brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

everything can change in an instant

through no (or very little) fault of your own...

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one moment you're sleeping soundly after enjoying a fabulous home-cooked meal with a few wonderful friends.

a pipe pops out of it's fitting.

the next thing you know you're frantically trying to find the water main after unsuccessfully trying to find the shut-off knob under the sink. you shop-vac up the 6 inches of water in the kitchen. the 6 inches that hadn't soaked through the wood floors into the basement rendering your furnace useless. and the house and your life won't be the same for a long time.


one moment you're enjoying your first game of broomball in a recreational co-ed league. you loved playing in grad school, and are happy to be out on the ice again.

a newbie on the other team attempts to get the ball away with an inadvertent high stick. to your face.

the next thing you know your friend S is telling you you should really check out your eye in the bathroom before determining if you can finish out the game. you look. it's not pretty. there's an inch (or so) long split in your eyelid. and it's starting to swell shut. your sister takes you to the ER where the doc tells you you got a mild concussion, stitches you up, and is a little worried that your cornea got scratched. you have friends and strangers questioning "who did that to you?" your date for your company holiday party is embarrassed to go out with you, lest people think he did it. a random stranger offers to "take care of him for you." you still have a (noticable to other people) scar making you question whether you should have let the doc talk you into the plastic surgery he was recommending.


one moment you're enjoying your mountain vacation in celebration of your sister's upcoming hitchdom, walking your dog across the street (er highway), carefully waiting to avoid all traffic.

a pothole the size of a pizza decides to swallow your ankle.

the next thing you know you're trying to keep your dog from being hit by a car, trying to gather the contents of your bag before they get run over, and trying to get yourself off the street, although you can't put any weight on your ankle. then you're in the emergency clinic being told that besides needing a tetanus shot for the road rash, you have to be on crutches for at least a week. then your sister gets angry because you're her maid of honor in 6 days, and she doesn't want you on crutches hobbling down the aisle. weeks later you still have pain, since a piece of bone decided it no longer wanted to be a part of the rest of your bone and would rather stick only to your tendon.


one moment you're stepping into the shower, just as you do every other day of your life.

a little something slippery causes your foot and leg to slide to one side of the tub.

the next thing you know your sister is attempting to pick you up off the floor of the tub, asking if you're ok. the last thing you remember is the edge of the tub rapidly approaching your face. the ER doc says you've broken your nose, bruised your eye orbital and given yourself a nasty concussion. you can't do your triathlon two days later (although you really thought you could up until about 18 hours before, that vicadin really makes you feel a little invincible). lingering torn (and just plain angry) muscles meant you still had issues with a numb arm and sore neck months later. when the weather changes you still feel it in your eye and nose.


one moment you're stopped at a stop light on your way to work. it's a great day. your doctor gave you the ok to actually workout again without worrying about your head throbbing and arm going numb.

a foot "slips off the brakes" (and apparently onto the accelerator with significant force) of the SUV behind you.

the next thing you know you're on your way to the hospital in an ambulance. you're mostly worried about the work you did last night. a letter you need to send out that day. that your laptop was in the trunk, and your work was not backed-up. about your car. then the doc tells you that you're going to be alright, you won't be paralyzed (hmmm, maybe work and a car are not so important if that was a possibility). over a year later you still have significant back and hip problems and pain.


you're happily walking your dog on a beautiful summer day.

a loud noise spooks him and he takes off, pulling you with him.

the next thing you know you're lying on the ground. calling after the dog who is out in the street. your knee hurts. you manage to get yourself and the dog back to the house. the doc says you broke your knee cap. you'll be on crutches for 6 weeks. you can't drive.

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all of these happened in less than three years. all but the last happened to me.

my mom fell today and broke her knee cap. she's a school teacher. although she's off for the summer right now, she's supposed to be back at school in two weeks. I can't imagine teaching 25 third graders while attempting to get around your classroom on crutches.

when I'd get down about any of these moments or when I'd wonder, "why me?" my mom would tell me that we are not handed things in life that we are unable to deal with. that the people that seem to have perfect lives are either lying to everyone, lying to themselves, or simply unable to handle adversity.

well, as you can see, my luck is not the greatest. and apparently my mom's isn't either. but I know my mom is strong and will make it through this. after all, I had to get my strength in the face of adversity from somewhere.

and I can celebrate this August 1st as the first in a few years that I did not spend in an emergency room...


Robb said...

It is funny how things change in that random instant. Now you have me afraid to take a shower and go to work today!

Heather said...

Hooray! Here's to not spending time in an ambulance or the ER!

Your mom has a good point though. We aren't handed anything that we can't deal with. So, we must press on, chin up and a smile on our face.

At least that's what I'm trying to do lately....

Rachwell said...

Wow, you sound like heather in the should ask her about the shower in Sebring, FL.

My luck is about the same, I am miss calamity when it comes to physical issues.

Valerie said...

Holy moly, maybe we shouldn't Cruise together. ;D

I hope mama gets better soon.

GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

I hope mom gets well soon and you stay healthy and out of the ERs!

Ms. Pan said...

congrats on the no emergency room thing--I'm two years strong right now and hoping for longer! :-)

Shananigans said...

They say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That makes you pretty much invincible at this point, doesn’t it? Get well soon Mom!

Jerk of All Trades said...

Damn, you're one tough cookie RG!

I think you are INCREDIBLY lucky, you've had all that happen to you and you are still here!
You could just as easily be dead or paralyzed, but you're not, you're still here kicking ass and taking names!

I need to rub you for good luck and go buy a lotto ticket. :)

Jen said...

That is amazing that all that happened in three years and you are still here to tell about it. I hope your mom has a quick recovery.

Van! said...

you are a good writer!