Gentle Persuasion Goes A Long Way

Here I am talking about my fall again, but I promise this is the last story. Exactly one month after it happened I finally felt better, but the problem was still there, taunting me. There are many sidewalks in town like that, but this one is the one that reached out to bite me. Hubby and I were walking by one day and saw the homeowner pulling out of her driveway. Do I stop her and tell my story of woe? I didn't, I chickened out.

So I decided to write a letter and mail it to her. It was a very nice letter, I promise. I just wanted to explain......OK, I'll just let you read it for yourself.

Dear Home Owner,

Exactly one month ago I tripped on the portion of your sidewalk that is raised due to tree roots. It has taken me this entire month to recover. I walk this way often with my husband and/or dog and know of the raised area but my husband momentarily distracted me by telling me of a dog up ahead. We were walking at a fast pace so as my toe caught the edge of the rise I fell very hard. I raised my arm to catch myself and landed primarily on my right side and part of my back.

Three women down the street saw this and asked if I need them to call 911. The breath was knocked out of me so I just lay there awhile and in time, slowly got up and walked home. It was at 8:00 am and if you were watching I feel very sad that you did not come outside to check on me.

My next 4 weeks were filled will pain under my right arm and extreme pain in my shoulder blade with tingling up into my neck, down my arm and down my spine. It hurt to take deep breaths and I had difficulty using my right arm because it brought about the pain and burning. Some days were better and I would try to do things but often times the pain and burning came back even worse.

I never did go to the doctor because I do not have insurance and was afraid that she would want me to get x-rays. If that had been the case I would have had no choice but to contact an attorney to seek assistance for my medical bills. I'm glad I didn't have to resort to this but still am upset that I didn't even have the luxury of going to a doctor in the first place. I'm not a young chick and know that I will be feeling the aftermath of this fall for a long time to come; and think I did more damage than I let on to my family and friends. I also kept a daily record of the way I felt everyday in case I ever needed it.

Last night was the first time I was able to attend my 3xweek Zumba class since that day, which I missed so much. Other than feeling stiff and sore, thankfully I was not in pain this morning.

The only reason I am telling you this is because I highly suggest you fix your sidewalk or at the very least, paint the area with orange or red paint so people can be more aware of it. I know there are thousands of sidewalks like it all over town and it has probably been like that for years. But what if I hadn't raised my arm to protect my head? Or what if someone older than me falls? Or a pregnant woman? I didn't even check into the liability of who owns a sidewalk or who is responsible for upkeep, but as a home owner myself I would do something to assure that no one would be hurt on my property.

I came by a few days after I fell to take a picture of the sidewalk and the higher side (the one I was on) is a full 2 ½ inches above the rest of the walkway. I encounter smaller rises than that on my walks but your sidewalk ranks as pretty high. So please, before someone else falls and you end up with an attorney's letter in your mailbox, instead of just a cautionary tale, please take action to fix your sidewalk.

Thank you for your time~~~~

I was afraid to walk by for awhile after I sent it, just knowing she could pick me out of the many people that walk by her house a day. But hubby and I finally did recently and as I got closer I could see something different. Although the sidewalk wasn't filled in or repaired, the area was painted a nice bright yellow. It made the rise look so much higher but I guess that's the point, to make it stand out.

That's all I wanted. Now if I could write letters to the rest of the homeowners on my walks......


Grumpy said…
Perfect letter, gets the point across without being confrontational. I would have just mentioned my attorney in the first paragraph and the homeowner would have dug in. You at least got the problem partially solved.
Yes, but she didn't use red or orange like you suggested. She is an awkward so and so. To put it mildly.
Zumba!! I would be dead if I tried that.
fernvalley01 said…
Well said, and obviously effective at least to some degree
D. Duplessis said…
Great letter! Nice to see it had some effect. FYI, in my neighborhood, the sidewalks are owned and maintained by the city.
bill said…
Good on you. You wrote a great letter and obtained results.
I thought sidewalks were the city's responsibility?

Very proud of you for sending the letter. I would have chickened out and suffered in silence forever.
Mr. Shife said…
It was a great letter and it worked out pretty well. It stinks that you could not get some medical attention for it. I am glad you are feeling better and good enough to do some Zumba. Even on my best days I could not do that. Take care and hope you have a good weekend.
Claire King said…
Nicely done, my friend.
Claire King said…
P.S Nice background change on your blog. Lookslike you are increasing your # of followers. Whew hew!

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