I wrote an article on Doing Business in the Twentieth Century. I wrote it on the morning of the Twenty Fifth and saved it as a first draft. This was a Saturday and I am in the habit on Saturdays and Sundays of altering the mornings to do those things that I cannot do during the five-day week consisting of sixty or more hours of writing and research. My Different Stuff is usually done by noon after which I will come home for lunch or sip and sup with friends. Then back to my desk.
This particular Saturday held more of these exceptional activities of a category which I call chores and errands. I therefore, gave myself permission to “take the day off”. I assumed that I’d come home that evening and that sometime before midnight I would press the “publish” button and witness the creation of one more blog thereby living up to my original agreement with my readers and myself to publish daily In the past eleven moths I have missed a dozen or so and republished another dozen or so. And off I went to the main library in our fair city.
Some hours later I was leaving a lecture. It was 9:15 PM, there was no moon, no lights in the parking lot and though I knew where my vehicle was it was difficult with so many vehicles, to determine a clear path in the general direction.
Suddenly I noticed a path. It took a certain amount of reasoning skill to reach this conclusion. There was a space between two vehicles which though devoid of any other visible clues, led me to believe that I was looking at an empty parking space. The first clue that my reasoning was off its mark came when I tripped on a curb. What a strange place for a median I thought as I looked forward and assured myself that there was no tree in front of me; I could see cars in another row twenty feet in front of me. I looked to my left, saw my vehicle and hurried forward. Oops.
No tree, I think to myself as I suddenly find myself hurtling through the dark night sky. No tree, but a boulder (I realized as my military training took over) and I positioned my flying body into a tight tuck and roll. My head hit first.
My right arm was protecting my thorax as I rolled to the right. My right shoulder took most of the impact a split second after my head struck gravel, driving my right arm into my rib cage, cracking the very ribs I sought to protect. Those who witnessed my short flight had trouble seeing me after the landing and several people much younger than I tripped into the same rock, a black boulder. The median which the rock decorated seemed to be there for no reason at all other than to tack on another few thousand dollars to the original construction bill forty years ago when the center was built..
I lay there for several minutes, talking with those who sought to help, taking inventory of my parts, already understanding that my ribs were in bad shape yet confident that I would live. That was Friday evening this is Tuesday, three days later.
Yesterday I came near death for fifteen minutes.
The result of pain killers given for obvious reasons and laxatives to overcome the bad results of the prescribed opiate was a bowel obstruction.
The result of the antibiotic given to overcome a mysterious infection was anaphylaxis.
The two events were back to back.
I found a better way.
Prescribed, they were, these cures for the pain of broken ribs, swollen joints, injured muscles.
From a fall the night before
In an unlit parking lot
On a moonless night.
No more meds now.
Pain today? “The pain will be with you for a month.”
Pain nearly gone.
Secret herbs and mystic prayer? (Of course.)
Recordings of chanting lamas?
Nothing rhymes with Nopalea.
No inflammation with Nopalea.
Made from Shmoos?
Nae, ’tis cactus of the nopal variety.
A Gift it was.
As were the prayers and hands-on nurturing by friends and family.