Small Victories, 1 December 2015
I’m counting small victories. Being able to sit up for ten minutes. Having a shower unaided. Manage laundry. Still to come are simple things like mop the floor…
This is my first time at my computer in a while. After researching for almost a year, I wrote the first draft of Seeds of Soultraction in a month during October and early November. I’d gone back to editing Andino Andina, then walked to the local market and stocked up on vegetables. It was an ordinary day, or so I thought. When my husband came home we considered shopping before or after dinner: I was hungry, he wasn’t, and since he often falls asleep after dinner I chose to go before dinner… straight forward.
I knew to leave my new phone on the kitchen table, didn’t question why and since I expected to be gone for less than an hour my rational mind agreed.
Off we went. Supermarket one, supermarket two, purchases stored in the compartment under the seat, back home. Easy peasy. Only on the way back we got ourselves hit by a drunk driver. We had right of way and were going slow (25-30km/h). I was looking the other way, and the first I know is screeching breaks and shouting. A drunk youth on a borrowed bike, without a license, ran a stop sign.
It all happened very fast and I don’t remember much, and what I do remember is in odd snapshots. I remember screaming until someone got our overturned bike off me. Too stunned to move, I just lay where I’d landed after pulling free, in the middle of the intersection. Two young men carried me to the curb. When the ambulance came I could not remember where we lived, or even my date of birth. That’s when I observed I must be in shock.
I stared at my left leg and knee that had taken the full impact complete with road-rash, swelling, disfigure and Hurt, as did my neck on the right side. The arm that had protected both our faces on impact was scraped a little. Other scrapes and bruises were at that point to minor to worry about. I could not move and when I tried to stand on my other leg, nausea and blacking out forced me down again. I scanned my body and my guides confirmed no bone was broken, but tendons and ligaments were torn etc. All I could think was “They’re going to cut off my favourite pair of denim shorts -indeed the only ones I have right now. Crap.”
Just touching the knee made me retch with pain. Later, back home, any time I tried to stand up, the nausea would be instant and the feeling of fainting immediate.
Then everything is a blur again. A young man who spoke good English bought me a bottle of water and an icepack. He also reminded me the bike was not as important as us being alive. Much as I agree, well, it’s darned useful to get around and we’d only finished the repairs from last years incident three days prior. Honda no longer makes spare parts for the BizPlus.
The next day in a desperate bid for coffee I’d made myself stand up, holding onto and retching into the sink. That’s when I saw the portal open and understood. It was classic and so bright it was difficult to look at. This had been a choice point, the pain I felt in my neck was where the other me had snapped hers. The fainting spells was where she surfaced briefly to consciousness. I felt rather than heard a voice say Are you coming? And I mentally stated NO; I’m not leaving my husband, our cat, and I have two books I want to see out in the world first! I felt the other me die and the portal closed again. It was 11am and in the moment of closing the nausea and faintness was gone in an instant.
It took me a while to process. I was almost vegetable state, snoozing and staring at nothing for the first three days. Milou slept with me on the mattress, purring whenever the pain got too much in spite of the med’s. All energy I had had to be preserved for getting to the toilet.
I was not angry, or resentful, and that surprised me. Somewhere in my mental fog I knew there were bigger things at play here. Seeing portals and feeling the word co-creation on replay in my head does that.
We could have screwed the driver and the bike’s owner for every penny they would earn for a very long time, but ruining their lives just was not the way forward, I knew that.
After a week I had the bright idea of “I could spend this time writing, just give me a pencil and paper”. I found I could not. There was severe mental fog going on as well as a knee filled with what felt like razorblades and a leg under constant Chinese burns. I read some books instead in my waking moments. I could only sit up for minutes at a time.
Still, I was truly grateful. It sounds odd but it’s true. I was at home, I could recover with my beloved cat, instead of in a hospital I could neither afford or wanted to be in. Here, in ordinary hospitals, few speak English and family is expected to provide most of the care. In my case that would have meant Mario, before and after a 14 hr work shift, still recovering himself? In a room with several others, in pain, comings and goings all the time, no mosquito protection and the food… It does not bear thinking about.
Milou overrode her inherent dislike of sleeping close to anyone – cat or otherwise- and have spent most nights next to me – except on the full moon when she took the night off from nursing me to attend the cats allnighter party!
Thus, no matter how long it takes… there’s a lot to process. Some really old stuff that I really have zero desire to revisit. And sure, I rage against that, but I’m not going to bore you with it. I also rage against desperately wanting to move house and being stuck at home. How can we look for houses when I can’t walk? It’s likely to be a long time before I can, and before I can ride pillion again. I’m learning to ask for help and being dependent and I’m not enjoying it one bit. So here I am, watching the slow aurora borealis of bruising come and go on my leg from mid thigh down to my toes and occasionally wondering wtf?
I also sad because wanted to do the December Art & Crafts market on Isla; I spent a lot of time this summer and autumn making things especially and here I am… There’s work I promised to do and that now has to wait, and more work that I was looking forward to do that I will not be able to in the foreseeable future. There may be emails and enquiries in my mailboxes that I have not been able to reply to as I’ve not been able to get to the i-net cafe. I’d only had my phone for three days and thanx to being left at home it is intact, but I’d had no opportunity to download any apps for it before this happened. It makes me worry that I’ll thereby create for myself a reputation for being flaky and unreliable.
I have a little go-juice but equally it can be zapped by pain in minutes. When it’s spent it’s gone; all I can do is pass out on the mattress for the rest of the day. .
I was listening to a recording of Wendy Kennedy being interviewed by Rob Gaultier on a downloaded episode of Enlightenment Evolution Radio where she mentioned choosing the slow road rather than a near death experience, and that helped with the processing too.
I want to take this time to thank the Sisters of perpetual disorder on isla who helped in our time of need, with a care-package and crutches so I can hop around the house. Your help is so appreciated you have no idea and has helped enormously making life less difficult.
I know I’ve asked for an exit point quite a few times in recent years, but one where my beloved blames himself just would not do. Not one where he will forever ask himself Could I have done it better? No. I never blamed him. He did all anyone could have done in that situation, certainly more than I, being a lot more experienced at driving a bike.
It also makes one question the self, what if we had gone shopping after dinner? What if I hadn’t gone back to get… whatever? The queue had been shorter? What if we’d driven just a little bit faster/slower? What if the bike had started on the first kick? You can drive yourself crazy thinking like that. If it’s going to happen, it will, one way or another. My soul clearly thought I needed this experience so here I am having it. As the little voice after the X-files used to say (at least on English tv) I created this (or was it I made this?). If the option was to have died, no matter how long I take to recover, it is progress…
All things considered it’s something I’d have preferred not to have had to go through.
So please, next time you’re tempted: drink OR drive. One or the other. This is one way you don’t want to change another’s life, trust me on that. And always wear good knickers.
The furry Angelic wants her dinner. I can do that.