I was helping my mother and trying to make sure she didn’t fall. Part of my help ended up being a demonstration of why I was urging her to be careful. It was not pretty and I spent an entire 24 hours in the emergency room. They didn’t have a trauma room free so I was in a three-section triage room in the prime corner area that could see everyone they brought in and took out. I lost count of the patients coming through after about thirty of them. I lost count of the people who got sent to surgery and the ones where there was no longer any need to help.
Most of the workers I saw were in their 20s and 30s. I got exceptional care because the hospital was well-staffed. However, nothing could erase my sense that this must be what living in a war zone is like. Blood was everywhere. The pain was rampant. Tears flowed as if someone turned on a sink. I’ve had loved ones die in my arms, but never saw so many strangers die so near me. And I kept thinking of Ukrainians.
Trite as it sounds, I was a bloody, ugly mess, but still one of the luckier ones who passed through the ER. One of the things that helped me was discovering that my blood-covered laptop bag had done its job and saved my work.
Thank goodness I got to go home without surgery, but for nearly 8 weeks afterward, I hurt too much to do anything but sleep. The pain was large but I’m not a fan of narcotics so I opted for milder alternatives. I had no full bone breaks, but many fractures. The worst were the nine in my left lower leg and ankle because they kept me from walking. The other one I hated was the neck brace which I had to wear 24/7 to stabilize my head, neck, and back.
I was in a wheelchair for doctor appointments, then hopping on a walker instead of crutches, until finally this month I became a slow-moving turtle with a really, really, really bad limp. The staples from my head injury are gone and I’ve moved on to wondering if the hair I lost will grow back. My back is still healing and I’m going to need therapy. My neck and head are suffering from trying to support my injured back.
I’m an optimist, but this was the first setback I’ve had where I couldn’t write for nearly two months.
I found a comparable photo of what I look like now. I’m grateful to be moving around again on my own and to be able to write. I’ve finished one and nearly finished another. My recovery was made possible by a husband who chose to work remotely so he could be there to help me.
As I said, I’m a lucky woman.