Falling Down in Singapore – July 2009

July 2009 That’s me. Can you see the bruises on my chin, forehead and nose? My knee is swollen to the size of a cantaloupe and everything hurts. I was getting off a tour bus in Singapore and I fell down.

One of those falls where you stumble, start to go faster and don’t fall until you’re going about a million miles an hour. SLAM! Into the ground. I hit so hard that I was knocked out for a few seconds and disoriented for a while. I opened my eyes to massive pain and confusion and 10 people swarming around me to try and help me up, not an easy task since I weighed over 300 pounds.

Calling out the Army Everyone was very nice and they called in a couple of doctors from the Singapore Army. The regiment was practicing for the July 4th performance at a facility across the street. After that I was referred to Raffles Hospital where they called in a specialist to run tests on my eye (thought I’d detached the retina but luckily I had not) and x-rays for my knee, elbow and wrists to make sure I was just bruised and scraped and nothing was broken.

Licking my wounds After that I retired to my beautiful hotel room at the Singapore InterContinental where the horrified staff showered me with ice packs, paracetamol and soft foods I could eat without moving my lips too much. Luckily I had come a few days early to explore the city before my conference began. I had time to rest, recover and find some concealer for the massive bruises on my face and buy some long sleeve shirts to cover my arms.

Something has changed To all outward appearances, I was fine. (Until late afternoon when the makeup sweated off and THEN everyone noticed!)  But something had changed inside me. You know how people talk about that defining moment when some flip got switched? I mean, switch got flipped? Well mine went from off, which frankly, I thought was welded permanently shut, to on.

Reality Check I fell down because I was a morbidly obese, 46 year old woman with poor balance and no muscle control. Hell, no muscle. Period. As I sat in my room, looking longingly at the cool, blue waters of the pool I felt too battered and fat to swim in, I made up my mind to change. I was already in Weight Watchers, already trying to walk, but it was obvious that it wasn’t enough and it wasn’t working.

No going back I wasn’t sure exactly what to do or how to do it, but there was no going back. If I ever get the chance to go back to Singapore, I’m going to stand in that spot and do a happy dance. It was worth the scare, the embarrassment and the pain if that’s what it took to finally wake me up and get me moving in the right direction.

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