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Birth Balance Blog

A series of topics related to preconception, pregnancy, labor, birth, bonding, and post partum issues. Feel free to make suggestions for future topics.

Requesting A Break – Part I

Are you aware of how you create your life through the power behind your thoughts, emotions or words? The following is a first hand, rather first foot, experience that ‘woke me up’ to the next step, (no pun intended) in my personal and professional growth.

I just finished a two-week, annual vacation to the midwest to visit my family.  First stop, Minnesota. I embrace the challenges with my mother and her memory, giant crossword puzzles and visits with the grandchildren.  I revel in the joy of holding my 4 month old, great-nephew for the first time. I share in the excitement of my nephew and his wife’s enchanting new home. Myself, my sisters and sister-in-law, engage in a yearly ritual of ‘overnight with the girls.’ We cheat in a hysterical game of crocket, rummage through hundreds of pictures from the past and top it off with an evening of nothing but the best homemade midwest cuisine and conversation. The whirlwind week in Minnesota flies by in a blink.

My oldest sister, Mary, and I drive down to her home in Iowa.  My father lives in Iowa as well, in a nursing home where hospice visits him regularly.   As my father and I spend the week together, he goes through an ‘awakening’ process.  From our first visit, he transforms from, falling asleep in the middle of sentence, to eyes wide-open and non-stop conversation by the end of the week.  It’s amazing how love, personal touch, reading aloud, clipping fingernails, hair trimming and good ‘ole fashioned sunshine and fresh air, brings dad back into his body.  I spend my days, in the dream world where my father lives.  In the evenings, I share cherished conversations and moments with Mary.

I comment to my sister what a whirlwind 2 weeks it has been and I need a break before I get back to the rat race in NYC.  I just need a break, and any kind of a break. I can’t believe it, but Friday has come so quickly and I must head back to the Big Apple.

Around 11 am I begin to load my suitcases into my sister’s van. My flight takes off at 2:40 pm. There is plenty of time as I leisurely prepare for the all day trek to La Guardia Airport in NYC.  I strategically load my two smaller bags and my heavy computer suitcase around my shoulders.   I open the front door and second screen door with my right hand, bracing the doors with the right leg as I take a step onto the welcome mat leading with my left foot forward.  Out of nowhere, within a split second, I feel as if someone has vigorously pushed me from behind out through the door, as I yell out loud to myself, “What the hell?”

I forcibly land on my left foot. It collapses inward at the ankle and I hear a  dry, loud CRACK!  Searing pain shoots up my leg, everything I am carrying  goes flying onto the steps  and I pound the pavement with the left side of  my body. I spontaneously curl up in a ball, in sheer, primal survival mode,  grasping my left ankle with both hands screaming, “f—!”

Within seconds, my mind goes from, a 10 second ‘pity party’,  tears welling up in my eyes, going out of my body and into the victim role: “Why did this happen to me? I have a birth waiting for me when I get back to NYC!!! OMG what am I going to do????!” I pout.

Suddenly, I am back in my body, level headed and able to see the greater picture, “You know EXACTLY why this happened!  So get over it and move forward.” Ok then, I will have to check back with that later I remind myself.

I wonder if it’s broken or if I have torn ligaments or tendons?  Within seconds, I deduce, based on the sound, feeling and pain, it’s probably fractured.

I scream for my sister to come to my aid, “Mary, I just broke my ankle!!”

She screams from the kitchen, “WHAT???” I hear her running toward the front entryway, “What happened?”

“You are never going to believe me!” I shoot back in pain.

“What?” She impatiently asks.

“I felt like someone pushed me through the doorway and I landed on my left foot and it broke!” I honestly reported.

“Judith, there’s NOBODY else here.” She looks at me suspiciously.

“I know. I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.” I respond.

She rolls her eyes. I get this is not the time or place to discuss the ‘deeper’ more mysterious circumstances surrounding the accident.

The nurse practitioner in my sister, asks me to remove my hands so she can look at my ankle. I scream back at her like a mother protecting her cub, “NO! I have to keep my ankle supported.”

I immediately gather myself, looking at the watch on my right  wrist and say, “OK, it’s 11 am and my flight takes off at 2:40  pm. I need to get someplace to get an x-ray and be seen by a  doctor. I don’t have insurance, so what is this going to cost  me, ball park?”

Mary looks at me in disbelief. (I’m not sure if it’s the ‘I don’t  have insurance’ comment or the fact I have switched gears so  quickly that gave her a startled response.)

“Well, it could be as much as $1000. Can you afford that?”  Mary’s being very logical.

“At this point, I can afford whatever.” I respond in total trust,  because there is no room for fear.

“OK, the two options are, going to the emergency clinic at the hospital which will probably by about a grand, or there is another clinic, but I am not sure if they have an x-ray machine. I will have to call.” Mary kicks into gear.

“OK, go make the call and bring ice.” I yell after her as she runs back toward the kitchen.

Still curled up in a small ball on my left side, I close my eyes and I talk to God,

“OK, I need a sign to let me know if this is broken or I have extensive ligament and tend on damage.” I take a breath out, wait for a feeling, open my eyes and without missing a beat, the first thing I see is one of the 10 bangle bracelets on left wrist.  It’s broken, and there is a wire sticking straight up, with a number of  turquoise beads neatly lined up in a row. “Ah ha! It’s a clean break.”  I am pleased to have received a response.

At that moment, Mary comes back with, “You are in luck. The clinic outside the hospital has an x-ray machine. They can see you right away and it will be MUCH less expensive than the emergency room at the Hospital.”

“Great!” I am relieved. “Mary, I know it’s a clean break.” I confidently diagnose.

“How do you know that?” Mary responds surprised.

I nod to my left wrist, sticking the broken bangle out as far as I can, still grasping onto the left ankle and extending my  body forward.  “See?”

“What? Where?” She looks up and down my body questioningly.

“Right there, on my wrist…the broken bangle!” I shove the wrist even further towards her.

“Ah, Judith, you ARE going to have to have an x-ray to confirm your break,” She starts to laugh and shakes her head.

Mary removes my broken bangle. Very nurse-like, she wraps the ankle in a huge ice pack with a wide adhesive bandage.  Ahhhh, the cold relieves the pain.

Mary loads the rest of the luggage into the van and hunts for  spare crutches in the basement. I duck walk toward the  van; on my butt, hands and right leg weight bearing, as the  left leg extends out.  (Good thing I  spent the last two weeks  of my vacation working out, building muscle, and  healthy tissues to help buffer this accident.)

Mary comes outside to see me performing my cal-esthetics and says, “Judith, what in the world are you doing?”

“I’m getting to the van. You are loading things up, so I thought I’d get myself there.” I respond logically.

“Well, sheez, let me help you up.” Mary leans down to assist me to stand upright and hop to the van.

As I sit in the front seat, leg elevated, patiently waiting for Mary to lock up the house and drive me to the emergency care center I reflect about the experience. It’s as if this incident is designed to help me remember I’m not in control and that a deeper design is trying to emerge into my consciousness by putting my ego-mind (judgment, criticism, victimization, etc.) in the back seat for a time.

Mary joins me in the van, grasps onto the wheel, darts back forth through traffic as she emphatically suggests, “You know Judith, you HAVE to put this in your book!”

Now I roll my eyes.

Stay tuned for Part II …

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