In losing everything< we begin to come home to ourselves. Complete devastation has a way of cracking our hearts wide open so we can begin the decent into the valley of original medicine AKA who we came here to be. If someone would have tried to sell me that bullshit in my teen years I would have run away screaming. I was about to find out just how much wisdom there was in this God forsaken No Pain, No Gain. Even….. Where There’s A Crack, Only Then Can The Light Get In, bla, bla, bla. But. wait. a. minute. I had a serious “NO” regarding getting intimate with physical devastation – Christ, hadn’t I already paid my dues to that club? Cancel my membership NOW!!!! It was too late. The Universe wanted better for me, I was meant for greater things and the way to freedom was a painful journey.
There I sit. Resting, relaxing on pain killers. 19. recovering, crawling back from a horrific car crash. Broken femur – just the largest, most load bearing bone in the body – now accompanied by a 13 inch metal rod. A broken elbow – held together by a 3.5 inch screw – an elbow that now, was stuck in the bent position. Therapy was scheduled 4 days a week. The rehab center sent a driver to pick me up.
2 steps to get out of my house. Dammit, I needed to tackle this. I got this. Shit, nope. Which leg goes down first? Good one? leaving all my weight on my bum leg? Nope. Broken leg down first? to place all my weight on while I lift my good leg off the floor? HELL to the NO. Well, this went on for about 15 minutes. Poor driver. I was a mess. I’m sure I wasn’t her first mess. I was pissed. At myself, at the steps, at the world, that I even agreed to go to college on that fateful icy day, that I was even born!!! I should also mention, that I had a cane to use which wasn’t much help. It was wobbly as hell. My right leg and arm were simply useless. Crutches were not an option.
Honestly, I don’t have ANY recall of how I actually got out of the house that first time. Probably so terrifying (and humiliating) that I blocked it out. Once at the rehab center, I met my therapist, who may as well have been Goddess and boy was I psyched!!!! Psyched to be able to talk without holding my tongue. Having someone who was authentically concerned about my condition and pain levels – was healing in itself.
When I returned home from therapy, more family members were there. Shit, I have to somehow get BACK into the house. Damm steps. Someone came up with a genius plan… sit the broken mess in a chair and carry the chair up the biggest step into the house. 90 lbs soaking wet, it wouldn’t be THAT hard to do. Ahhhhhh! success. Over the next 8 weeks, I was bullied a lot by intimidating looking entrances and exits.
My driver (to therapy) was an interesting 30 something female. She had a horrendous scar diagonally across her face from her hairline on the right across the bridge of her nose, down the opposite side of her mouth and zigzagged along her chin. She was missing a front tooth. Her shoes, although the same, were different heights. A wedge sole, stacked at least 3 inches thicker than the left. And her leg was bent inward and didn’t seem to articulate well at the hip. She, after about 2 weeks of being together, shared WHY she presented that way.
Apparently, 10 years ago, she was out drinking with her boyfriend. They were driving home and she realized her boyfriend was way too drunk to be driving and she yelled at him to pull over. Well he did…. To the left….. Directly into oncoming traffic. He was killed in the accident and she was thrown through the windshield. She felt safe enough to tell me this but I secretly wished she hadn’t. Her femur was busted up in the accident, a rod was placed in it (same) and her pelvis shattered. I had a big FU once I heard that. There WAS NO WAY my leg was gonna turn out like that, HELL NO. I had bigger plans for myself. I couldn’t look crippled, that wasn’t in the cards. I was gunna fully recover, being LESS wasn’t acceptable to me. Like I had control over that (eye roll).
I don’t think I talked to her for the next week. We had some pretty silent rides. It felt kinda weird talking about my recovery and listening to any advice coming from HER. My immature mind didn’t want HER jinxing my healing. She was ok to be my driver but that was it. To me, my 19-year-old eyes saw a woman who obviously gave up on herself. She didn’t fight as hard as I was going to. Today, I realize how sad that was to hold her out – for something that was obviously beyond her control. Thank God I’m older and wiser now. 🙂 Please forgive my ignorance brought on by sheer terror and not being able to bear loss of control. I wish I could remember her name…
My physical therapist, (or physical terrorist LOL) was a twenty something, mousey brown-haired, glasses wearing – amazing person named Trish. Every time I started to feel sorry for myself there, a person who was MUCH worse off than I, would appear. I shared the same appointment time with a girl, a year older than I, who was an amputee. She had been in a motorcycle crash. WTF. There was also a young 1-year-old girl whose mother had suffered from serious complications during the girl’s birth. The baby girl had a stroke shortly before she was delivered. I could go on and on. Ok God, I won’t throw another pity-party, I promise!
Then one day I noticed that this older gentleman, was on the same therapy schedule as I was. He sat at a table with his therapist and all they did was laugh their asses off. I could hear him speaking and he was swearing loudly!!!! I asked Trish, “What the hell is going on over there?” She whispered quietly, “He’s had a stroke and he cannot speak words, except for swearing. All he can do is swear.” Holy Shit, I thought. I must find out more. So I watched him curse a month of Sundays for the next couple of weeks. Then he began to regain some of his speech. Wow, that was very cool to see.
All this chaos, you see had a major impact on who I was becoming and how I would move closer to realizing my life’s path. I did not know at the time but my life was going to change forever – all born out of disaster, chaos, suffering, pain. Yup, all that stuff we run from. What doesn’t kill you…….. you know how this goes. Stay tuned for the next chapter.