I fell and could NOT get up. Simultaneously, I plunged into my personal tragedy saga, which put me in tune with God’s will as well as His plan for the rest of my life. Immediately after my physical tumble an off-duty fireman assessed my injuries as we awaited an ambulance.
Smiling, he stated, “I doubt your spine broke. But, for precautionary measure, let the paramedics transport you on a backboard when they arrive.” Before fully understanding the extent of my injuries, I thanked The Lord it wasn’t worse.
Soon, my mind chuckled while teasing me, “Walk much?”
As I stayed physically still, my brain raced all over the place including calculating the number of hours before potentially going home. Last time I broke that arm, in the car accident just before my marriage, it took a few hours at the ER and a few weeks before it felt good as new. My mind failed to wrap around any idea that this time could be a worst-case scenario. After all, walking speed verses auto collision, there’s no comparison. The crash of metal, upholstery, engines and other vehicle parts surely was worse than this moment. Right?
I never rode in an ambulance, until something threw me for a loop at the local spring and swimming hole. Yes, a potentially life-shattering event occurred in my personal world- which was the second time I broke my left arm. Before that day, I wrote about others as the observer rather than the one subjected to the harsh realities in this existence. Even while ghostwriting or co-writing inspirational and miraculous tales, those other people’s stories felt more surreal than real because I didn’t have to trust God to the degree that those other writers did. Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks-more like a ton of cement shaped like a sidewalk.
When my arm shattered from its impact on that pathway, it was worse than I initially imagined. I had surgery and tons of occupational and physical therapy ahead of me. During the operation, I lost a chunk of my arm’s bone structure to replacement titanium acting as that bone. After a few weeks out of the hospital, I nearly lost my whole left arm to infection. Then, after months of trying to lift that limb to the table or counter top, my doctor warned that I might require more surgery to make that appendage more functional. During the months of recovery after losing part of my humerus, I never lost my funny bone or sense of humor.
In other words, I fell into my story, which put me in tune with God’s will as well as His plan for my life. The book entitled My ArmOr (my life) follows my adventures; it reveals my growing trust in God and His decisions in my life. Did I ever regain the usage of that arm? In my book, I describe my “real-life” education in faith! An excerpt follows.
After my trip and fall, the first words out of my mouth as I flew to that crash landing on my shoulder were, “I don’t believe this!” I still don’t!
This is not my typical reaction to a fall. I think that possibly the song on the boat radio before this harsh landing colored my communication. The Journey melody entitled “Don’t Stop Believing” was going to be hard to do.
When I broke my left arm by the shoulder last week, while still conscious, I said to the ER doctor, “I’ve lost my sense of humerus (bone). It broke! Can’t feel it anymore!” In reality, the humerus gave me enduring pain except when they medicated me as needed!
He read my chart hardly smiling so I turned to my daughter adding, “Tough crowd in the ER-today!” The x-ray tech got the joke smirking while relaying my silliness to her colleague! As decisions were made about transporting me to a trauma hospital, I prayed and meditated knowing my only course was through this ordeal and suffering to get the healing started.
In those traumatic moments, I failed to wrap my head around just how bad that bone broke and why a trauma doctor took over my case. If I’d totally understood the magnitude of my issues, my mind might have snapped. My psyche turned fear into intermittent jokes to alleviate the tension allowing for small emotional eruptions.
Even as I told my husband and daughter that I was sorry for falling and ruining our day at the park, feeling sorry as in pity is not an option to healing! Two hospitals later-with the last being an excellent while newer trauma center-several days later, a partial bionic shoulder arm piece is my new normal. They say I have six months to full recovery but I should! My recovery went far beyond those expectations and not in a good way.
I also wrote to my friends and relatives on Facebook, “I still have my sense of humor!” It’s my coping mechanism.
Some relatives and friends came too soon to see me because the two-hour surgery went way past that mark. It lasted over five going on six hours; so some visitors left before talking to me at that hospital. My Facebook entry let them know I understood. At the second hospital, I was not really ready to socialize after surgery but thanks for coming by or calling.
On August 27, 2009, my entry read, “It’s Thursday and about ten days after surgery. I could barely walk to the doctor’s office because of fatigue, rapid heartbeat and dizziness. I blame the painkiller and am taking myself off it!”
On the way to the trauma, orthopedic surgeon, I decided to walk the ten cars and two blocks to his front door. The blocks were air conditioned as well as inside a wing of the huge hospital. I paused and hesitated four or five times with cold sweats and shortness of breath; it might have appeared a stroke occurred each time my body moved more than ten feet-meaning two feet moving five steps each. Not to mention the constipation! Relief from that pain medication gave me more pain and physical discomfort than my bionic limb. I converted to aspirin that very day.
How do people get addicted; that medication made me feel worse and panicked? It made no sense that some people get hooked on these medications or street drugs. Every time a doctor prescribes me a modern drug, it isn’t a miracle medication as much as a wonder drug. I wondered why I took it because my body reproduced the rare side effects. Once, a long time ago, I took high blood pressure medication. Within two weeks, I couldn’t even lift a fork to eat my muscles were so sluggish and tired. My body suffered the rare side effect that could cause death. Taking myself off that drug, I changed doctors, too. We worked on stress reduction to reduce my blood pressure as well as natural remedies.
