Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Pride Comes Before a Fall

Britta Huegel
Dear You, 
"A beautiful leg can't be disfigured by anything", said my posh orthopaedist, as he almost tenderly put a black mobile leg brace around my left ankle.
I am very thankful to him: he gave me an instant appointment, managed to get an appointment at the MRT-center the same day - and supported not only my ankle but also my moral.
"If you are lucky, only the front ligament is slightly torn. If not, you need surgery."
"I feel that it is only slightly torn," I chirped - not my usual pitch, but I was in pain.
And I was right - Lucky Me!
What had happened? Well - it wasn't "pride", it was haughty impatience. It was the first time that I went jogging+walking in my new Nike shoes. Pink. Sold to me in the new Nike shop that has opened on the Tauentzien-Kudamm in Berlin. I told the guy what I wanted them for. They were not cheap. I was no beginner at jogging. But he convinced me of the merits of the 'new technology', when I asked whether they weren't a bit "soft".
So out I went - with my new Nike+Fuel-Band on my wrist (I'll tell you about that in another post). I just reached the first corner of our street, waited because a cyclist neared from the left. He was a bit slow - so I gave him a (nice) little Royal wave of the hand, meaning: "Hurry up, slug." Then I tripped - over the extremely high kerb (I know that one - but I was distracted, and the new shoes gave no support).
Landed on all fours. (Six, to be precise: my knees got their bump too). Being trained, I fell quite well, and my gloves protected my hands.
But I have to say: I never had that feeling before: I was literally swept off my feet - at the angle of 90 degrees, or so it felt. Swoosh!!! 
The cyclist stopped, came back. "Everything OK?" It wasn't - but I would not tell Him (IF I finally managed to ever get up). "Everything OK?" he repeated doubtfully, when I said 'yes', but needed some time to get up. Then I walked - hahaha: euphemism, I hobbled back to our house. Felt like being 14 again (partly at least) - the burning on my knee was a well known though long forgotten pain: I have grown up very quickly, and being long and slim I often hit the ground then. I hit it so often that till today I have an inclusion of a itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny little piece of cinder from the Messegelände in Bremen (fair grounds) under one knee.
Back to 2014: in front of our house I stopped. Stood. Thought. Thought of two friends who had accidents with their ankles a few years ago. And still labour at them.
I listened into my body. In my head wailed Tom Petty: "No, I won't back down." And so I moved on. The first two streets were - well - painful, but I had the feeling that something began to assort itself. Well - I'm tough. I did my tour. A bit slow, of course, and a bit pale maybe, and freezing more than the temperature would indicate. Shock.
At home I wiped away the (not so much) blood on my knee. Kept moving, alternating with putting the leg up. In the morning: a very fat cute foot. And a visit to my cute orthopaedist...
What I thought really funny - and I told him, ("As long as you can laugh", he said) - was, that at the moment after the MRT-diagnosis - front ligament only slightly torn - keep your leg restful - cool it - get lymph drainage - use Mobilate gel and the leg brace - my fuel-band started to blink:
"Go, Britta, Go!" it glared.
I did - and it gets better every day.

Britta Huegel

PS: And I am oh so glad that we visited Son and Daughter-in-Love in Munich before my accident. We are so happy: both have had got their doctorate in Law - and to celebrate that occasion I could still wear High Heels. Bliss!

PPS: Nike will kindly take the shoes back tomorrow and select other ones for me.


  1. Grazed knees - after all these years! Careful!

  2. Oh, that feeling. One nano second of distraction and swoosh, going down. I'm sure you fell gracefully. I like to believe I do. Take care, the lovely heels await.

  3. What a painful mishap! Falling is frightening --landing is worse. I hope you recover quickly.

  4. Thank you all for your empathy and good wishes!
    I am getting better (slowly for an impatient person) and tell myself that I was quite lucky under the circumstances. I have a bit more time for reading (found a - till now - very promising book, and a little rest might do me good.) And as I am able to walk a while I can even reach the many restaurants here in the area, so I don't have to schlepp many groceries. But I take the elevator now for a while - stairs are still a bit painful.

