With all the books and other heavy things I’ve had to handle, and the full boxes that I was lifting and carting around, I sprained my left wrist. After the injury, it would feel like it was out of place periodically, and I’d have to apply traction (pull on it) and wiggle it just the right way & then it would pop back to being a functioning, if sore, joint again. This went on for weeks. It wasn’t great, wasn’t getting better. It ached much of the time, but I could live with it, could work with it. Until the other day when I used my wrist, and I heard, “crunch, crunch, klunk” in there. It went out of place, swelled, and hurt like hell, constantly. I couldn’t use it, lean on it, or think about very much else that was going on. My friend Di, from New Zealand was staying with me, and I was so frightened that my wrist was fractured, I was just kind of obsessed with it. I’m afraid I was not a very good host that night.
In the morning, Di was meeting Margaret, another of our friends, for a tour of the UN, and I went along with her on the bus as far as NYU Langone Emergency Room. It’s my first ER visit since NYU was all rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy wiped them out nearly three years ago. The new ER was a beautiful, comfortable and spacious facility. Customer service and care was built in to the experience in ways I never expected of a hospital. This was less like a visit to the Unemployment or Motor Vehicle office, and more like checking into a hotel. I was registered, spoke to a nurse, then a doctor, and was treated promptly. It was also early in the morning. I’m sure a hopping Saturday night would be a different experience, but kudos to the team that understood what was needed there to fix the dreadful ER experience, and turn it around like this.
I had my wrist X-Rayed, and the films showed no fracture, so I was given a couple Tylenol, an icepack and a fancy Velcro strap wrist brace. The doc thought it would be better in a couple weeks, if I rested it, and kept it wrapped. I’m moving out of my place on Sunday, so I don’t know how much rest my wrist is going to get just now.
I was extremely grateful that it was not broken, but also upset that as I’m about to set off for this big adventure, I’ve got one less-than-functional paw. My friends met me back at my place after our morning activities, and they chased me out of my kitchen while they prepared our lunch. I stood in the kitchen doorway while we chatted about our morning. I put my good hand up to lean on the doorframe while we talked, and I could feel that the very heavy, three feet wide by seven feet tall mirror was detached from the wall where it had been glued over twenty years ago. It was completely loose and, and was ready to just fall crashing into the living room!
I put my palm in front to steady it, and stepped around the doorway into the living room to support it with my body, to keep it from falling. I called my friends, and we managed to muscle it around the next corner into the hallway, where we pushed it behind an empty bookcase to keep it from falling on anyone. What was left behind looked like a climbing wall. Ten big blobs of black mirror adhesive, all mostly stuck to the wall. A couple of them came away with the mirror. But on closer examination, the adhesive didn’t actually fail as much as the wall settled and cracked, actually becoming a bit shorter than it was originally when the mirror was glued to it. So of course, the pressure broke the glue bond.
We had two years of intense street and road construction right outside my place over the past two years. The way these guys open a street or sidewalk now, is to just repeatedly bash hell out of it with the front bucket of a giant backhoe. I’ve been in the house when they did it, and it was what I imagine a minor earthquake, or an attack of The Hulk to be like; cupboard doors flying open, stuff flying off shelves, the tea in my cup sloshing over the rim onto the table. All the walls and ceilings in the apartment have cracks from this construction. It’s no wonder that the wall hidden by the mirror would have been damaged also.
So, the gift that came with my not-fractured-wrist was this: I would never have stood in that doorway with my hand up, I’d have been in the kitchen prepping and cooking. If it hadn’t been for a sore wrist, that mirror might have fallen on one or more of my grandkids, who love to make faces at each other right up close to it. Or it might have fallen on Jess, the family friend who will be staying in the apartment while I travel, or on one of her guests. I felt so blessed that this happened the way it did, and prevented any of the tragedies that flashed in my mind. All the bad things that could have happened—didn’t. Each time, I felt protected, and guided by the forces in The Universe to keep to my path. One step after another, and soon I’ll be on my way.