub falls are dangerous! I’m glad I’m not dead right now and I don’t want you to get hurt. So get some bathtub rails and nonslip mats! 3. I found watching this bruise evolve and heal so interesting and I thought others might, too.
Be careful in your bathtub and shower!