  5. Britta, I have so much to say in response. First of all, "Hurry up, slug." made me laugh. But more importantly, it is *vital* that a shoe not have too much cushioning. Imagine your very intelligent foot, full of nerve endings seeking stimulation,working to find solid ground between itself and the veritable mattresses companies like Nike insist are 'good for runners.' (Quite the opposite!!) Trust your excellent instincts, they have guided you well. You know when it's too soft!

    Now, as for the (not so much) blood and pain and blinking fuel band, my dear friend, what can I say except that you are, and have been so long, a beacon of beauty, good taste and determination for me.

  6. Dear Suze,
    oh your words are really like a wonderful ointment on my pain, thank you! I am in very good hands now - literally - a beautiful Italian guy (blue eyes and blond curls, can you imagine that?) gives me lymph drainage, and if he ever stops I have to think about my second ankle :-)
    (See - doctor was right: I still can laugh...)

    1. 'if he ever stops I have to think about my second ankle'


    2. I'm so glad that I could make you laugh a bit, Suze! Hug! Britta xxx

  7. Britta...I am so sorry to read of your mishap! Believing you are on the road to 100% and back to full strength in no time! Congrats to son and daughter-in-love on their accomplishments and good wishes for their future. Remember there are lots of really great high heels just waiting for that renewed spring in your step. Go Britta Go!

  8. Dear Susan,
    thank you! It is getting better (though still not as fast as I want), thanks to the wonderful physiotherapist and the healing forces of my body.
    And thank you for the congratulations. They still have a lot of work to do (being in legal clerkship, too) - but I am especially happy that both of them succeeded in their doctorate so well.
    Can you imagine - ankle or not - I bought a new pair of shoes? Flats, very Fifty.

  9. Oooh, bummer. I hope you're doing a lot better now. We really need to learn how to listen to our bodies... and our instincts... better. Most of us women are so busy taking care of everyone else, we tend to tough it out and downplay our own pains and injuries. I've been oh-so-guilty of that more than once. Get well soon!

    1. Dear Susan,
      thank you! These days I have more time to listen to my body - and my ankle definitely wanted more rest, now it starts to heal.

  10. Oh Britta - I am so sorry to learn about your fall - it must have happened whilst I was away, torn ligaments are so painful.
    I had an accident whilst away but got off much more lightly than you. Hotel bathrooms are the bane of my life. This one had a slate floor that I went whizzing across, but fortunately I only received bruises. Took me ages to get up off the floor - I dread to think what would have happened if I had broken any bones lying there in the altogether.

    1. Dear Rosemary,
      thank you - and my empathy for your fall! I think the moment one falls is so - astonishing - so surprising that earth isn't what is was, solid. Slates: wet they are awful - I wonder what some interior decorators are thinking of? In Hamburg they put (sort of) big marble tiles on the Jungfernstieg, the elegant promenade for strolling - one doesn't look that elegant in High Heels when the rain comes down (Hamburg is renown for rain).
      As to falling down when nobody is there: ghastly idea.
      I am glad that I do so much sport: I fall quite well, not felled like a tree by an axe - and bones and ligaments are strong.
      I hope you are better now!


    Pride is an inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit or superiority.

    Satan fell because of pride. That was the genesis of sin.

    Ezekiel 28:11-17....."Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they may gaze at you.
    Isaiah 14:12-14 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High."

    Satan had a pride problem. He thought he was as smart as God. Satan believed he could be a God and equal to God. Satan had a pride problem.


    1 Timothy 3:1-6....6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

    Even leaders in the church can become victims of pride.

    When men deny obvious Biblical facts, is that not pride rearing its ugly head?

    When men deny that Jesus said "He who believes and is baptized will be saved.... (Mark 16:16), is it not pride that prevents men from admitting they have been wrong in declaring that water baptism is not essential for salvation? Are men smarter than Jesus? How much pride does a man have to have to deny the clear teachings of the Scriptures.

    When men are confronted with God's truth and still deny it, what but pride is the cause?


    Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

    Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.

    Proverbs 29:23 A man's pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

    Pride causes men to believe their own opinions and the opinions of other men at the expense of the clear teaching of God, which is found in the Bible and the Bible alone.

    Pride forms man's opinions based on his own thoughts.

    Pride is evident when men believe their creed books and reject the teaching of Scripture.

    Pride can be destroyed if men will prayerfully search the Scriptures asking God to reveal His truth.