Sounds logical, eh? Well, I tested that adage and learned a valuable lesson last Sunday.
As I left church after the AM service, I checked the copy of ACTransit AnyStop on my cell phone. It looked like it would be about 25 minutes, which meant I'd be able to grab a quick sandwich at Lucky, and eat before the bus arrived.
A block away from the church I noticed the #40 bus about to pull up to the stop on Foothill Blvd. I considered grabbing that so I could eat at home. However, I blew that idea off and headed towards Lucky. Mistake #1.
I went into Lucky and grabbed one of their pre-packaged Turkey, Bacon and Cheese Wraps. As I was in line I saw a #14 bus pulling up to the stop. I commented to the cashier that I just missed my bus. He asked me, "Don't you hate that when that happens?"
Then, before I could respond, he added, "You'll have plenty of time to eat your sandwich, sit, and watch the girls walk by." (a reference to an old song that I can't remember the name of).
As I cut across the parking lot to the Athol Avenue bus stop, I notice the #18 bus about a block away. I debated quickening my pace to catch it, since I didn't know if it was early, or the last bus running late. But, decide not to.
I got to the middle of the strip and stopped because a car coming of and I'm technically crossing where I really shouldn't be. However, that car stopped, ushering me to go ahead and cross.
Waving "Thanks" I decide to try and catch the bus after all, sprinting across the street (Mind you I haven't sprinted in years, let along ran anything faster than a quick jog of a few steps). Mistake #2.
The fateful Mistake #3 came when I decide to try and take a couple of bites of the sandwich as I'm running because I know the bus driver will give me grief about no eating on the bus.
As I get about 10 feet from the sidewalk I start to stumble. It was like my upper body was moving in full speed, but my legs were in quick sand. I started pitching forward, thinking to myself that I'm going down and there's nothing that's going to stop me!
I basically did my best imitation of someone sliding into home with the catcher blocking the plate and ended up landing a couple feet away from the curb. As I turned over and tried to get up there was a severe pain in my right thigh and knee, and I couldn't put any weight on it.
Now, I've had knee problems for years, with them popping out of place every once in a while. I know how to pop them back in so I figured this was just one of those times. Unfortunately, as I went to adjust it, I felt more pain, and it was obvious it wasn't a case of being out of joint.
Dragging myself over to the curb, I once again tried to get up. However, my leg told me that wasn't going to happen! I ended up sitting there on the curb, looking down at part of my sandwich strewn in the gutter and pondering if I had broken my leg.
At this point I called my sister to see if she could come and get me. It freaked her out when I told her what happened, but she said she'd be on her way that moment. However, it was going to take a while to get there.
What does sadden me is that during that 30 minutes, or so, nobody who walked by asked me if I needed any help, or if there was anything wrong. NOBODY!
Granted maybe some might have felt intimidated by a big guy dressed in a camo jacket sitting on the curb. But, I wasn't sitting there hassling everyone that walked by for change, nor was I raving drunk…and I was obviously in distress.
I guess I should give the bus driver the benefit of the doubt that he didn't see the incident, though I can't see how he missed it because if I'd been five feet shorter I would have been right in his lane of traffic! And I can't remember whether that car, which stopped, had already driven past.
I crawled into the back of my sister's Forester for the long ride home. Sort of reminded me of the ambulance ride when I had my appendix out many years ago, where you basically just stared at the ceiling, and had to ask ever few minutes just exactly where you were.
The good news is that it's now three days later and the swelling has virtually disappeared, with mostly some stiffness and occasional joint pain remaining. The bad news is that since I've been camped out on the couch for most of that time, I've got the World's worst back ache. Hopefully, sleeping in my bed tonight will take care of that.
I cannot publicly thank my sister enough for her coming to my rescue and also for her checking on me daily to make sure I was OK.
You might be asking, why did you go to the hospital or doctor to get it looked at? Simply put, NO health care. I wouldn't be able to afford the doctor's bill.
It seems like it turned out in my favor this time. But, I can't help but think of all those people out there that get permanently crippled or are stuck on the streets who really need health care to even provide a semi-normal existence.
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UPDATE (12/23/12): The knee has been becoming less stiff each day, and the horrendous back problems are going away, little-by-little. However, my sister noticed a red mark on the back of my knee, and shot a photo of it. Added it at the top for all to see.
Thinking I tore something, which might explain the lack of stability issues. SIGH…..