Monday, January 25, 2016

The Peace That Passes All January 18, 2016

Come and listen to the story of Nancy
Just tryin' to get back to the mountains of NC
Then one stop, she tripped and fell down
then stayed a week in a lovely La town
Broke her hip, surgery, physical therapy 

The Ballad of Jeb Clampett works in just about every situation. Last Monday after starting for the mountains, I stopped at Buc-ees at 5:00 am and nixed the usual stop in Sulfur and headed on toward Lafayette planning on a quick trip into Cracker Barrel for a snack and then find a gas station to fill the truck before going through Baton Rouge. Funny, I never made it to the last two on the itinerary because as I headed to the entrance of the Cracker Barrel, I tripped on some kind of metal edging by the trash receptacle and went flying through the air with the greatest of ease and landed on my right side. The lady with the Coushatta Casino sweatshirt, who happened to be sitting on the bench outside the door smoking a ciggie, asked me if she should call 911, at first I said no, I thought I was fine but I knew otherwise. While she went inside to tell the CB staff of my fall, I fumbled about, grabbing my purse and getting it closer to me and then assessed the situation. I couldn't feel anything from my right hip down to my knee except a numb, cold, tingling feeling which I dismissed as sitting on cold concrete but I knew it was not good. I also wish I could report I quoted Bible verses to myself in those brief seconds. No, I was thinking of Tennessee Williams Blanche Dubaugh from Streetcar Named Desire, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Because I knew that was the situation I found myself. Soon staff and the manager of CB were helping me by covering me with their own jackets and a folded throw from a display. Mr. Bryan was asking me questions so he could file a report but he was so kind and gentle keeping in mind I was down there on their front porch pretty banged up. We could hear the sirens in the distance as we talked and I went over what exactly had happened. I remember thanking everyone over and over because I really was filled with gratitude at that moment. The EMT's got out of the ambulance, asked questions and I am still feeling a bit in shock and living in a condo off the deNile that things were good. These two young women, these two strong young women who probably were both all of 5'3" got me off the ground and onto the gurney. They took vitals and asked questions in the ambulance. After a few tries of trying to stand, I submitted to the realization something was not right. I asked if they could get the overnight bag and book bag out of the front seat of the truck and they did. Upon the realization that I was not from the area and just passing through, they realized I could not tell them which hospital I would like to be transported to. Uh, could I have a menu please? They were directed to send me to Lourdes and I also let them know I have insurance, good insurance because I really wasn't wanting to go to a trauma hospital. One of the EMTs told me that is where she would go. Alrighty, let's roll. I have never ridden in an ambulance. I was calling and texting Roy about the situation and I also put it out of FB, not because I wanted attention but I felt I needed to let as many as possible to know where I was and also to be praying. Once in the ER we discussed whether to cut my jeans off or see if they could remove them without hurting me. We discussed the possibility of a broken hip before the X-rays because my right foot was leaning to the right and would not straighten up. Since they weren't that busy, the three of them took off my jeans and whirled me in for my close up and yes, I believe the word was shattered. A patient advocate came by to visit with me and she talked to me about the Lord. Maybe while we had no clue the reasoning that God knew and had it all under control. She prayed with me and then I encouraged her in the Lord. One question that came up several times; are you Catholic or non Catholic. Believe me if it was required, I was going to go into Hail Mary very quickly and maybe discuss Easter Duty. I was prepared to sing Ava Maria or What Do You Do About a Girl Called Maria, even Take a Letter Maria, Address it To My Wife...but thankfully no one needed me to solo with a shattered hip.  They had a room for me on the ortho floor and up we went.  

I will leave the story here and continue on later. Even though I had been deep into the thought of Tennessee Williams character, I saw the hand and providence of God in each and every move. The choice of hospital, the Orthopedic Doctor on call that day is the one in Lafayette you want doing the surgery and his assistant told me there in the ER it was my lucky day he was there. A room opened up quickly on a very crowded floor. The patient advocate came up to my room and gave me a prayer book and a cross that fits into the palm of the hand, with a rolled up scroll to write out your requests. I caught Roy at the office which is a near impossibility. The week preceding and my week here in Houston I had been meditating on the verse in Philippians 4 that the peace of God that passes all...or exceeds all....surpasses all...I found myself gently carried in that peace that passes all on Monday morning.

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