Sunday, March 23, 2014

Word of the day: kindness

Kindness: (n.) the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.


Dogs are cute, right?

Right.

My husband S keeps telling me we don't need another dog, and although deep down I know he's right, I really want another dog. A little one, to be exact.

Last Saturday evening I was to attend the wedding of my dear friend Alexandra and her adorably wonderful fiancé, David. The only problem for me was, the wedding was to take place in a field, and I didn't have wedding-appropriate shoes that would make walking through a field possible, so I went shoe shopping Saturday morning in hopes of remedying this situation. S was out with our teenage sons cutting up a tree that had fallen in my mother-in-law's back yard during the last ice storm, so I packed up my two youngest kiddos and headed out. I found the most perfect pair of gray knee-high boots that were stylish AND had completely flat soles, which was just what I needed for the wedding. Since the store was offering many buy-one-get-one-half-off sales, D got him a new pair of tennis shoes, M got her a fabulous pair of bright pink flowery flip flops, and I got a black and white pair of Sperry flip flops in addition to the boots. Yay for new footwear!

We stashed our shoe boxes in the Yukon and I waited while the little ones put on their new shoes. Have you ever been shoe shopping with little kids? I'm not sure they know that you don't have to put the shoes on immediately after purchasing them. Mine have always wanted to wear their new shoes out of the store, so I guess this time I was lucky we at least made it to the car first. Once the new shoes were on, the three of us started walking towards the bookstore that D had been begging me to visit.

On the way to Books A Million, we couldn't miss the fact that the PetSmart located in that strip mall was sponsoring a dog adoption, so of course we had to stop and check out the doggies. M and D and I gravitated towards these two little sibling mutts called Happy and Honey that were in a cage at the front by the parking lot. I don't know what kind of dogs they were, but lord, they were adorable. The kids and I giggled and squealed with glee and reached in to pet the dogs and ----

---- the next thing I remember was rolling over in a hospital bed to look into the eyes of a woman I did not know or recognize. Or, more precisely, I stared blankly at the blurry shape of a person because for some odd reason I was not wearing my glasses, which meant I couldn't actually see this person. The woman must have seen the confusion and fear in my face because she immediately grabbed my hand and patted it reassuringly and told me that my kids were ok, that I had suffered a grand mal seizure outside the pet store, and that my husband was on his way and would be there shortly. I'm pretty sure I started crying and tried to ask her questions that my addled brain couldn't seem to form.

Her name was Shannon.

Shannon was a nurse who happened to be at PetSmart that Saturday. She later told my husband that she didn't actually see me fall, but she heard the awful sound of my head hitting the concrete and immediately jumped into action. She rolled me onto my side until the seizure subsided and she kept pressure on the gaping wound at my hairline that was gushing so much blood that the police would later have to use kitty litter to absorb all the blood from the concrete, and she made sure my poor terrified kids were safely handed off to police officers. When the paramedics arrived, she packed up my shoes and my broken glasses and opted to take time out of her day to ride in the ambulance with me to the hospital, and she stayed there for what I'm pretty sure was a few hours until S got all of the kids dropped off at home and made his way back to the hospital. She chatted lightheartedly with me about youth football and Facebook and other mundane things, and although I really don't remember much about that afternoon, I remember feeling so soothed and calmed by this stranger's presence.

Fast forward two CT scans, a blinding headache and some terrible nausea later, S arrived at the hospital and at some point Shannon left and went back to her regularly scheduled weekend. The doctor used three staples to close the cut on my head and informed us that I had fractured my orbital bone and my zygomatic arch (for those of you like me who have no clue what those are, it means that I had fractured my eye socket and my cheek bone, and we later found out that I had a basal skull fracture near my temple as well). The doctor then gave me a shot of some wonderful narcotic that provided blissful relief from the unbearable pain I was experiencing.

Eventually I was released from the hospital, and I missed the wedding I had ventured out to buy boots for in the first place. My poor, poor children were so scared - God, how my heart hurts knowing I caused that fear in them - and I tried so hard to reassure them that I would be ok, but I was rather saturated with blood and had been forbidden from showering that day lest I reopen the wound on my head, so I'm not sure my words did any good given my appearance. I do know that I laid down and slept for about 48 solid hours, only waking to throw up and take whatever pain medicine I could keep down, and finally on Tuesday I groggily rolled out of bed and used Krazy glue to fix my glasses (it worked!!) and started asking questions to try and figure out what the hell had happened to me.

Thankfully, I was eventually able to track down the lovely Shannon so I could send her a small but heartfelt token of my gratitude for her extraordinary kindness. I was so bummed at the thought of not being able to thank her. The world is a better place because of people like her, and she deserves to know it.

Eight days later, I'm still not cleared to go back to work, and I'm once again on the dreaded-but-necessary six month driving restriction. For now, I'm trying to enjoy this time off work and let my battered brain get some much needed rest. My words still aren't flowing the way I'd like them to and my memory is almost comically bad, but hopefully with time things will get back to normal. Even more hopefully, I can't wait for my face to stop making crunchy noises when I chew. The muscle that opens and closes my jaw is evidently attached to one of the broken bones in my face, and the sound it makes when I chew is horrifying. That noise alone makes it easy to stick to the liquid/soft diet I'm on for the next three to four weeks. #creamofwheat

In the meantime, I've found some adorable little dogs to follow on Instagram. They're so cute, y'all. Sooooooo cuuuuuuute.




  

2 comments:

  1. Yay for Shannon, and others like her, that's not afraid to take a little time out of their day to be kind :) Glad you're feeling some what better! Enjoy the forced "vacation" while you can. And as for the crunching jaw noises you're currently making... I hope it subsides quickly! I experience the same because of TMJ. Try eating Rice Crispies. The snap-crackle-pop covers up other noises.

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  2. So Glad I got to see you today! I know how horrifying it is to wake up and have missed a great chunk of time. I don't wish that upon anyone. I'm so glad fate but Shannon on your radar!

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