Tuesday, May 7, 2013

walking away

Back story: farm kids got a welsh pony for Christmas one year. They wanted to ride her. She was acting spooky, I insisted on getting on her first. She reared up and flipped over on me. She dislocated my pelvis and fractured my sacrum. $15,000 worth of surgery/hospital stay and one metal plate and 4 big ass screws and I am good to go. That was an interesting Christmas. Ambulance ride and emergency surgery.


Dr Namechangedforprivacy shut the door to my room and paused for second, then took a deep breath and come over and sat on the edge of my hospital bed. It was 4 hours after surgery and I was finally awake enough to talk to him.

"I saw your scars during surgery and I wanted to talk to you about them." He said quietly, gesturing to my abdomen. "can you tell me what happened?"

I took in a ragged breath and launched into the story. I had no choice. I can lie away, if need be, all my other scars but not those. THOSE ones do not look like an accident. They are a collection of over 100 circular burn scars artistically arranged into something similar as an African tribal stomach scarification.

(have to admit they looked really freaking awesome when I was 115 pounds and had a flat stomach. However, not so attractive now on a 190 pound, all stretched out from 2 pregnancies belly.)

He just wanted to make sure I was not in danger or in an abusive situation.

We talked for a bit about everything my body and back had been through so far in my life.

Dr Namechangedforprivacy was an older orthopedic doctor getting ready to retire in a few months. He then told me how unusual my injury was and that he has to research it before he operated. He was surprised to find that there was only one other briefly mentioned case history. He enjoyed the whole fresh unusual orthopedic injury to treat.

"Geezze! I can't even get hurt like normal people." I said trying to calm my nerves.

He didn't smile. His face was still hiding something.

"Will this injury put me in a wheel chair?" I finally asked.

He leaned back like he was tallying up a list in his mind. "No. You are walking away from this one." Again with his face still hiding something.

I waited.

"With all of it." he said gesturing from my head to my toes, "everything you have told me,and the existing injuries (the herniated disks from that OJI), leads me to think you will be in a wheel chair when you are 50."

We sat in silence as I processed all this.

I made a mental note that he said: you will be in a wheel chair vs you will probably be in a wheel chair.

He patted my leg. "Some merry Christmas" He got up and headed out.

"Dr Namechangedforprivacy?" I called after him. "I'm not going down without a fight."

He smiled and looked over his glasses and wagged his finger at me. "stay off the pony at least until I take your stitches out."


At the time of that accident I was years and years away from 50.

Today I am a heck of a lot closer. I will be turning 48 this year.

Each year the arthritis shaves off another sliver of my mobility and function. This Winter I lost normal range of motion in my right hip. Just recently I discovered I can no longer crouch down. My knees are failing me.

The floor has become no mans land. Things dropped there are magically out of my reach. To retrieve them has become a monumental task.

Someone once told me it must be easier to be born disabled...because you wouldn't know what you were missing.

I don't buy that. my farm daughter with cerebral palsy KNEW she was suppose to walk. She determined on till she learned.

I have been blessed with being surrounded with fierce warriors who despite the crap life shovels on their plate they go forward.

My Tiny grandma was crippled by polio and spent a large portion of her life in a wheel chair. It didn't slow her down, or turn her bitter.

I do not have their strength. I feel panicky at the thought of being a burden to others. To no longer be able to physically take care of myself.

It is a small comfort that most the things my hubby and I enjoy can be done from a chair.

but....this slow progression of turning to stone is....difficult.

Damn you Dr Namechangedforprivacy. I know you are right. I have always know you were right. But I will be damned if I am in a wheel chair one sliver of a second before I turn 50.

Even then you will have to catch me first, I have no intentions of going quietly into the good night. I can run surprisingly fast for a old fat woman with multiple orthopedic issues.


  1. Your comment about dropping stuff on the floor made me laugh. I can so relate to that these days. I'll be turning 48 this year as well and I am starting to look for stuff to hang onto when I have to bend down and back up again :)

    1. It's the grown up version of "floors poison!" LOL. These days I just kick everything into a pile and make one trip down to get it all at the end of the day!