This workshop was offered just one day too late for me. I’ve done the “staying healthy” part. I passed my annual wellness appointment with flying colors, even with accolades. But that didn’t help much on Wednesday morning when the side of my shoe caught in a small lip in the pavement of the office parking lot as I turned from a conversation to go back inside. My body kept turning, but my foot did not! Gravity took over and I went tumbling down: palms instinctively went first, then knee, then ribcage/arm, and finally, temple. George Fox University Serve Day was just underway, so the potential was high for an audience (which no one wants in moments of such grace) but I was glad our custodian, Brent, was nearby to give me a hand back to my feet and to watch as I assessed the damages. I hobbled inside and sat down. My ankle hurt a little and started to swell, but my attention was focused much more on the set of ribs on my left side. Whoa! They would give me trouble!
The office was abuzz. Carolyn reminded me to elevate my foot; Julie found ice for the swelling. Mauri brought comfort: his own plus a hot chocolate from Coffee Cottage. Lisa encouraged heat/ice alterations for my ribs. She moved my car when those assigned to powerwashing the parking lot got too close. And Brent was appropriately attentive, checking in on me while he directed the students’ work.
As the shock died down, I grew more and more bummed. My job has returned to 40-hour weeks because there is so much to do these days. We try to fight the sin of indispensability, but in some ways I truly am indispensable. The church is counting on me in a variety of ways — right now! So I stayed through 1pm, the end of office hours, then went home to lick my wounds and my withering spirits. At 4pm I dug through old meds and found a Vicadin. From 2011. I’ve kept it for such a time as this, so, yes, I swallowed it with some water. And became oh so happy.
At 6pm I took the encouragement of several to see a professional, and Mauri drove me to the ER.
Since I had zero pain in my ankle, I was very surprised and dismayed to learn it was broken. Of course it wouldn’t be anything like the damage I did in our blowout 11 years ago. It’s only a small break and will hopefully heal fast.
I went home in a splint and will remain hopeful that in a week I can go immediately into a boot rather than a cast.
But my ribs! Another matter entirely. They are furious about what I did to them and they make this known every time I move.
Which means neither crutches nor walker turn out to be very useful as transportation.
Ta-da! Meet my lifeboat! Cathie Jo, the owner of this little beauty, has become my sweet soul sister in recent months. I’m pretty sure she hides wings under her clothes. She stepped up to “man” the office in my absence, says “I can do that!” to every need, and asks “what else can I do?” A true God-send. On top of that, having just recovered from an ankle break herself, she offered this to aid my mobility.
So I’m not the indispensable one after all. Mauri and Cathie Jo and all the other good people helping me are the heroes. And I’m grateful.