Nine years older nine years later

It’s been so long I had to look up what SARS stood for (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

That was part of the underlying score as I spent five weeks in two hospitals starting nine years ago early this morning.

Why was I laid up?

Well an item from Montréal in this morning’s news brought it all back, except that I wasn’t in an argument when I was hit.

Some of the details I remember quite clearly, as I recalled in my story, but the twenty-four-to-forty-eight hours following my mishap have been wiped from my memory – calling my friend Karen, Karen calling my Mom, Mom calling me. I had perked up a little by the time my sisters and Craig called. My down-and-out time was spent in surgery and recovering from it – repairing my right femur and radius by “internal fixation” one at a time, mind you, but under the same anesthetic (these x-rays are roughly what mine looked like when all was done.)

From the moment the first fire-truck arrived until my last day at the rehab hospital on June 6 SARS, and the necessary but de-humanizing preventive measures against it, was a constant fact of life in Toronto. The TV movie made about it wasn’t far off the mark at all.

So nine years later, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge, but I still see the places on my leg and arm where the incisions were made and on days when my body aches those two spots tend to lead off.

Once upon a time living to see 2003 seemed an unrealistic dream, and that spring was quite a nightmare, but I remember lying on my hospital bed “bargaining” to hopefully walk again, use a cane for the rest of my life even, and, while I thought I had to do so for some time, that is no longer the case.

This mishap was the catalyst for a lot of therapy – and not just of the physical variety.  I became familiar with the idea that significant trauma can re-awaken (or rouse for the first time) past trauma.  I’ve done a lot of work in nine years, if I do say so myself.

So there’s my shot of gratitude for the day!


Another hard tumble on ice – and still I enjoy winter!

Just twelve days after landing ass-down on my wallet in Perth, ice in Toronto claimed me on Friday – only I went down faster and even harder!

I was at Riverdale Farm taking pictures of some of the birds and animals there and I went to check out how accessible one of the walkways down into the valley was. I was just within sight of a sign telling me it was not when WHAM! I went down – no time to think of breaking my fall, just WHAM! flat on my back. (Fortunately I had the presence of mind to keep my head upright – Craig’s mishap reminded me of that – so, while I lay there in shock for about fifteen seconds, I could have yelled for help had I needed it.) Just like in Perth I rolled onto my side and pulled myself up by my hands and knees, my right wrist feeling painful – the same one which is held together by a device like the one below as a result of my 2003 close-up with a taxi’s front end. (There’s something along the same lines in my femur.)

Although I experience some mild arthritis-like pain from time to time the hardware seems fine but the corner of the wrist opposite to where those metal fingers extend is hurting tonight and running up my baby finger. However, now that I know what a broken radius feels like I know I do not have a new fracture. I’ll keep an eye on it, though, and get help if the mild discomfort persists.

What I’m a little more worried about is my tail-bone. When most of you sit down your glutes spread apart a little and find their comfort zone. My glutes have no where to go. I have large dimples in my lower cheeks. So when I land hard, as I did today, flat on my ass (and probably the tailbone was in on it), well let’s just say I’m wondering what the morning will bring. I was stiff and sore out this evening and I even brought along my Dad’s old Obusforme seat cushion but my glutes were still on their own finding every little seam in the cushion.

Well that’s my belly ass aching for tonight.  I do have a cane, even a mountain-worthy walking stick if need be, but neither is equipped with an ice-pick!