I’m A Bad “Patient”…

I really am a bad “patient”. There’s always so much to do, so much that I want to do and being sick or injured just drives me insane. I have absolutely no patience with being a patient.
It all started a week ago Saturday. I was taking a bucket of compost around back to the bin and, on the way back, I tripped over a fallen branch and fell, hitting the left side of my rib cage on the rim of the compost bucket. Ouch! It was tender and I figured I’d have a good bruise to show for it but that was all. My friend, Heather, arrived with her friend–another Lisa–and then, with Mom, we piled into the car, picked up friend, Karen, and headed to the Connecticut Sheep & Wool Festival. And, as always, it was a blast–the perfect environment to get the creative juices flowing, some green envy when I see others’ skills on the loom or the spinning wheel, and even a good plug for learning more about herding sheep and training Border Collies (I so want to learn how!). Anyway, all was well until Tuesday morning. Left side was a little tender but no bruise at all–at least on the outside. So I came into my little office/workout space and got down on the mat to do some Hatha Yoga. Well, the very first stretch, raising hands overhead and suddenly I let out a yelp that, surprisingly, didn’t awaken Mom but seemed to echo through the house as something “popped” along the left side of my rib cage. And, for a moment, I couldn’t move. I was afraid to move.
A few hours later, the doc sent me for x-rays, fairly certain I had fractured a rib in that fall and giving me strict orders to take it easy.
And that’s where the trouble began.
No lifting. Well, this is a farm. With livestock. Feed comes in some brightly-colored 50 lb. sacks. Hay bales weigh quite a bit, too. And I’m not going to ask my Mom to lift any of this. So I had to get creative. The floor of the backseat of the car is now feed storage. Little to no mess; feed is in the sacks but I did feel my patience thinning as I traipsed out to the car for the umpteenth time to fill the chicken feeders in the pouring rain. Hay is normally stored in the trunk until I’m ready to bring in the next bale but this is the first time I’ve opened the bales there. It makes quite a mess; I’ll be taking a trip to the car wash soon to use their vacuum cleaners.
No straining or stretching. Yesterday was the first time we saw the sun in almost two weeks. The chicken coop is nothing but mud. Ditto for the hen house. The poor creatures are thoroughly miserable because raking the mud out of their house is the least I can do for them in such weather. But, of course, such activity is quite painful right now. And now that the sun is shining and my rib cage feeling better, I am anticipating the endless list of backed up chores I have on my plate. So, yes, the patience has definitely worn thin.
However, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. The doc got the x-rays back from the lab Friday afternoon. The rib isn’t cracked after all. Instead, I separated the cartilage from the rib bone. Still painful. Still restricting. But at least there’s no danger of puncturing a lung. And that actually makes the impatience more profound. When there was still a possibility of a fracture and the weather was nasty anyway, I could take it all in stride–almost. With the “danger” passed, well, my stride is definitely off. But, as I’m forced to slow down, take it easy and allow the healing to continue, I realize that this was actually His plan all along. I tend to go at everything full speed ahead, never stopping to catch a breath or enjoy the blessings I already have. My body has been angling toward what I call my “crash and burn” phase, which usually lasts a couple of weeks and finds me almost comatose in the easy chair watching re-runs of Dr. Quinn until I get my wind back. I’ve been ignoring the signs. And now I’ve got a very painful reminder to pay attention next time. And, while I’m not comatose, and I’m not watching any re-runs, He did find the perfect way to get me to stop and take just a little time for myself. I have to admit that it feels good. This forced relaxation is keeping the usual busyness at bay just long enough for me to re-connect with what I am most passionate about–writing. Praise the Lord, let’s hope the lesson stays learned.
God bless you & keep you!

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