Funny how time flies when you’re injured?
A few weeks ago, I broke my ankle. It was all quite by accident. That morning, it was a sunny day and decided to go for a walk during my break at work. I tried to reach out to a couple of co-workers to join me, but didn't receive any responses. I figured, hey, we weren't nuns and didn't need to go out in pairs! I slipped my cell phone in my pocket since I was trekking out alone as a mere precaution.
As I walked along the block, I was enjoying the moment—the sun warming my face, the birds chirping, and the gentle breeze cooling my arms. I was all alone. I ventured further, resetting my mind with nature. Staring at a computer all day tends to make you forget there is a world outside.
I work in a business complex and there is a canal that cuts through the property. As I turned onto the gravel path, a runner jogged past me, ear buds divorcing her from all that surrounded her. I figured she, like me, was communing with nature herself.
I recalled there was a contest going on at my work to find a cut out picture. The clue sent appeared to be near this canal gravel walkway. I figured I had a few more minutes, so why not try to find it for the gift card reward? As I walked along the canal with this new quest, I was basically looking everywhere but in front of me. Abruptly, I fell face first into the dirt. As I raised myself up with my hands, I looked down and saw my right foot was in a small hole. Well, $&#**, that explains it! I thought.
Suddenly, my nature walk wasn't as inviting as it was in the beginning—the sun became unbearably hot, there were no friendly bird chippings to be heard, and the air was ominously still. I was all alone.
Before I started to go into a spiral of regret for my choice of walking, this clear thought in my head came into focus, “Get on your feet.” I actually answered out loud “Okay.” As I rose, I found my left foot was able to hold my weight. However, from my right knee to my right ankle, it felt like someone shot me with Novocain. “This isn't right!” I mumbled to myself.
“You can’t walk back to the office, you’ll need to call someone.” Again, I was made aware of this thought in my head. It was like an instructional video, complete with a check off list.
I reached into my pants pocket and took out my cell phone. I called my office and punched in the extension of my former supervisor. I chose her because was crossed trained as a nurse and was an analytic thinker. I knew in my current condition I didn't need someone prone to panic. Thankfully, she answered in the first ring. I told her in a quavering voice what happened and my location. On the pathway, there was a grassy slope leading down to a parking lot behind the day care. She told me she was on her way and would meet me in the parking lot. Gingerly, I stepped on my right foot. Searing pain registered along with the weird numbness.
“It’s only a few feet to the grassy knoll,” the thought reasoned. Again, I audibly agreed and hobbled to the spot. “She’s here-- you can hear her car engine. Slide down the hill.”
Stepping the grass, I put my hands out at my side to balance myself. I scooted down the hill with my left foot, dragging my swelling right foot behind me. It was a wonderful sight to see her car door opened. Thought it maybe was a matter of a few hundred feet, I was glad to be back in civilization!
We have heard that people have either a victim or a survivor mentality. One big difference is one lets panic take over their thought process and the other has logic to be their guide. Scientifically speaking, the reason why I able to hear the logical side of my brain so clearly was I was in survival mode pure and simple, right?
True, the above analysis makes sense, but looking back, I do detect a celestial flavor. For examples: my cell phone wasn't broken in the fall; I was able to get to my doctor twenty minutes after my accident with no waiting; the fracture was on a non weight bearing bone (the fibula) and because the doctor was able to get my leg in a walking boot relatively quickly, the bone reset itself. A lot of circumstances seemingly beyond my control fell into place, so what if the thoughts that I had heard was my guardian angel?
I like to think that it was all of the above. It gives me comfort that I know in a time of crisis, I can keep a cool head on my shoulders, and somebody up there is watching out for me.