Bitch on the Blog

April 17, 2012


Filed under: Errors — bitchontheblog @ 10:42
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I have an aversion to what I call ‘banana skin sydrome” aka a spot of Schadenfreude.

Let me tell the blogger who says “Usually it’s quite hilarious when people fall”: It isn’t hilarious in the least. The reason people “laugh”, let’s call it snigger, at others’ misfortune is because they are embarrassed and don’t know what to do. Like people at funerals will say “life must go on”. It’s when I feel like punching something, even if only the air.

Mens sana in corpore sano, healthy body healthy mind – and the other way round, particularly the other way round: Healthy mind equals a healthy body. Before I am misunderstood: I do not subscribe to the happy health police who will tell you that if you are of strong enough mind you’ll overcome a cancer eating your insides. That is enough rubbish to make me vomit. First your hair falls out then the choir of the self help industry (purleeeeeeeeeeeeeese) will tell you that it’s in your mind to make you better, to hit that five year marker. Fuck off.

However, I am a firm believer in the psychosomatic. A phrase coined, I think, in the seventies. Where the body plays out what’s on your mind. It’s happened to me many a time. One of the more memorable occasions when I lost my ability to swallow anything, even water, my doctor fast forwarded me, in what appeared a mild panic, through many a sophisticated test. Naturally, nothing could be found. As healthy as the day I was born. My doctor, a wise man, summoned it up perfectly: “You can’t take [swallow] any more, Ursula”. I was going through a rather interesting divorce, spiced up with a stalker complete with knife and one or two other players on the side lines. Oh the relief: I was HEALTHY, my body just translating what disturbed my soul. Like a dream reflecting your day life; a pointer; nothing to be afraid of.

There is a school of thought that subscribes to when, by way of example, you get bladder cancer it may be an indicator that you are unable to shed tears. That if you suffer continual backacke you are most likely to be rigid in your attitude towards life and other people. Who knows. Sounds plausible. And that, if like me, you are extremely shortsighted (yet, without lenses, my near vision so perfect I can find you the smallest screw/pin should you drop it) it’s a dead give away, don’t you think?

To make a long story even longer: I went half a century never breaking anything. Nothing. Not even my little finger. Then in a fit of romantic notion of gliding along the ocean’s promenade with my son who had just discovered that, long forgotten by me, joy of  roller blades I bought into the dream. First day fine. Second day (practicing on my own patio hence not wearing wrist guards) I bumped into the table and fell backwards. As reflexes go I stretched out my left hand to cushion the fall. Cushion, my foot. Thus the first time I found myself immobilized for a while; not that badly since I am right handed. Still, it did slow me down. Considering that my lively hood depends on the use of my hands I had time [on my hands] to reflect on my life. Fast forward [not too fast] and I lose my footing on the pavement on a sunny early Sunday afternoon. Like a puppet on a string I collapsed – just like that. Pothole?  Since I believe in the healing powers of sleep I didn’t go to A&E (accidents and emergencies) till the next morning. I knew one wrist/arm was broken, when they told me the other one was worse I shed a tear. It was like that scene out of Camus which had made a deep impression on my very young self. The sun blinds you and within a moment your whole life falls apart. Obviously mine didn’t fall apart on impact.  I had a lot of time to bond with my sofa and watch Bette Davis do what Bette Davis does best (more of which another time). Yes, both my arms so plastered up I wasn’t able to even hold a book. Since the Angel doesn’t like to get his hands dirty his girlfriend did the washing up. That time was an exercise in patience. Maybe a lesson I needed to learn. Neither did it make me any earnings. Maybe another lesson I needed to learn.

And yes, Sweethearts, for the full flush albeit not five cards, not long after the above  someone sent me flying across the floor, not intentionally. He was on the run, I am a lightweight. Operation, K-wires, the lot. It didn’t work. They call the way my bones set a “mal union”. Sounds a bit like many a marriage. For a  whole year one ill advised move and the pain would make me gulp. They call it “triple trauma” to that particular wrist. And yes, time does heal. That wrist doesn’t click any longer every time I move it the “wrong” way. I don’t hit the roof any longer with pain. Neither, enter the violins at this point, am I able to carry as much as I used to. And I used to be so strong, priding myself that I don’t need anyone. As an aside to aspiring brides: If you want carrying you get a donkey not a husband. (Lorna, you will agree, won’t you, that last notion was a rather inspired Dorothy Parker moment).

Yes, so these last three years of continued breakage taught me to slow down; to a snail’s pace in reverse gear. Have I learnt anything? I don’t know. Don’t think so. All I know is that I can’t afford another breakage and am now so paranoid every time I set foot out of the door that, instead of my eyes and my nose up in the air, I negotiate the pavement. As they say: Pride comes before the fall.





