It was Monday morning when it happened. My absent-minded phone alarm failed again to buzz and i slept in. At ten, Indian not-so-standard time, something stirred me to wake, and i was soon on my way to washroom. I did stuff as usual but then disaster struck me. As i triumphed out of the toilet in a hurried motion, i slipped and fell and landed on my bottom real hard. Before i could curse the slippery, mockery cemented floor, i screamed with pain. There was no one around. I managed to stand on my feet and somehow reached my room. The pain became excruciating.
I’ve heard incidents of coccyx injury due to fall, and the end-results. It was never a happy ending though they usually burst out laughing instantly, so they say. In my case, laughing was the last thing i’d do. I spent the day lying in awkward positions wondering how serious it might be. I assured myself that at least i could walk, though haltingly difficult. And least of all, i did not want to think about getting paralyzed or disabled, the chances of which few of my self-knowing, slightly-amused, technically-worried pals hinted thanks to them. Not to mention that my dismayed parents rung the whole family tree to break the bad news, just in case.
The next day my roommate and buddy took me to an orthopaedics centre near IIT gate. We did an X-ray first thing. It didn’t take long before the result was in our hands. I was too scared to look, too dignified not to. While my buddy examined the image the best he can, i concentrated on the jokes he made up to ease my tension. Soon after i was called in the Doctor’s room. He confirmed our fear, my fear, although somewhat relaxingly. Yes it was a tailbone fracture. Nevertheless, he said, no serious damage. Three to four weeks to heal. Adequate rest and no worry. I would get back to normal in time, he said.
On our way back to campus my anxieties melted away. But the X-ray image of my spinal column, down to the spot where the breakage occurs filled my mind. I knew right then that Shakespeare was wrong. And anyone who’d seen the fragile, barely connected ladder of bones would readily agree. Despite the persistent discomfort and pain, i managed to chuckle a smile.
That was only yesterday.