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Front Page » July 22, 2003 » Opinion » Harriet's World
Published 4,968 days ago

Harriet's World

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Then there is the time, on my way to work, I stepped down the stairs of my front door, got to the bottom stair and broke my right ankle. It snapped like a twig. I heard it. As I fell I hit my left knee on the pavement and dislocated it. I landed sitting upright in a pile of snow. Stunned, I sat there for a minute waiting for someone to see me as they drove by down the street. Or perhaps my neighbors would see me coming out of their house and going to work. I sat there freezing and realized I had to get up and get inside before pain and shock sat in. Nothing was happening so I knew I was on my own. I don't know how but I struggled up those steep stairs and walked across my living room to my wall phone and called my friend for help. Somehow I managed to minimize what was happening to me and my friend did not get it that it was an emergency. She said she would be over in a little while. I hung up that receiver and the pain hit me like someone smacking me across the head with a two by four. I started to cry. I sat down in a chair, rested my ankle on another chair and called another friend who said she would be right over. This friend ask me if I had any ice packs. When I told her no, she yelled into the phone as she hung up,"Put a bag of peas on it. I"ll be right there." Now I am really in trouble because I am trying to figure out why my friend wants me to put peas on my broken ankle. I am absolutely sure that she doesn't have all her oars in the water when she arrives and reaches in my freezer and pulls out a frozen bag of something and slaps it on my ankle. Now I understand. My first friend saunters in and realizes in horror her mistake. Now I have two people standing over me wanting to call an ambulance. I keep rubbing my left knee and saying that it burns. Little did I know that that burning feeling was my knee bleeding on the inside. Had I have known that I think I would have gone in an ambulance. When I heard that word "ambulance" I was absolutely sure that I was getting in someone's car and going to the clinic. I argued that the last thing I needed was an ambulance screaming down the street, stopping with lights flashing, and giving all the neighbors something to talk about for the next few days. I won. I can't tell you how I got to that car. I don't remember much. The next thing I do remember is pulling up to the emergency side of the clinic, At that time it was the old clinic and the emergency door was on the east side. Remember?

The nurse comes to the door, unlocks it and walks away. Leaving Judy and I to fend for ourselves. Judy is appalled by the action and goes inside to hunt up a wheel chair and some help. She comes back with a nurse in tow and a wheel chair and she shoves it up to the car and the nurse says,"Oh, I didn't know you were that hurt." I thought Judy was gonna hit her. The next little while is spent with Doctor and x-rays etc. and etc. and that is when I find out that my left knee cap is dislocated and a whole bunch of ligaments torn in it. Judy disappears and the next time I see her, I am laying on a table with a brace on my left leg from my hip to my ankle and a brand new cast on my right ankle. My head is hanging over the end of the table and the blood is rushing to it. I'm all alone and have been for some time. I am feeling pretty vulnerable and I say to her,"well, here is another fine mess I've gotten myself into." I start to laugh. It was better than crying. I couldn't get off the table by myself. My friend is absolutely livid with rage as she sees the condition I was left in and she goes to hunt up a pillow to put under my head. I don't know what I would have done without her that day. They must have been short handed that day at the clinic.

Now I arrived at the clinic under my own power so it stands to reason I have to get home under my own power. Well, that was a joke. Question: How does a person with a brace on her left leg from her hip to her ankle, unable to bend that left leg, a cast on her right ankle and foot, using a pair of crutches, get into a two door car? .......Answer: Verrry carefully! After trying several different approaches I end up laying on my back in the front seat with my left leg with the brace on it on the floor and my right ankle with the cast on it, dangling out the open window. What a sight to behold. All I had to do was tie a red flag on it.

We arrive at my house and then the fun really begins. Starting with getting out of that car. You talk about laugh. Never having ever used crutches before, I had no idea how to use them. By the time I get to my front steps I am absolutely exhausted. I couldn't have walked up those steps if my life had depended upon it. I ended up sitting on the steps and lifting my body up those stairs one step at a time. Dragging my painful legs in front of me. By the time I got to the top of the porch, I could not pull my self over the threshold and into my house. Over to my house comes my neighbor, Gail, who has been watching the fiasco unfold in front of her eyes. Between her and Judy, we get me over the threshold , into my living room, only for me to discover that now I am on the floor and I have to get up some how or other. Either that or spend the next eight weeks on the floor. Exhausted and ready to give up, my well meaning neighbor says to me,"Oh you poor thing!" That did it. When I heard those words, a switch turned on in my head. No one was going to feel sorry for me. I grit my teeth and turned over and pulled myself to my feet and into a chair. I didn't even have time to think about it. From then on I had no place to go but up. With the tender loving care of my twelve year old son and good,good friends and neighbors. I will always be grateful to that neighbor who felt sorry for me that day and voiced her opinion and to my friend Judy who helped me through a most difficult time in life. She was able to keep me laughing. Well, that's my world. Until next time remember: "Laughter is the best medicine."

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July 22, 2003
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