Lessons Learned, #1
Quit making plans as if you run the universe. There I was two weeks ago, dashing to a local hotel to meet with a group planning a charity auction. I had chosen the date because it was my only free day before setting out on a marathon of three road trips before Thanksgiving. Those of you who have been following for a while will remember that I had already rearranged my NaNoWriMo schedule because writing days in November were going to be scarce. I think I actually wrote somewhere, that calendars were meant to be rearranged. Right!
It was raining, and the hotel had no umbrella bags to help corral the wetness. My husband was slightly behind me when he slipped on a wet spot and started to fall. I managed to break his fall (nice of me!) before I went cartwheeling forward. I don’t suppose my heels actually went over my head, but things moved in slow motion as I tried to catch myself and failed. Then I hit the floor heavily on my right hip, and I distinctly heard a snap.
Nice people lifted me from the floor but I could not move my right leg or put any weight on it. Again, what happened next is a blur — a fire engine ambulance, driving rain that hit me full in the face when they reached the hospital entrance, and hours in the ER. Finally some good news — no broken bones that showed on the x-rays. But when the orthopedics guy discovered I still couldn’t move the right leg, he sent me off for a CT scan. Another wait, as it grew dark outside, and dinner hour in the hospital came and went, while they could not give me so much as a drink of water for fear I was headed straight for surgery.
Then the verdict: two cracks in my pelvis, in a place for which there is no surgery or quick fix. So off to a hospital bed supplied with a dry turkey sandwich, a glass of water, and a pain pill destined to make me deathly ill. Five days of that, and once again the memories fade in and out. The CEO of our charity showed up with an edible bouquet of fruit and a helium balloon that promptly escaped and stuck to the ceiling. The night shift nurse named Attila the Hun, who told me to get out of the bed and walk or I’d be an invalid for the rest of my life, did not reassure me. Husband’s worried face, people calling to talk to him about me, as if I couldn’t speak, confusion about where to send me next — all seemed designed as part of the universe laughing at me. When I could, I was busy canceling book tour plans, public speaking engagements, hotel reservations, and making other arrangements for meetings I could no longer attend.
Plans? What plans? Life happened, instead.
So where did we go from there? Coming next: Lessons learned, #2 — You’re not really in control of anything other than how you react to unexpected events.