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Broken Bone, Wholesome Spirit

November 12, 2012 4 comments

So I had a whisky infused cake in one hand and a cup of coffee on the other. The right leg had been giving me trouble lately – 3 days to be exact. I was going to call the doctor the next day. The day of the unfortunate event was Hari Raya Haji and a public holiday, so I could not make an appointment.

Alan had taken the dog for his pee-poo and I was alone in the house. The minute I took the small step from kitchen to living room, I knew I was in trouble. To this day, I had no full recollection of what happened. I sort of floated in the air, my right thigh looked kinda spongy, and then I was on the floor staring at the ceiling.

I suppose I must have shrieked – I don’t remember. But apart from being totally angry at myself for the foolishness of taking a step unsupported, given the weak and aching right leg, I really do not recall my reaction. All I knew was I stared at the ceiling, taking note that there were coffee stains there. I knew Alan would be home in just a few minutes, so I sort of composed myself to the wait. I do not even know whether I was in pain or not – I suppose everything had gone numb.

Alan got home, taking his time through the door. One look at me and he said, “Oh no! You’ve broken your leg.” Thank God for his calm. “I have to call an ambulance.”

Now the dog was a major disappointment. I had been reading about ultra sensitive dogs – dogs who would comfort the owners?? Not so with Indie. He headed straight for the cake and gobbled it up before ambling over to check me out. What a dog!

While waiting for the ambulance, the thought in my head which I vocalised was, “Can I walk again?” Alan on the other hand was not worried about that. Instead he kept asking me if I wanted to wear a bra on the outside of my home dress – err yes. I believe in freedom of the breast at home. I thought his concern rather funny – as if I cared about modesty at that stage!

Anita – the neighbour who baked the whisky laden cake, popped her head in.

“What happened?” she asked in alarm.

“It’s your cake,” I answered feebly. Whereupon we both laughed – she convinced I was intoxicated hence the fall. I was told her daughter later scolded her for laughing.

“It’s no laughing matter, mum. Auntie Sophia must have been in great pain,” she admonished her mum.

“But Auntie Sophia started it first,” Anita protested – which was true.

That was the start of a ten-day hospital stay.  My bone broke – a pathological break – meaning cancer had weakened that bone and it finally gave way.

I will not bore you with the details, safe to say that prior to the surgery on Tuesday morning, I was in great pain. There were times when I teared from the sheer agony – especially when they shifted me for the MRI. There were times of fear – wondering if my compromised bones would be suitable for surgery at all. Definitely there were periods of abject self-pity. However, instead of constantly worrying and focussing on the pain, I found ways to cope.

First and foremost, I have God and His grace to thank as I lay there coping. He really strengthened my spirits and because He was and still is constantly by my side, I was able to keep calm and cheerful.

Secondly, I always try to remember that Prov 17:22: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

I thought of things to be grateful for. For a start, I was in New York recently. I was sooooo grateful this did not happen while I was in the States. I was grateful I was not alone when it happened. I was grateful for the super-efficient paramedic team and the wonderful doctors and nurses who attended to me.

I was not trying to trivialise matters when I joked with Anita. It was an attempt to laugh to encourage the production of endorphins – the body’s natural pain killer.

While in the hospital, I made it a point to smile at the nurses, to thank them constantly, to greet the doctors brightly.  I like to be embraced by their smiles and good spirits. These medical professionals see patient after patient – mostly in some form of depression or other. I do not want this sombre mood to surround me – I want the sunshine rays of good cheer. And cheerfulness, I noticed, is highly infectious – they always smile back and even when giving me my medical reports, they do so in good cheer and with encouragement.

Well, I am now back home and recuperating. No weight on my right leg for another 4 weeks. Then there will be physiotherapy to learn to walk again. Stability on right leg will only be possible after ten weeks.

I feel well. I feel blessed. My neighbours cook for me occasionally. They pop by to check on me ever so often. My daughters uncomplainingly assist me, even waking up several times in the night to take me to toilet. My husband tirelessly made ramps for the kitchen and the toilet, assembled a bed and did so many things to make sure I am safe at home. There are many people praying for my recovery.

By the way, people’s care and concern is a privilege, not an entitlement. So even for my daughters, I thank them for their assistance. I want a gracious environment around me, and I recognise it starts with me.

I cannot end without mentioning this bit. When I was admitted, I was examined for other injuries – after all I did fall. They checked my head, my back, my collarbones. There was nothing. I did not even remember any part of my body that was hurt. On reflection, it was as if an angel cushioned my fall, and probably administered some form of divine anaesthetic to ease the pain. How I wish that anaesthetic effect lasted the days before the surgery!

Still I praise the Lord and thank Him for His goodness toward me.

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