Sunday, September 16, 2012

Give Me a Break

I have old, crippled bones, so my bones break easily. Sometimes I feel like if someone looked at me cross-eyed I could break a bone. When I was in a car accident many years ago and broke all my bones from the waist down the orthopedic surgeon said, ”That putting me back together was like trying to build a sandcastle without any water.” 

This summer in Montana it happened again I managed to break my leg. It was one of those moments that at the time it happened it wasn’t funny, but afterwards Caren and I were laughing until the tears rolled down our legs as we told the story to her husband, Darrell.

Caren and I were at Grandma’s (Darrell’s mom) house. Her house is the one of the few places in Bigfork where we can get on the Internet. Since I read a book or two a day due to lack of T.V. reception, I needed to download some books on my Kindle and Caren is Grandma’s “lawn boy”.

Grandma’s back yard is beautiful. Her yard is fenced in with chain link and all along the fence is a garden and in front of the garden is a sidewalk. It makes it easier to take care of the garden with the sidewalk. One can sit down on a rolling cart, scoot and weed, scoot and weed. Her garden is filled with strawberries, raspberries, veggies, etc. There is nothing like eating strawberries and raspberries directly off the vine.

As I was making my way to the back porch by the way of the sidewalk I came to the raspberry bushes and a branch was sticking out in front of my face. Raspberry bushes are very stickery. I tried to go around the bush by driving my wheelchair partially off the sidewalk. I was in a precarious position but I made it around the bush and I made a mental note not to do that again because I almost fell.

Caren had finished the lawn and she was gathering up my Kindle, her Galaxy, our laptops. I was working my way back to the car by way of the sidewalk and came upon the evil raspberry bush. Mental note: don’t do what I did previously. I decided to back off the sidewalk into the lawn, go around the bush, and get back on the sidewalk. Much safer, right? Wrong! As I backed off the sidewalk, the little “safety wheels” on the back of my chair that keep me from tipping over backwards got stuck on something and as I was trying to my chair back on the sidewalk my front wheel fell into a hole and chair started tipping to the right.

I was hanging over the edge of my chair shouting, “Caren, I’m falling! Help, I’m falling!” Caren is trying to run to help with her hands full of expensive technical equipment. She is trying to keep from dropping and breaking things and save me at the same time. Apparently, she wasn’t wearing her Superwoman cape because she just missed getting to me before I fell out of my chair. When I fell my face was in the lawn, my legs were on the sidewalk and my feet were in the raspberry bushes.

Caren made it to me one second too late and she said, “What the heck were you doing?”

“I was trying to get around the raspberry bush without getting my face scratched,” I replied.

“Why didn’t you just ask me to trim the bush?”

Caren can’t get me in and out of my chair without the portable Hoyer lift we have which happen to be at the her house a couple miles away. “I’m going to go get the lift,” she told me.

“But I can’t lay her all twisted up. What if I roll over on my face and can’t breathe?” I whined.

“Okay, okay, let me think.” Caren ran into the house and got a bunch of couch cushions and came back and tried to straighten me up and make me more comfortable.

Here comes TMI: I go commando. When one spends their life sitting in a chair the less thing to sit on to cause sores the better. Most wound care specialists will tell those who sit in wheelchairs all day should go commando.
So there I am lying on a bunch of cushions with my ass exposed to the neighbors and Caren says, “Okay I got to go and get the lift.”

“But you’re not going to be able to get me in the chair by yourself!”

“It is either that or I stop at the volunteer fire department to get help but then everyone in town will know this story.”

“Okay, never mind, go get the lift but before you go there is just one problem. Something is crawling on my legs.”

“Oh, shit!”

What is it? What is it? What’s crawling on me?” Ihate things crawling on me because I can’t reach to brush bugs off.

“It’s ants and they are going right for your scooter pie!”

“Not the scooter pie!” Again with the TMI: commando! This is a big problem.

Caren runs back to the house, grabs a blanket and uses it to block the ants’ path to the scooter pie. “This is the best I can do. I’ve got to go or I can go get help at the fire . . . .”

“No, firemen!”

So there I lie, on a bunch of couch cushions propped around me with a blanket between my legs to stall the ants from reaching their prime destination, (I guess that’s why it’s called the sweet spot.) baking in the sun on the one hot day in Bigfork, Montana with my ass exposed to the neighborhood.

Oh, did I tell you all the dogs were there. Paco and Flip, my dogs, Caren’s dog Osa and Grandma’s dog Paige. Paco feels that he has to be my protector and for him the only way to do that is to sit on my boobs and snarl. I have Paco trying to get on my boobs, Paige and Osa are taking turns licking me in the face and Flip who cares about no one but himself dug a hole under the raspberry bushes to get cool and to point the ants in the right direction.

Caren did return and after a long boring ordeal and help from the neighbor lady, nothing funny, I made back into my chair. On the ride back home I told Caren that I think I broke my leg. Coming from our suck-it-up-put-some-ice-on-it-and-walk-it-off family Caren said, “Nah! It’s not in a weird position or a weird color. We’ll go home, get you in bed, put it up and put some ice on it and you will be fine in no time.”

As I was lying in bed with my leg up and an ice pack on my leg, Darrell came home from a road trip. As we giggled through the story, Darrell said, “You girls, it’s all fun and games . . .”

“Until someone breaks a leg,” we giggled.

“Tomorrow, Cathy is going to urgent care and having an x-ray.”

“Okay, but it isn’t broken,” Caren replied.

Eight weeks later I got the cast off and I am hoping to get a break from the breaks. 

Paco's Perspective
Remember who protected you! Where was Sir Flip when you needed him?

The Flip Side
I was in the bushes looking for killer lizards to slay, Sir Barks Alot! 


  1. Oh Cathy!!! I love how you can take a sad story and make it turn out funny and OK!!!!! I would of called the fire department,no matter what you said..! The EMS and fire guys are so cute and sexy. You wouldn't of needed to lay there with ants crawling up your who,who...!!! God be with you always,take care and be CAREFUL...!! I love You

  2. Are you still using your wheelchair? I hope you are undergoing therapy so that you can finally fully recover. It's good to know that you are equipped with a wheel chair, so you can still do the things you used to do before. =)

  3. Ok I have read every unorganized thoughts, more, more, more