I am not at all writing the article I set out to write this week. In fact, I considered not even submitting one. However, my experiences were not unlike those of many other people, so I decided to share the heartwarming events of the past few days, knowing that my Thanksgiving will be awash in gratitude for blessings newly discovered.
Little did I know last Monday as I hurried through my morning routine, that in the space of a few careless seconds my tangled feet would force me into a face plant onto the bathroom floor, during which I would crack my forehead on the bathtub and become wedged between the wall and the toilet.
As soon as I pressed the button on my alert bracelet, a disembodied voice inquiring about the nature of my emergency wafted through the house. A few moments later, my first blessing appeared.
BLESSING 1: Almost immediately members of the Urbana EMS surrounded me, assessed the situation, flipped me over, and slid me to a cot set up in the living room. They were kind, professional, and reassuring, and I was more than impressed by their medical skills. Exactly 37 minutes after I summoned it, the ambulance pulled away from my house. This great group of guys delivered me in one slightly mangled piece to the emergency room at Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital, the scene of my next blessing.
BLESSING 2: I love to watch the practiced precision of a good team in action – although this observational opportunity was, I must admit, a bit too close for comfort. Following a flurry of CT scans, blood draws, and x-rays as well as eleven stitches added to the eye-blackened landscape of my face, the well-oiled machine of doctors, nurses, and technicians packed me into an ambulance to hurtle through the night toward the site of my next blessing.
BLESSING 3: Another facility, another group of efficient professionals administering medical aid. The staff of the Emergency Trauma Center at Miami Valley Hospital scurried hither, thither, and yon to keep me clean and make me comfortable. They provided sustenance and medication and ushered me through another round of scans and x-rays.
BLESSING 4: But it was the young people during three days at MVH that bestowed the most beautiful blessings of all.
I am, of course, grateful for the doctors who stepped in and stopped by, but it was the nurses and aides who were worth their weight in gold and diamonds as they carried out medical orders and procedures.
There was the night nurse talking about her interest in serving on the Ship of Hope and the Filipino-American tech scheduled to receive her RN/BSN in April in continued progress toward her dream of dreams: that of CareFlight nurse.
A careful and quiet nursing student from Cedarville University, who took my blood pressure and gave me a pneumococcal vaccine, will also graduate in the spring. She was learning the ropes from a firm but patient instructor – whose locker was next to my nephew’s locker during their high school days at West Liberty-Salem.
And one of the National Guardsmen who returned me to Urbana by ambulance – unbelievably, the one from California – knew all about the national powerhouse the Wrestling Falcons have become.
After a warm welcome, I laid my weary head on a Mercy McAuley Center pillow and began to tally my many blessings.
BLESSING 5: And then a new day dawned with a whole new set of blessings in the form of visitations and evaluations from every department of the rehab facility: therapy, diet, insurance, nursing, and management. A busy first day encouraged me about my potential progress and impressed me with thoroughness and organization.
BLESSING 6: Throughout this major schedule disruption, each of my family members has done what she or he does best with presence, phone calls, prayers, and hugs stretching across the miles between us. And dear friends have demonstrated their concern for The Klutzy One, who appreciates them all more than they will ever know.
BLESSING 7: As a Boomer, a retiree, and just a cranky old former school marm, it is a blessing to have access to the level of health care I experienced this week. Given as the push-and-pull of politics keeps ongoing universal health care for all citizens in limbo, I want to trust that our leaders understand the health and life of every person – from the homeless man under some bridge to the highest paid CEO in the land – is of equal importance. Now that would be a blessing!
It is my hope that each of you is likewise celebrating blessings this Thanksgiving: some tried and true and some newly discovered.
Shirley Scott, a 1966 graduate of Graham High School, is a native of Champaign County. After receiving degrees in English and German from Otterbein College, she returned to GHS in 1970 where she taught until retiring in 2010. From 1976-2001 she coordinated the German Exchange Program with the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Springe.