That evening though, I went to change a lightbulb in the living room, and ended up in A&E.
I knew that stepladder was past its sell-by date. And yet I chose to use it...It collapsed beneath me and I fell with some considerable and frightening speed, hitting the side of my face hard on the parquet flooring. There was blood everywhere, streaming off my face from a gash in my lip and the inside of my mouth. I got to my knees rather painfully (I'd banged them hard and all), and went to see what damage I had done to myself. The cold water I splashed on my face eventually drained away pink more than red, and what I saw convinced me I'd better go to hospital. I grabbed my keys and went to bang on my downstairs neighbour's door, asking him to drive me to A&E.
Of course, it was busy when we got there, and we were stuck in a treatment room waiting to be seen for two hours, before I told him to go home to his wife and I would call for him to come pick me up again when I was done. He'd hardly left or a resident appeared, apologising for the delay. I told her that was quite alright, and listed my injuries: two of my upper teeth knocked out, a great big tear across the roof of my mouth, and an upper lip that had split right through. Although I looked a fright, I didn't think I'd broken any facial bones, which she, having a look, could confirm. Then she left me for another hour to consult with the otolaryngologist and the emergency dentist, after which she returned to tell me they'd decided that the injury to the palate would probably heal best on its own, that the emergency dentist would be willing to do some emergency repairs but had quite a backlog to clear that night and recommended I ring my own dentist in the morning, and that all she needed to do now was stitch my lip. Which she did beautifully, even if she did warn me that I'd probably have a scar as the cut had gone right through the vermillion zone.
So now I'm at home, after a wakeful night, waiting with a hurty, swollen, black and blue face for my dentist to get to work...