by | May 10, 2023 | Chris Goff | 12 comments

By Chris Goff

This has been a rough couple of weeks. On April 27, I was standing in my kitchen, atop the two-step ladder, when I stepped back to survey my handiwork of curated cabinets. Yes, stepped back. Yes, BAD MOVE!

After one BIG step down and a failed attempt at some fancy footwork, I slammed my left hand into the stove and took a glancing blow to my chin off the counter. A quick trip to the orthopedic urgent care, and I was scheduled for outpatient surgery. Two screws to hold things together, a club for a hand for two weeks, then six weeks of OT.

I will survive, but my stove is permanently dented.

Fall number one of two

Fall two of two left Chris's husband looking like Petey

THEN, for reasons only a higher power knows, five days later my husband (never one to be out done) loses his footing on a pile of broken-down cardboard boxes on the garage floor (another BAD MOVE) and takes a header into the recycling bin. One goose egg and broken right humerus bone later, he’s headed to the hospital—by ambulance. Two nights of in-patient care, a long plate and too many screws to count later, he’s home. No cast, but he can’t lift his arm over his head or lift more than five pounds for two weeks, then six weeks of OT.

He will survive, but his eye has blackened to the point where The Little Rascals have come calling asking if he can stunt double for Petey.

The bad news.

There are a few things that are nearly impossible to do one-handed, like:

Driving your husband to the hospital with a bleeding head and broken arm while dealing with a two-year-old grandson and a two-year-old Miniature Australian Labradoodle.

Tying your shoes.

Closing the car door and buckling your seatbelt.

Or opening the childproof cap on the medicine bottles! Want a pain pill? Good luck. Where’s the two-year-old? Or the hammer? Thank heavens for neighbors willing to come over in the wee hours of the night.

Child safety bottles are unfortunately both two year old proof and broken wrist proof.

The good news.

We should both be good to go for our June trip to visit our daughter on Kauai.

We should both be good to go for our July trip to London, Scotland, the Shetland Islands, Norway, and Sweden (a makeup cruise for the bio-foul disaster of a cruise to New Zealand in December of 2022).

And, together we make a whole.

Chris Goff is the award-winning author of eight novels—six mysteries and two international thrillers. Her books have been finalists for Colorado Book Awards, Colorado Authors’ League Awards and Willa Cather Awards.  In 2016, her debut thriller, Dark Waters, was a finalist for the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Crime Audiobook and took home a gold medal from the Military Writer’s Society of America. A former journalist, Goff is a long-standing member of multiple writing organizations and currently serves on the executive board of the International Association of Crime Writers. When not hard at work, she can often be found gallivanting around the world in search of stories and adventure.

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  1. Karna Small Bodman

    OMG, Chris – you dented your stove? Hard head indeed! When I first heard about your accident, I should have sent you Door Dash gift cards – how in the world did you cook and take care of each other? In any event, I’m glad to see that you could type this unusual post — you are amazing – so are your terrific novels! Take care and enjoy your upcoming travels.

    • Chris Goff

      Thanks, Karna. We have used Door Dash, and kids help. It’s also great to have neighbors willing to come over and open the bottle of pain pills.

      And I dented the stove with the hand they had to screw together. I’m not sure my head would have withstood it.

  2. Lisa Black

    Oh my gosh! You’re having a bad year and it’s not even halfway through!!

    I did something similar recently–using the attic pull-down steps to arrange something on top of the garage refrigerator, finished, and somehow completely forgot that I was standing on a riser some five feet off the ground. Stepped to the side, where of course there was nothing but air, and fell to the garage floor. Miraculously, I was unhurt, instead of the broken hip I richly deserved.

    My sister recently had her right hand in trouble and can add to the list of impossible tasks: brushing teeth (invest in an electric toothbrush), and curling her hair!

    • Chris Goff

      It’s incredible you didn’t get hurt. It’s a tremendously scary feeling to realize you just stepped into air.

  3. Dana McNeely

    Goodness! With back-to-back injuries, did the two of you have to undergo probing questions about your marriage? 😉

    • Chris Goff

      LOL. I think the most disconcerting thing is the questions about whether or not we need wheelchairs or consider ourselves fall risks. Both were stupid accidents, but we are getting older, so…

  4. Alex Kava

    OUCH! You made all of that so descriptive I actually winced reading it. Those trips (the travel ones, not the ones off step ladders) sound like great inspiration for the healing process. Hang in there!

    • Jenny Milchman

      Oh lordie Chris. I’m so sorry but glad you’ve clearly kept your spirits and your wit about you. Take a well deserved load off, at least to some extent. Let your injuries heal, both of you. And don’t step back!

    • Chris Goff

      Keeping the journey’s in sight! And, yes, Jenny, we are taking it easy. Thanks!

  5. ZJ Czupor

    Ow! Ouch! OMG! That hurt to read about your mishaps, but admit I had to chuckle when in the middle of it all, you wonder where is the two-year-old. Hope you’re both on the mend.

    • Chris Goff

      Seemed like every day was better, then they took my splint off. Now, with no protection on my hand, I’ve been told — don’t lift more than five pounds and work at closing your fist. Right! Once I can make a fist, I can start squeezing the rubber ball to strengthen the hand. It seems like it’s going to be a long, painful process. But, as my grandmother used to say, This too shall pass.

  6. Tracy Clark

    Oh no! Hope you both heal well and quickly. Step ladders are evil. LOL