One Friday, almost two weeks since the fall on August 15, I wrote; “Don’t get me started on the digestive problems brought on by drugs but birthing my second child without medication was easier on my system. I wasted the full Friday feeling as if I was passing broken glass the size of boulders. I blame the prescription pills; who could ever get addicted-a sadistic soul? Over the counter painkillers here I come!
Speaking of digestion, I, also, wrote a message to all who brought prepared food. “To those neighbors, thanks for bringing my family meals; I never ate so much great meatloaf and lasagna in my life!”
When family, friends and neighbors came to my rescue with meals and help, my husband showed off my x-rays. Each time I worried about the “what ifs.” If this surgery had any problems or my body failed to heal, would I lose my arm? In those moments, my psyche never felt secure even though my mind realized modern medicine already saved my limb because it shattered near the shoulder, which was too much to mend without that operation. In the beginning, my mouth never mentioned my worries while my soul spoke volumes in private prayer.
On August 31, 2010, I wrote my thoughts in Facebook, “Physical therapy with a professional begins. It’s scary not to be able to get myself in and out of bed as well as to sleep on my back. My allergies make me need to cough and swallowing in this position can be hard on me. I’m trying to become a bit more independent! I can’t take the weight of the world on my shoulders anymore-at least not the left one. LOL!”
I don’t care what anyone says that last statement was funny! Plus, my trip finally did what mom always recommended and took the weight of the world and my heart off my shoulders. Her exact words if she were alive would have been, “Stop wearing your heart on your sleeve-where people can find it and knock it off!”
On another day in August, my entry mentioned that “My husband and I were late to Chili’s for our daughter’s birthday. After dinner, my attitude and reactions were a bit too irritable especially while at home sharing cake. I hope my mood didn’t ruin her day!”
Around that same time, courageously, I wrote, “I took my sling off while sleeping. It revealed a hard habit to break. In bed, my left arm goes is in the sling sticking up in the air from my elbow; it rises no matter how many times I push it back down to the bed. I can go without that protection in public but my arm adheres to my side in a sling-like fashion. In crowds, there is a need to wear that device to show others how to treat my left side. Be careful!”
On August 29 I wrote, “It’s hard to feel safe in a room full of kids celebrating my grandbaby’s birthday. She kept asking me if I was okay by saying, “G-ma? What happened?'”
What I call exercise and physical therapy-what I think is tons of work to do six or more times a day in order to get my arm use back, most people call every day or every minute movements; humans take our biological complexity for granted. I have to say before my fall, “me included!”
If the occupational therapist, a shoulder-to-hand specialist, told me to do a routine ten times, I did it thirty times. My goal to get back to normal prompted my actions. Plus, I quickly discovered that the pain diminished the more I worked the shoulder joint, arm muscles and surrounding body parts. I told my Facebook pals, “I’m still not out of the woods but hope I am soon because I am allergic to oak, pine, mold, mildew, birds and some other animals. LOL!” No joke! I really do have allergies.
My ability to poke fun at my realities helped me through many bad times in my lifetime- this one included. My entries reflected my coping style. “Now, that I have a new top humerus, because of it shattering at the ball top, I need to say that I’m glad I got that chip off my shoulder.”
Read more in the paperback or e-book version of My ArmOr (my life) available at Amazon and Kindle as well as Smashwords and its affiliates KOBO, Sony, Barnes and Noble, etc.
About Cindy Hanson
I work for GOD! Is she crazy or telling the truth? What I mean to say is that I write many nonfiction books that are really just scribing the history of His stories. My tales are Christian-based; at least one of those books points directly to heaven. Most of the time, I explain how bad situations and good ones have the potential to bring hope and love along with stronger faith.
My writing started after a major life change or trauma. In fact, my favorite question during book interviews is: How did you get started writing? The short answer is that in 1991 my mother died. Some people dream of being authors; my writing began as what could be described as a nightmare! However, as she died, mom experienced what would be called a Christian near death experience (NDE) or miracle. My nonfiction witness became Mom’s on the Roof, and I Can’t Get Her Down by Cynthia Meyers-Hanson.
Since then, I diversified into the other books and genres; I continue to toy with writing. I’ve co-authored or compiled several other divine tales. Meanwhile, I have ghostwritten many novels under the pen name Sydney S. Song. I use a pseudonym so that people know when my books are telling the truth and when I am fibbing (a bit). Recently, I’ve produced many picture books for children. I also compile collections and anthologies filled with true short stories from the Divine to mundane including humorous tales.
In real life, I’m a friendly Floridian, born and raised in Miami’s megalopolis. I currently live a bit further north with my husband. We are semi-retired. Our children are out of the house; some are married with their own children. We love outdoor activities such as boating and swimming at the pool, springs or beach.
My author site on Amazon includes my paperbacks and Kindles.
My other author site includes sections for my book genres as well as a blog and video section (the videos are mini movies as book trailers). This site also has my contact information.
Smashwords includes all other e-book providers and formats used for my books including Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc.
Check out my other blog on Blogspot.
Other contact information