Life In The Slow Lane

The only thing that is certain about my life is that I have peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding. I have had my health issues, some of which I brought on by my own doing, like when I broke my leg a few years ago. I was coming down the stairs with a hand full of odds and ends to help Joanna, the lady that cleans my house. I noticed a sizable patch of cat puke on the wooden floor. I was thinking that I had to clean up the vomit when I missed the last step and fell. Falling is never a graceful act and the noise startled Joanna. Immediately a sharp pain went up my leg. I hobbled over to the couch and asked her to bring me a bag of ice, but nothing was relieving the discomfort. I called Mike, who helps with when I have a  traumas, and I  cried like a baby, and explained what happened. He rushed home to help taking me to urgent care, and it was clear from the x-ray that my right leg was broken near the ankle. From there, with the most unattractive black air cast and crutches, I made an appointment with an orthopedic specialist the following morning.

The doctor told me that I could not drive for a month and to keep my foot elevated and to sleep in the ugly bulky air cast. For the first week everything that spewed out of my mouth was a gasp, followed by a grunt and ending with a complaint. Once I got upstairs for the night, I stayed in my room and when morning came I stayed downstairs. I had my son-in-law Russ bring one of the office chairs into the kitchen, and I got around by rolling from one part of the kitchen to the other. I was on crutches and that was the worst part of the injury. Crutches were invented in a workshop in hell and I could never get over the discomfort of using them. On one of my follow-up visits I was told that the crutches were too high. No wonder my armpits screamed at every use, and I developed honest-to-goodness stomach muscles from the strain.

When I finally got the clearance to drive, I had to remove my boot in order to do so, this just added to all the extra time it took to get ready for anything.  By this time I had mastered patience, because even if I was in a rush, my pace was as slow as molasses. One day I had a great epiphany  that I should order a scooter for my rehab. Amazon  to the rescue, within a week an adorable blue scooter arrived just in time for a family outing. We were all going to meet at Down Town Disney for a celebratory dinner for Russ. I had not broken in the scooter, but I was certain that it was going to be easy. I tried it around my family room and it felt odd and uncomfortable, but I brushed it off without giving it another thought. We arrived at the hotel the following day and I was going to use the scooter, but Mike thought that we should take complimentary shuttle instead, so we loaded up the scooter and headed out. Downtown Disney was where I broke in the scooter. We arrived at Fossil, the store that my daughter was managing at the time. I kept getting stuck in corners of the already cramped store, and was not getting the hang of the scooter. We leave to go to dinner and suddenly it all came together, the cool breeze from the movement of the scooter was making my hair softly flow back, and I felt like I was part of  an advertisement for a shampoo commercial. I was filled with pride and confidence as people stared and watched me maneuver the new ride. Then it happened. I was traveling a little too fast and the scooter caught a slight lift on the sidewalk. I could hear Mike and Sonja yelling for me to slow down, but it was too late. I flipped over the handlebars of the killer scooter and landed flat on my face. I could hear the foreigners screaming and saying things in other languages, and people gasping with great concern. It took a legion of angels to flip my body around, I held out one hand and said “I’m ok, I’m ok.” From that point a terror gripped my heart and the sweet scooter became a death trap. I wanted my crutches back but I left them at home. In all humility I slowly rolled into the restaurant. Dinner was most unpleasant because I knew that I had to ride that thing back to the hotel. When It was time to leave, I mounted the beast and a massive cramp seized my injured leg. The drama that ensued was my grandkids fighting to take turns on the scooter. Mike and Mikos wanted no part in this and abandoned me. Russ had to push me the rest of the way while Jenny and Sonja laughed most of the way back.

At my next follow up-visit, the doctor was a completely insensitive when asking me,”Who told you to get a scooter? I did not order that for you!” Really? now he asking that question! I wanted to remind him of the time that he made me wait four hours in his office to see him, but I was not going to rude like him. I did ask him for a handicap placard and he agreed with only a one month prescription. I loved that placard and was greatly disappointed when it expired.

It took the full three months to recover from this injury, with each day producing for more freedom. This was a hidden spiritual journey and I learned many things from this experience.  Patience really is a virtue, and it was a hard lesson for me. Healing of  broken bones takes time. I learned to appreciate Mike’s empathetic heart and how he stepped up to care for me. I had to depend on others to take me to doctor’s appointments and to run errands. I could no longer attend daily Mass, but one time my son Mikos took me to church, a very special occasion for me.

I am more mindful of my age and hold on to the rail with ascending and desending the stairs.

James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.


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