Attractive, isn’t it? Thursday at work I slipped on a paper that had dropped on the ground, my right leg sliding forward while my left leg and ankle twisted up behind me. (Thankful that I’m flexible and can do splits.) Yowza! It hurt something fierce so I just sat there on the ground for a few moments, making jokes with co-workers who had gathered, putting my arms up in the air with a brave “Ta-da!”
I thought it was just twisted and some ice and elevation would help. By the end of the day, it was still hurting pretty badly. Several co-workers offered to help me, but I kept saying “Thanks so much, it’ll be OK.” When I tried to walk, though, I realized I might need a little help. One friend helped me to the elevator so I wouldn’t have to take the stairs and another drove me to my car. “Are you sure you can drive?” “Oh, yeah, I’ll be OK.” “Call me if you feel you need to pull over and I’ll get you.” “Thanks! I’ll be OK.”
I have a manual transmission, a stick shift, a clutch. It was NOT OK. Every time I had to depress the clutch was like sending electric shocks of pain shooting through my ankle and leg. It actually felt crunchy. Stop-and-go traffic on the freeway didn’t help. “Turn green … turn green … turn green …” I said at every light after I got off the freeway.
I drove to the after-hours clinic, hobbling up to the door. “I’m sorry, the doctor just left. There’s another clinic across the street.” I hobbled back to the car and drove to the other clinic. “Do you need a wheelchair?” My first inclination was to say No, I’ll be OK, but the wheelchair sounded pretty good by then, so I accepted.
X-rays showed that I’d fractured the bone about two inches above the ankle, an unusual break according to the doctor and x-ray tech. When they found that I’d driven myself almost 20 miles on a broken ankle, they looked at me like I was a crazy person. “How are you getting home?” “I’ll drive myself.” Again, the crazy looks. “Do you have anyone at home to help you?” “No, but I’ll be OK.” Again, with the looks and comments like “You’re very strong.”
Thankfully, my daughter called me when I was preparing to drive home and said she and her hubs were in the area (they live 50 miles away) and would drive me home. I accepted. Being strong at this point wouldn’t be too smart. I had to accept help.
This is a good lesson for me. Like the other strong women I know, I am stubbornly independent. Being a single parent taught me to stand on my own two feet and get 'er done without asking others for help. I could always figure it out and take care of things. So it's very difficult for me to accept any help from others. I never want to impose on others or have them go out of their way on my account.
One of the things I’ve been working on is releasing the ego and I see this as part of the lesson. It’s ego that makes me rush to help others, but not accept help when I need it. It’s humbling to accept help from others; even more humbling to ask for help. But I have to. Humility is a good lesson to learn. I have to put aside ego, do what I can reasonably do and allow others to help me with the rest.
My daughter and her family brought me dinner on Friday night and stayed to visit. My precious friend Vicki is lending me her car (automatic) while she’s in Scotland. Her daughter/my goddaughter Taylor took my laundry upstairs for me when they brought the car over. My brother has offered to let me stay at his place where I can use their downstairs suite. The bedrooms are upstairs in my home and navigating the stairs is challenging; I’ve learned to go down on my butt. So I’m going to go and stay with him and his wife for a few days. My neighbor just called and left a message offering to help, too.
I’m being humbled but I’m learning. And I’m grateful this is temporary.