Lying in the dusk immobile on the asphalt was not the place I had intended to be on Sunday night. It was only the second time I had attempted to ride my bike this year and it ended in a bit of a disaster when my toe clip malfunctioned . . .
Lying on my chase lounge icing my sore, bruised, scraped elbow the next day came with a pretty view of our garden. Both the clematis and the wisteria had started climbing the 8-foot trellises that flanked the flagstone patio. From every angle but this one, their foliage plus the hydrangea, Japanese maple, dwarf mugo pine, and two goldenthread cypress blocked the view of the neighbors. Perhaps in another year the landscaping plan will have achieved its goal of complete privacy!
Lying on the grass after dizziness set in post-crash last night, all I could see above me was a few buzzing mosquitos against the early night sky. I had no idea the extent of my injuries. How would I make it home? We were two blocks from our house and I had not yet moved my left arm in searingly sharp pain. Steve hovered nearby, having dismounted his road bike, waiting for a word from me.
Lying in bed this morning, the wretched convulsive episodes were particularly long. They jarred my tender left arm and beaten-up spirit. The tears flowed easily: the big crocodile type ones that come from deep within. “How much more trauma could my broken frame handle?” I wondered. Probably “all of it” would be the Biblical answer but definitely not in my own strength! The Lord breathed life into me once again and helped me get up out of bed when my world stopped shaking. It was afternoon: time to get breakfast I guess.
Lying on the treatment bed in physical therapy today, I was glad that my PT was a competitive cyclist. Like my husband, he had crashed his bike a couple of times as a consequence of the toe clips of his cycling shoes not disengaging from the pedals. Jason made it sound like a normal occurrence. When you must stop suddenly and the quick turn of your ankle fails to disconnect the cleat that attaches your foot to the pedal, you can do nothing to brace yourself from falling. You simply fall straight down sideways to the hard asphalt or concrete below you. Your elbow usually ends up taking the brunt of the impact. Yup. For me this was followed by my knee, hip, shoulder and head. Thank the Lord for my helmet!
Sitting after dinner talking with my beloved Steve this evening, we reviewed the accident. There were misunderstandings between us that needed to be clarified and a plan put in place should an acute situation like this come our way again. This incident was unlike the medical episodes I encounter every night that often require his physical assistance or supervision. Yet it was very difficult to separate the two types of stressors. We agreed: all we really wanted was a nice activity that we could share together. Instead something went terribly wrong . . . again! So sad.
Reliving the whole ordeal yielded two truths that made this experience significant for our future times together. First, when I was crying in pain I was also scared not knowing if I had any serious injuries (as I still couldn’t move my left arm), struggling to get myself up off the ground the second time, and unsure how to position myself to walk home with my bike. Steve had offered to go get my truck to bring me home. Some other ideas he had ended up stirring some resolve within me to force myself to do as much as I could on my own. Even in this time of mini-crisis, I would not fall victim to another major setback in my health. I cried and groaned in agony for two blocks, stopping periodically as needed. I was going to make it home under my own power no matter what! This attitude carried me though the pain of later dressing and icing my wounds. (Gratefully nothing would be broken or even sprained!)
The next morning was difficult as already mentioned. The second truth was realized as I later was able drag my way through my daily routines. For many of us those routines might mean interacting with real people. For a largely homebound person that means checking social media! And what I found under my brief post on Facebook about the accident and my gratitude for no serious injury . . . was as humbling as it was empowering. My beloved made a comment in which he called me a “tough one.” Really? Yes really! And yes, I guess I am! He added a thought this evening that not everyone can keep on going with all of these struggles going on at once. His words meant the world to me. The person closest to me in this time of unbelievable struggle believes in me. He said I was tough!
Now you and I both know, Gentle Reader, the source of the strength that lies within me. It is not my own, it comes from the Lord. I embody His strength when I have none of my own. When my resolve can bring me no further, my Jesus’ hand covers mine over the handlebars and together we roll that crazy thing home. And when I had to wash open wounds it was the Lord showing me what to do, giving me the courage to do it too. My beloved helped me apply the compression bandages to keep down the swelling and pain. It was my Heavenly Husband who gave me the idea to use this kind of dressing of which I had never used before and was incredibly effective. Wow.
Lying in bed later on tonight I will have much praise for my Lord and for my beloved husband. My arm is working fairly well a day later and I will recover fully. I have learned a little more about the physical toughness that goes with the mental toughness of recovery from serious illness or accidents. Both will happen in this life to all of us. It is my prayer, Gentle Reader that no matter what situation you may find yourself in someday that you too will find the Giver of strength available to each us that knows no boundaries. I’d love to hear about your travels with Him too. Kind of like a bicycle built for two, eh? JJ