Banged Up and Bruised After a Recent Fall Down the Steps

Banged Up and Bruised After a Recent Fall Down the Steps
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I don’t think I’m alone in hoping that 2021 would be a better year than last, but it’s certainly off to an interesting start.

I work as a college counselor and history teacher at a high school, and my students are currently taking classes online. Although we managed to have classes in person until winter break, it’s just not feasible given the current situation.

I decided to add some fun to the mix by falling down the stairs of my front porch last week. I was trying to move a large box of dog food that had been delivered and thought I had more room behind me before the stairs began than I actually did. Falling backward down three brick steps and landing on concrete is not an experience I would recommend, especially if you have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome like me.

After quickly recognizing that nothing was seriously injured or broken, I took stock of what I knew would be some awful bruises. EDS causes me to bruise when others wouldn’t, and to a more significant degree than the average person. I immediately knew I would have significant bruises on my left forearm and my hip.

As a general rule, I don’t usually like putting ice on injuries because it tightens my muscles. In this case, however, I knew I needed to put ice on my arm to minimize the swelling. Within seconds, a golf-ball-sized lump had formed on my forearm, and it was turning a lovely shade of purple and red. So, ice was a no-brainer.

I’m not sure if it’s an EDS thing or normal for everyone, but there are times when I instantly know if a bruise will be painful or not. The moment I hit the ground, I knew the bruises on my hip and forearm would hurt. As I’ve discussed before, bruises cause me varying levels of pain.

The two large bruises that resulted from this fall are of the excessively painful type, and just walking or moving causes them to ache. Compression seems to help, such as wearing leggings or an Under Armour-style top, but those aren’t really appropriate for work. So, I make do, try to remember to take Tylenol, and am glad I didn’t injure myself more.

I’m thankful I didn’t sprain or strain any muscles, tendons, or ligaments, which would take longer to heal, thanks to EDS. While bruises are no fun, at least they cause less long-term damage and have a shorter recovery than other EDS side effects.

Fingers crossed I don’t do anything else this silly for at least a while!

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Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.

An avid equestrian and educator, Karen has been a columnist at BioNews — the publisher of this site — since 2019. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in 2009 after years of searching for a diagnosis that explained her symptoms. Karen enjoys working with her students, riding and caring for her two horses (Cherry and Spotty), and connecting with others in the rare disease community through her writing.
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An avid equestrian and educator, Karen has been a columnist at BioNews — the publisher of this site — since 2019. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in 2009 after years of searching for a diagnosis that explained her symptoms. Karen enjoys working with her students, riding and caring for her two horses (Cherry and Spotty), and connecting with others in the rare disease community through her writing.
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