Romancing the Sprain

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Sometimes life lays you flat, which allows you to, well, lay around and dream about how things might have been. Here’s a romantic version of how I would have preferred last week go down – and a real life version, for good measure, if you’re bored enough to read.

Romantic version:

Fall days in Colorado can sometimes be described as sunny and pleasant, crisp and refreshing. It was just such a day when Brenda, having been cooped up for weeks while finishing the final touches on her seventh New York Times Bestselling book, decided to step outside to breathe in some of the aforementioned crisp, fresh, Colorado air. Her skirts twirled lightly as she waltzed around the stark white gazebo located on twenty five hundred acres of lush, green grass behind her simple – but magazine worthy – abode. Her natural auburn locks fluttered in the soft wind. Her heart, too, for her beau, Shaun, would arrive any minute, after months of being deported to fight in a seemingly never ending war that began because of … politics? No, greed. No, wait. Power. Oh heck. All three — politics, greed, and power.

She slowly inhaled. Exhaled. Inhaled. Closed her eyes. Hummed an introduction to her favorite song.

Suddenly, muscular, manly arms enveloped her from behind. and as her and Shaun danced in perfect form around the gazebo, Shaun added perfectly tuned lyrics to her happy humming …

“You are sixteen, going on seventeen. Baby, it’s time to think. Better beware, be canny and careful. Baby, you’re on the brink.”

They danced and hummed and sang every last lyric … and then Woosh! Brenda twisted her ankle, slipped out from Shaun’s embrace, and landed on her backside.

She winced and grabbed her foot.

“Oh, Love! Art thou alright?” Shaun asked, kneeling to assess the damage. “Where does it hurt, my darling?”

She groaned, femininely of course. “Here and here and here,” she said, pointing a dainty finger to different areas of her foot.

She winced again.

In one quick (but gentle) motion, Shaun scooped her up in his arms, gently placed her atop his stallion, mounted the stallion behind her, and galloped (also gently) to Doc O’Hare’s place, who was waiting anxiously for his next patient, ready and willing to help, to provide relief to the hurting, help to the weary, and comfort to the sick. By the time they arrived, she was all of those things: hurting, weary, and sick. The Doc quickly assessed her, treated her, and sent her home with proper rehabilitation equipment and divine opioids. As they mounted the horse once again, he shouted words of comfort to them in the dark night:

“May the Lord of hosts be with ye all your days, Lassie and Laddie! Don’t forget to prop up ye ol’ leg!”

They waved goodbye in fine royal fashion and once again galloped away, this time into the sunset, never looking back, confident that time, their love for one another, and mind altering drugs would heal all wounds.

Real Life Version:

Last week, Brenda battled a wicked bug that at times wracked her body with a fever of 104. Every facial orifice leaked like a broken water faucet, making her big, red, budding nose even bigger, redder and more budding than ever. Her chest felt heavy. Not in the voluptuous way, mind you. But in the mucous-y way. Her eyes were swollen like a post-boxing-match Rocky Balboa. For days, she sat in misery, trying to sleep, glugging water and children’s Motrin until her sickly intestines couldn’t handle one more drop of the gut-irritating medicine.

She called Shaun home early from work, knowing that the fever was too high and her intestines too compromised for her body to cope much longer. She’d need fluids and IV pain meds to help her along in the fight against the late, not-so-great hookanockus. For good measure, she also texted a few friends and family a request to pray that she wouldn’t end up in the ER, because as a Christian, that’s the drill …. pray as a last resort.

Hashtag sarcasm.

The prayers worked. Five minutes before Shaun got home, her fever broke. Sort of. She thought it broke completely because she no longer felt smokin’ hot, so to speak, or as if death was lurking, not so to speak. But as it turned out, her temp registered a balmy 101. Only a three degree improvement.

Still, improvement was improvement, and she took that improvement to mean that perhaps she could stay away from the ER and would eventually kick sick right into oblivion on her own if, for a few more days, she continued living life as a couch potato.

Her plan worked. A day a half later, though still a bit feverish, she was feeling spry enough to venture out onto the back deck. In perfect Cinderella fashion, she grabbed a broom. Breathed deeply of crisp, Fall air. Bent her face toward the sunshine. Thanked God for healing. Slowly swept under the table. By the grill. Next to the railing.

At last, the leaves and other gunk were gone. The deck looked spiffy. But the Flagstone, not so much. So she stepped off the side of the deck onto the Flagstone, and when she landed, she rolled her ankle until it nearly made contact with the Flagstone. Half of a second later, her backside did make contact with the Flagstone.

She didn’t hear a pop. Her foot was not dangling as though it was no longer connected to her leg by an Achilles’ tendon. But something in her foot felt as sidewonkle as the leaning tower of Pisa. So she did what any elegant, proper, and feminine woman would do and pathetically crawled back into the house on her hands and knees, up the entry stairs, through the kitchen, and into the living room where she found Shaun vegging on the couch.

By the time she reached the door, though, her foot was numb.

Surely I’m being dramatic by crawling, she thought. I’m fine. Peachy, truly. Just a little shook up, that’s all.

Once she reached the living room, Shaun immediately abandoned his computer and valiantly rescued her from her embarrassing, infantile posture looked up from his computer, laughed, and said “What on earth are you doing now?”, with an undertone that indicated events such as this were commonplace.

A day later, when it was apparent Brenda wouldn’t be able to walk anytime soon, Shaun took her (in a Lexus, yo) to see Doc O’Whatshername, whom she will clearly never forget. Doc O’Whatshername said that though the type of pain she’s experiencing indicates a small fracture, the X-ray is clear. So treatment plan was to treat it like a sprain for a week or two, and if no improvement, go back for further evaluation, aka … an MRI that is impossible to get due to her cardiac hardware?

(Whatevs. Work with me. Real story lines stink and doesn’t always make perfect sense.)

On a lighter note, much fun was had joshing around with the nurses and radiologist. One nurse, when wheeling Brenda out to her car, commented on how it was different than her normal experience of wheeling 400 pound people through the parking lot.

“You mean like when you lift a package thinking it’s heavy but it’s really lightweight and you nearly throw it across the room?” I asked.

“Yes, exactly like that.”

“Just don’t get carried away and accidentally push me into traffic with those amazing biceps of yours, huh?”

Once they reached the car, the nurse turned to Shaun and, in all her orneriness, said, “In the home care instructions you’ll find that you are to do the laundry and wash the dishes.”

Brenda stared at her, waiting for more of a honey-do list, but when nothing else came, she, in all her orneriness, whispered  “And cooking. Don’t forget cooking.”

“And cooking!” shouted the good nurse.

And so ended another chapter in the peculiar lives of Shaun and Brenda. They anxiously await whatever the next chapter holds, knowing that it most certainly consists of more trials, more tears, more laughs, and hopefully more abundant faith in a God who at times seems bent on slaying them.

The (miserable) End.

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