Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flip-Flops, Mud, & Tornados - A Bad Combination

This has been one heck of a week, thanks to my new need for crutches & what I call my "space boot". It's actually a funny story, if "funny" means "filled with pain, crying meltdowns, & frustrating dependence". Oh, yeah, & "family making fun of you hobbling along in your space boot". You may have heard about the storms that swept through our area last Saturday. We got lots of rain here, but the tornado warnings just danced around us without ever really twirling too close. Until late that evening. Michael had been at work for a couple of hours at this point, & according to the local stations, we were pretty much in the clear. Even so, I kept our weather radio next to me & the radar pulled up on the computer, just in case. Then, it happened. The radio blared that scary "emergency broadcasting system" noise that has never failed to unnerve me & started talking about a tornado warning for our area. I pulled up the radar &, sure enough, there it was - the first red block heading right for us. Heading right for us & supposed to be here in 15-20 minutes. Now, at this point, you wouldn't think that a girl who was raised in Tornado Alley would freak. But you'd be wrong. I freaked. I have yet to see a tornado, & I do not have any intention of disturbing this happy pattern. So, I ran around the house - frantically, I might add - gathering my things & ushering the dogs outside so I could stuff them in the car. 'Cause I ain't leavin' my babies. I would have taken the cat, too, but she had stubbornly hidden herself under the bed, & I didn't have time for a 20-minute furniture moving party. So, the dogs are waiting on the back patio, Ginger almost overcome with excitement because she somehow instinctively knows that she's about to go for a car-ride, one of her all-time favorite pastimes. Jake's not so sure about this whole thing, because he's the opposite of his sister. He's the only dog I've ever met who actually gets carsick. Literally. But we have to go. Michael & I have an agreement that I go to the hospital parking deck to wait out tornado warnings because he feels like concrete & steel are safer in that situation than wood on a crawlspace. Crazy man. Okay, so my sweeties are waiting on the patio while I run out to open the car doors so I can drag them over (I also couldn't find their leashes in my panic to flee from the wrath of the approaching tornado). Remember, it's been raining. Rain means mud. Mud that creeps over the edges of the carport & makes concrete slippery. Especially for flip-flops. Perfectly suited for those times when you're in panic rush-mode. The mud & my flip-flops became fast - though fleeting - friends. My left leg flew out to the side, & my right leg collapsed underneath me, sending me crashing to the slippery concrete, banging my knee really hard & twisting my ankle with a fabulous "pop" in the process. I'll spare you any further details about hobbling each of my darlings out to the car & driving to the hospital's deck while sobbing & shaking from the pain. I won't bore you with reminisces of my attempts to walk around my house later - attempts which ended with my collapse on the bed in complete emotional meltdowns because of the pain. Oh, & the tornado from which I so frantically fled? Yeah, it fizzled out before it ever reached us, before I even left the parking deck to drive home.

All sarcasm aside, as I was indulging myself in a moment of self-pity, I began to think of all the things I had to be thankful for in this situation. I'm a pretty optimistic person, & I do believe that there is always something good that comes from even the worst situations, always some lesson to learn. So that I wouldn't forget, I wrote them down & would like to share them with you. I want to give glory to God here for blessing me, even in this situation - which pales in comparison with those who were hit by tornados that night.

I'm thankful to God for:

-rain to water the grass & plants
-His protection from tornados
-a home that protects us from the weather
-radars & warning systems to alert us of bad weather
-Michael being able to sleep for work (due to lack of seriously severe weather)
-a safe place to go to during bad weather
-protection against possible danger in a public place
-the loving care of my husband
-medicine & bandages to kill & protect from germs & infection
-ice packs & Ace bandages
-a momentary reprieve from pain when I cried out to Him for help
-pillows to prop my foot up on
-my dogs' concern when I have a meltdown
-talking with a godly friend (right after one of my meltdowns) who shows sincere concern & points me to God
-God's Word

I wrote all of these that night. Since then, I've found even more things to be thankful to God for:

-cooler weather that followed the storms
-thorough, caring doctors
-the continued loving care & help from my sweet husband
-the workout my arms & back have gotten from the crutches
-a sprained, instead of broken, ankle
-my "space boot", which takes the pressure off so I can (oh so slowly) walk
-Advil (yes, I know I've already mentioned it. I'm very thankful for it!)
-take-out food (it's impossible to cook when you can't put weight on your foot)
-my foot is healing fairly quickly
-the care & concern of family & friends who have called to check up on me

*My most gracious heavenly Father, thank You for all of these things & so much more. Most of all, thank You for being my God & Savior. I love You. In Christ's holy name I pray, Amen.