Monday, 14 March 2011

Hopping along on crutches

So, there I was, last Thursday evening, trudging along in the snow/slush/ginormous puddles left by 11 cm of snow followed by 20 mm of rain.  It's dark out, 5:30 pm.  An enormous puddle faces me on the opposite corner.  Too deep for my winter boots.  I'll be flooded if I try to cross there.  So I skirt the lake puddle until I get close to the other edge.  Oh no!  A car approaches - St Joseph Blvd is one of the major roads in Hull aka Hell Gatineau.  Hastily I lift my leg to try to leap onto the mountain snow piled at the edge of the sidewalk.  Crack! went my knee.  "Oh, that can't be good," I thought, wondering if I could move it as the car lights approached. Somehow I scrambled over the bloody snow Gatineau refuses to remove from the sidewalk edges slushy snow pile onto safety of the sidewalk.  Stand there wondering if my knee will unlock.  After a few minutes, I can walk.  Get to bus stop, limping badly.  After many bad moments over the next 30 minutes, of my knee locking, including trying to get off the bus in Ottawa - another snow pile! gah! - and waiting it out, I eventually arrive at home.  To have my knee click one more time, with a dreadful sound and instant pain.

Cue two hours later:  at the hospital, where the nice doctor informs me that either a piece of cartilage has broken off, or the meniscus lining in my knee is torn, but the result is the same:  can't x-ray my knee because it's already swollen.  "Here, you're going to need these," she says sympathetically, writing out my first prescription for crutches.  Ever.

You would think that lying around on the sofa or propping my leg up by the computer would prompt much reading time and deep bookish thoughts.  Alas, the tylenol 3's that I take for pain are laced with heavenly happiness I float away on  contain codeine, that makes it difficult for me to focus enough to read. No books read in the past week.

Winter - 1, Susan - 0.

Will this winter ever end?  I did hear a cardinal singing in the darkness once again because we just have to mess with the clocks, don' t we? as I was picked up by my caring and kind friend from work so I could avoid the 4 buses from hell and arrive to work safely with my crutches in hand. Back to working 7:30 to 3:30 for this week while my knee heals enough for xrays.

At the same time as I injured my knee, I arrived home that evening to learn of the death of  David Gehue, my spiritual advisor and medicine man, that occurred the Sunday before.  Before I had time to begin to understand this, I woke up - as we all did here in North America - to the news last Friday morning of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  This weekend, while I have been sitting with my leg up on a cushion, I have been watching events unfold in Japan, feeling the enormous loss of life over there, and praying that somehow, miraculously, there isn't going to be a nuclear meltdown on top of everything else.

Sometimes, rarely, and this is one of them, there are no books, and no book thoughts.  There is life, and being in this world, and painful, sorrowful, loving and kind and beautiful as it is.

Sometimes, even humour  fails me.  My thoughts are with Japan, and the Japanese people.   And also with my medicine man David Gehue's family and Aboriginal community, at this time.  I think of the cardinal I heard this morning in the darkness before the dawn, and I think that even in the darkest hour and time, there is still life.  There is memory, and love, and laughter, and prayer. That's what David taught me.  Even in the darkest hour, the cardinal sings.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Susan - I was wincing as I read your blog post. I am very sorry to hear about your spiritual advisor. This has been such a week full of bad to worse news. But I love that last, beautiful sentence you wrote and the image it paints for me.

Susan said...

StephanieD: after I wrote the post, I was afraid it came across as too depressing. It is filled with tragedy and loss. I look back on this year so far and hope I have something happy to write soon! I'm glad you like the last sentence, I do too. Thanks :-)

zetor said...

So sorry Susan for all your bad news hope your knee heals soon.

mariel said...

Oh no! Poor Susan! Hope you feel better soon. xx

Susan said...

zetor: Thank you! I am, too! I want some good news! :-)

mariel: thank you. My knee is starting to feel better. Hugs back to you! :-)

Eva said...

Susan! I'm so sorry, and I hope winter ends soon and your need for crutches is short-lived. Like Stephanie, I found that last sentence of your post so uplifting.

Susan said...

Hi Eva: thanks! I was trying to end on a positive note, because while I am sad, it's not all darkness. There are so many good things to be happy about, too. I'm already trying to get around without the crutches, too :-D

Sue F. said...

Beautiful ending. I do hope that you are beginning to get around better...and are feeling better!

Susan said...

Sue F: yes, I am getting better, slowly. Yesterday I had my leg up all day, reading, and today I was able to do some baking. I'll see how the distance at work is for me tomorrow! Thank you!