The Phone Call
I’m sure we have all had phone calls that changed our lives. Some calls impact our life for a day or so and cause only a minor change of plans. Others may affect us for weeks or months and then there some that may have an impact on us for the rest of our life. I received a call this past summer that would impact my life for several months.
It was a Sunday morning and I was ready to walk out the door for church when the phone rang. My husband was bicycling in a charity ride from Philadelphia to Atlantic City – Tour de Shore. I did this ride last year, but chose not to do it this year because the roads were very rough. The caller identified herself as a woman who was riding in the group with my husband and she informed me that he had taken a bad fall which resulted in a fractured collarbone.
Immediately after ending the call I begin to think all of the ways our lives were about to change. My plans for the day changed right way. My first task was to figure out how to get to him home. After taking the train to Philadelphia, getting a cab to the hotel where his car was still in the parking garage and then driving to the hospital in New Jersey I found my husband not just with a shattered collarbone, but also six broken ribs. (OUCH!!!) I then had to drive him the 2+ hours back home while trying not to hit bumps or do anything that would cause him pain. (Thankfully he had taken 2 Percocet.) For a “country girl” much of this was out of my comfort zone.
Life the first week was consumed with caring for him both before and after the surgery to repair his clavicle. It was broken so badly that it required a plate, screws and a bone graft. The surgery did help with some of the pain in his shoulder, but the ribs were excruciating any time he moved. Pain medication was his best friend for several weeks, but slowly, the pain level began to subside. Each time he would accomplish a task that had been impossible before, it was cause for celebration…..i.e. getting out of bed by himself, putting on a shirt that didn’t button down, driving, etc… Eventually life began to return to a somewhat normal routine.
Day of Surgery (cute hair net)
That phone call definitely caused upheaval in our lives, but we were very aware that it could have been worse. Luckily, we were able to be grateful for the things we could still enjoy had rather than focusing on those we couldn’t. I found myself hoping he would be back on a bike at some point, but I was thankful that he was able to spend evenings with me listening to music, sipping wine by the fire pit and watching the sun set. We both developed a deeper appreciation for the simple pleasures that we are able to enjoy together.
Since then he has continued to heal and even went for a short ride with me a few weeks ago. He now has full range of motion in his shoulder and other than a scar, he is back to normal. Yes, those kinds of phone calls can change our lives in small or large ways, but life goes on and it is how we handle those changes that determines what kind of life we will have.
Wine by the fire………something to appreciate.