May 26, 2017
On Tuesday afternoon, Sarah left the cardiologist’s office sporting her newest fashion accessory: a heart monitor.
She loved the way it looked so much that she even incorporated it into her work uniform the next morning.
She is definitely a fashion forward kind of gal.
Later that same day, bad weather arrived right at dinnertime–rain and wind along with a tornado watch. That meant that Summer, our little Yorkie, was engaging in her usual canine-ish nervous breakdown behavior which includes shivering violently and doing a lot of panicked panting and frenetic pacing.
After dinner was over (and as the wind and rain continued), Steve went to the living room while Sarah and I lingered at the table to chat and Summer continued to pace under the table in her own personal state of dismay. I was just leaning over to pick her up when I heard a terrible crash and suddenly felt myself falling.
Since we had been talking about the storm just a few minutes earlier, my initial thought was that a tornado or lightning had struck the house. It was the only reason my scrambled brain could come up with for the noise, and for Steve’s shouting, and for the fact that I was suddenly lying on the floor a couple of feet from where I had previously been.
After a few seconds had passed, reason finally dawned and I understood that I was actually on the floor because my chair had broken. I also understood that Steve was shouting because he had been in the midst of a peaceful, postprandial moment when he had heard the sounds of wood breaking and Sarah and I both screaming.
He came skidding around the corner shouting, “What’s wrong? What happened?” only to find me sprawled on my right side, not saying very much and not moving very much.
Sarah had leapt up from her chair about the same time that Steve had come crashing into the kitchen and so the two of them narrowly missed colliding with each other as Sarah shouted, “Should I call 911?” and Steve shouted (even louder), “Becky, can you move your shoulder? Can you move your head?”
In the meantime, Summer was adding to the trauma and drama by continuing to shiver and pant and wander distractedly between her shouting, running, nearly colliding family members.
After the initial few moments of confusion had passed I started getting shivery and said, “I feel like I am going to throw up.” (My arm, neck and hip were all hurting badly.)
Steve raced to the kitchen cupboard, grabbed a large plastic bowl and quickly tossed it at Sarah who was kneeling beside me. The only problem was that she hadn’t been informed that her dad was going to engage in a spot of bowl tossing so when an unannounced, unidentified object suddenly crashed to the floor between her and me, we both let out matching screeches. That made such a lovely addition to the already existing melee.
Steve kept on asking me if I had hurt or broken anything and I just kept on groaning and lying exactly as I had landed, afraid to move. He finally grabbed his phone and put in a call to a retired nurse from our church for some advice. As he stepped into the hall to talk he said, “Sarah, please stay near your mom.”
She was already kneeling on the floor beside and she lovingly took my hand in hers and began to stroke it and say comforting words, even in the midst of her own worried tears. Summer (always eager to do her part) continued to weave her trembling way in between the pieces of chair and the plastic bowl and the one woman lying on the floor and the other woman kneeling beside her. I’m sure she was wondering what in the world her world was coming to.
About a minute into Steve’s phone conversation Sarah suddenly shouted, “My heart is beating fast. I can’t breathe well. My face and hands are feeling tingly. I think I am going to pass out!”
Steve threw down the phone, grabbed her up and laid her on the couch with her feet up. He then ran back to me with a pillow for my head and began to run through his medical assessments while trying to keep our trembling, traumatized canine out the way.
In the meantime, I could still hear Sarah out on the couch (wrapped up in all of her heart monitor cords), breathing fast and loud and saying, “My fingers feel tingly. My face feels tingly. I am going to faint!”
At this point, I still hadn’t said a lot. I hurt all over and I was afraid to move any part of my body for fear of what I might find out. Steve set the dog aside (again) and walked through some steps to help me ascertain whether or not anything was sprained or broken. After about ten minutes of this, I eventually found the courage to roll off my right arm and onto my back; however, that whole process hurt so much that I rolled right back to my right arm which also hurt. I was one pitiful little mama.
Every two minutes or so, Steve would get up from beside me and run down the hall to check on Sarah who was still having her own set of difficulties.
Long story short (or maybe it’s too late for that), I eventually did make it to my feet, knowing as I did so that I was going to have a very sore hip, shoulder, neck, and arm for a few days, yet very thankful that nothing was broken.
I am not quite sure why falling off this particular chair was so violent when I’ve heard of other people falling from broken chairs and they just sort of sank straight to the ground. It might have been because I already had some momentum going since I was leaning over to pick up Summer as the exact moment the chair was giving way.
And because of that momentum, I ended up being thrown about two feet to the right and my head wound up right beside the cupboard in the far left corner. If I had ended up hitting it, THAT would not have been pretty. (For the purposes of this picture, I put a non-broken chair in the spot where the original chair had been.)
My takeaway from our action-packed evening is that I am thankful for a husband who was so calm and reassuring in a crisis, and a daughter who valiantly provided comfort and help to me, even when she was in need of it herself.
Summer, too, eventually calmed herself down and the four of us ended the evening sitting quietly in the living room, taking deep breaths and, in my case at least, taking a couple of extra strength Tylenol to go along with those breaths.
Three days after the fact, I feel like I am more sore than I was on the day it happened but I am hoping I will be back to feeling well soon.
The best part of that day was when I walked into the bedroom and saw that Steve had turned on the mattress heater and had turned down my bed covers–a small act of love that meant so much.
I laid my aching body down and gave thanks– not only for the warmth of the heating pad but also for the warmth and the love of my family. When I looked into Steve and Sarah’s faces during those moments of stress, I caught a glimpse into how much I am loved and cherished by them both.
Heart monitor. Broken chair. Love.
A tough day. A good day. A day to remember.
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.