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Beware of those bumps in the dark

Halloween can be a scary time, with spooky decorations and darkened surroundings.
But it doesn’t take this once-a-year tradition to make me afraid of the dark. Not since late this past winter when I had my own encounter with a bump in the dark.
Turns out the ‘bump’ was one of our full-grown shepherds laying in my path.
According to statistics I recall, most accidents occur in the home and most of those involve falls. I doubt if too many of them involve someone falling over their dog.
You might ask how it was that I couldn’t see this canine of ours, the one who normally about knocks me down with his insistent ‘I have to be first everywhere’ mentality. Well, there used to be some semblance of peacefulness walking through a dark house, with a hint of moonlight shining through the windows.
On this particular night, back when it was really dark about 8:30 because we hadn’t ‘sprung ahead’ with our clocks yet, I was returning some items to their proper rooms while talking on my cell with my daughter who was in her apartment in Bloomington.
One second I was returning from her bedroom at our house to the kitchen; the next I was face down on the hardwood floor. The impact sent my cell phone sailing across the floor. For a split second, I was afraid to move, unsure what damage I might have done to myself.
When the initial shock wore off, I yelled towards the phone to tell my daughter that I’d fallen but thought I was OK. I said I’d call her back. I didn’t want to worry her, especially since she was 90 minutes away.
I slowly raised myself off the floor. I didn’t seem to have any broken bones. Wait a minute; there is something strange about my teeth. Oh, no! The two front top ones are broken off! I look like Leon Spinks! (Remember the boxer with the somewhat toothless grin?)
First, I called my daughter back. It was a good thing, as she had already called her brother and told him he needed to get to the house right away to check on me because I had fallen down the stairs. (Wrong on the stairs account, although much more understandable.) I told her to call him back and tell him not to hurry, that I was OK but needed to call someone about my teeth.
As I was looking up the phone number, I wondered if I should put the broken pieces (there was only two of them) in milk. Isn’t that what they say to do to help save teeth?
I reached Jenny Pinaire, the assistant at Dr. Terry McCooe’s office in Corydon, and told her my dilemma. No need to mess with milk; that’s only if exposed roots are involved, she said. She offered to make a phone call and said she’d call me back.
While waiting, I checked my mouth again in the bathroom mirror. All that money my parents spent on braces, then what I spent again years later, down the drain.
Jenny reached Dr. David O’Banion’s scheduler, who knew that they had an opening the next morning. Thank, God! I wouldn’t have to look like Spinks for too long! (Vanity is my middle name!) I knew Dr. O’Banion would take care of me; after all, I had seen him in action when my daughter had a cheerleading-related accident that involved her front two teeth.
And he did, too. Rubbing my tongue across the teeth, there’s a slight difference in what I feel. But other than that, one would never know. I am so appreciative of having a wonderful relationship with my dentist, his co-workers and their employees.
You still might wonder how I could have fallen in such a way over a dog. I’ve tried to replay the event in my head and can only deduce that my feet struck the dog in such a way that the toes of both of my feet caught under his body and in a split second ‘ believe me, I had no time to try to catch myself or break my fall ‘ I was on the floor.
Regardless of how it happened, I now turn lights on when it is dark, both here at work and at home. There are just too many possibilities for bumps in unexpected places.
I hope you have a safe Halloween! Remember, there is safety in numbers and make yourself visible to motorists.

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