A silly fall while clearing my shoes leads to an EDS pain flare

My right side is on alert after an ankle injury when slipping out of a minitruck

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

by Karen Del Vecchio |

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Do not fall out of a Kubota vehicle. You’re probably thinking, gee, that’s a pretty obvious statement. Yep, it sure is. And despite using four-wheel minitruck vehicles on farms for over a decade, I managed to take my first tumble off one recently.

Despite only sliding a few feet to rather soft ground, I don’t recommend it, especially if you have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS).

I’d gone out in a field with a friend to put out hay bales for horses, a chore we do regularly. I managed to get hay in my boots, so as we were driving back, I leaned down to slip off my boot and dump it out. Having anything in my shoes is a pet peeve of mine. I knew we’d be turning soon, but I was expecting a slow, arching, smooth turn. Instead, my friend turned more sharply than I’d anticipated to avoid some mud — just as I leaned down to clean out my boots.

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As soon as I felt us start to turn, I realized I was in trouble. I tried to sit up so I could grab the handle on the side of the vehicle, but the laws of physics worked against me, and I knew right away that was impossible. I could either bail under my own terms or probably get hurt worse while trying fruitlessly to stay on board.

Not surprisingly, I chose to get out on my own. Luckily, we were only going about 5 miles per hour, and the seat was only a few feet off the ground, so I wasn’t too worried. Landing on my feet was unlikely, given my forward angle in my seat, so instead I turned and landed on my right hip with a surprisingly quiet “whump.”

Assessing the impact

Even though the impact wasn’t terrible and the ground was soft, I knew right away I was going to be sore. And that wasn’t because I’d hit anywhere particularly hard or in a way to cause a significant injury, but rather because I felt the landing reverberate throughout my body when I hit the ground. Over the years I’ve learned that impacts like that, whether significant or not, are likely going to set off an EDS pain flare. I don’t understand why, but my pattern is clear.

Other than that, the only minor damage I felt was in my right ankle, which is one of my most damaged joints. It hardly takes anything there to cause a problem. For several days afterward, the ankle was quite sore. Of course, my right side is where I manage plantar fasciitis, so I knew I’d have to be extra careful to walk properly and wear shoes with good support if I didn’t want this one issue (hurting my bad ankle) to set off another (my plantar fasciitis).

While falling definitely led to days of soreness and discomfort, I know I’m lucky that it wasn’t much worse. I know that from now on, I’ll always be extra careful when I’m riding in a Kubota — and I sure won’t be reaching down to dump hay out of my boots while I’m in one again!

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 another 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.


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