  1. I remember psychosomatic being mentioned when I was at school (something about a man with a window in his stomach and the lining going grey when he was depressed)…

    Certainly depression (a very real illness) depresses the immune system and thus makes its victims more susceptible to infection.

    My parents were great readers of the Readers’ Digest ( I remember one Christmas receiving a year long subscription to said magazine as a gift!) Me being me I too read it (I also read Farmer’s Weekly and Woman) and remeber with affection the section entitled “Laughter, The Best Medicine”:
    With that in mind I offer the following: I wish I were a glow worm. A glow worm’s never glum. How can you be grumpy when the sun shines from your bum?

    As Humphrey Lyttleton said to someone, “Never lose sight of silly.”

    Comment by David (magpie) — April 17, 2012 @ 13:31 | Reply

    • Readers’ Digest? As a present? Well, I never. I wonder if they ever managed to condense Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 18, 2012 @ 05:04 | Reply

  2. I am actually stunned to read this post. You have been remarkably reticent about your ‘accidents’ and recovery. It shows great character.

    We have a saying over here that goes something like this in translation. The water rose upto head level but receded with only the turban taken away. Get the drift?

    A lot of bad karmas have been washed away! You are so much nearer to Nirvana.

    Comment by rummuser — April 17, 2012 @ 14:57 | Reply

    • Thank you, Ramana. And yes, I do get the drift of your lovely parable.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 18, 2012 @ 05:11 | Reply

  3. I slipped on ice and fell off of a porch, a couple of winters ago. I had a hematoma the size of a basketball on my right buttock where the bottom brick edge of the steps went through to the pelvic bone. I missed my spine by only an inch and my wrist was sprained. As you say, it was no fun. But both arms Ursula? That must have been terrible. I’m glad you’re ok, even if the psychosomatic aspects are still lingering. They will eventually heal as well.

    Comment by writingfeemail — April 17, 2012 @ 19:47 | Reply

    • Oh dear. Ever the practical person I am: How did you you sit down? Or more to the point: When were you able to sit down again?

      Yes, BOTH arms. It sort of humbled me. Particularly as I am as fit as a fiddle. A doer. Neither did I quite understand that people thought it so funny. Neighbours, friends would look at me (one of my legs bandaged up as well) and literally just laugh as to the ‘mummified’ in their midst. The Angel was on his first open air festival that weekend and, not to spoil his fun, I didn’t tell him what happened when he phoned. On opening the door on his return a couple of days later: “What the f…k, Mama. I can’t leave you out of my sight for five minutes. Look at you.” Yeah, well. One tries to survive. A bit like your spine.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 18, 2012 @ 05:23 | Reply

  4. Did you post this to make me feel better about falling off my bike while I tried to get on it? If so, you’re a sweetheart. If not, you’re still a sweetheart. And yes, I’d much rather have a donkey than a husband if I need a lift. They are less likely to kick you in the butt (or maybe it’s just easier to see the kick coming). 🙂

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — April 17, 2012 @ 21:33 | Reply

    • Lorna, if my post has endeared me to you it was well worth it. I have given up on bikes. Not because I can’t ride them in principle but because those newfangled ones with gears I do not understand.

      In the olden days there were no gears. You either pedaled or you pushed (uphill). And where I come from the way to brake was by pushing the pedals back. Oh no. No longer. A group of us hired some bikes to ride the New Forest, Dorset, England. Everything was fine till I tried to brake and promptly mowed over my then seven year old own flesh and blood. I went into shock. I couldn’t believe it. I could NOT believe it. He wasn’t hurt but it took me a long time to get back into the saddle again. Come to think of it, I’d be better off on a donkey. They usually refuse to move at all. Unless there is a carrot to lead the way.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 18, 2012 @ 05:39 | Reply

      • Fixed wheel bikes? They were only for the sporty types when I was kid. No “ratchet” to free wheel down hill! I remeber how proud kids were of their three speed Sturmey Archer gears and those who had Five Speed Derailleur gears were insufferable. I never had a bike until I “passed” my Eleven Plus Exam (which we now know was skewed so that more boys went to Grammarr Schools than Girls) and learning to ride it was painful. Both physically and mentally as my mother was scathing about my difficulty. The last bike i had , which took me all the way from London to Winchester in aid of “Green”..only one colleague sponsored me… had 21 gears and, as a friend put it I “could ride up a bloody lamp-post” on it…..It’s not Bicycles that are dangerous on the roads but the other road users.

        Comment by David (magpie) — April 19, 2012 @ 10:50 | Reply

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