Thursday, December 15, 2011


Each morning when we wake up, we think about what we have planned for that day. It's usually pretty routine and works out mostly as planned. But sometimes a storm hits and all plans are out the window. Then we have to make a 180 degree turn and regroup everything. There are all kinds of ways to meet such a day. How would react to one like this?

A few days ago, I had an opportunity to answer that question for myself, and I've been going through just about every reaction since the catastrophe. I had my list all made--2 appointments, shopping, the post office, and ingredients to make peanut butter candy for my writer's group party. After breakfast, I picked up my empty cereal bowl and headed for the kitchen. But I didn't see the pair of shoes I'd left near the kitchen door. My little renegade toe skillfully picked up a shoe strap, and I suddenly flew across the kitchen floor without a parachute, holding the bowl high in the air, hoping it wouldn't break in the inevitable impact. The flying time felt like forever, but I finally landed with a very hard thud on the left side of my chest. Of course, my arms had to follow my body, so the broken bowl flew everywhere. Slaaaap on the tile floor.

When a friend who's staying with me picked me up off the floor, my first reaction was confused disbelief. (I think that's the normal reaction at this stage) Then by the time we got to the Acute Care Center, I actually felt numb and giddy. In fact, the nurses remarked at my sense of humor in a not-so-funny situation. (Maybe mishaps like this affect a person's brain) But when the pain set in, my sense of humor melted into pure agony, and my left rib cage, neck, shoulder and arm were on fire.

Now 3 days later, my plans are shot, I missed my writer's group party, and I've been through anger, self-pity, feeling weak and shaky, and regret at not putting my shoes away. And with 3 medications, the pain is still grueling. So now what do I do? I know resistance makes everything worse, so I guess I have to accept where I am and envision more plans for another day.

The ride is still very bumpy, but I can't say it's boring. You know what? Life is like that. We never know what the next moment will bring. But we choose our reactions and they greatly influence recovery, so it's wise to be ready when the unexpected interrupts our world. I think I'll learn from this present experience and do better next time.

Always have a parachute ready.


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