08 February 2013

Flat-Out Friday: Ordinary Hero

I am a hero (she says without a trace of humility). How did I become so lucky? By being unlucky, as it has it. It's a long story, and honestly I'm hoping to get many more blog posts out of it, so I'll just re-cap the important part.

I was walking to work one August morning, headed to the first of my two jobs. The sun was shining, I was happy. I was not texting and walking, nor talking and walking, or even listening and walking. I waited for the light. The light turned green. The little walking man lit up and the audio signal started going. Following years and years of training to be a good pedestrian, I began to walk, safe in the knowledge that the little white striped lane was a safe zone. Or so I thought.

I'd be lying if I said I don't remember what happened; in fact, I was completely conscious throughout. A shadow fell over me, I looked up, held up my hands, and then went under both tires on the driver's side of the vehicle. I struggled to see what had hit me after it happened. It was an armoured van. Bulletproof. With security guards. Having just left a bank. I was shocked. Shocked because I was still alive. Hero factor: +1

So blah blah blah, painful memories and lots of shock later, the roll call of my injuries came in: broken back, broken pelvis, broken leg, broken ankles, broken foot. Broken, broken, broken. 11 fractures in all. The paramedics told me I had suffered one of the "seven deadly injuries". Everyone was anxious to see what my insides looked like.

I spent two weeks in the intensive trauma ward, lying flat on my back. Then, one day they decided they needed a weight-bearing xray of my back. Weight-bearing, as in exactly the opposite of what I had been doing since the accident. You could call it stubbornness or pride, but I wasn't letting a stupid xray beat me. I stood for it, with sobbing, shaking, and anxious nurses all around, but I stood and did it. I hadn't even realized I could bend at the waist still. Hero factor: +2

Lots of people would say I was determined. Doctors have praised me for my persistence and tenacity. But it was none of those things that helped my bones miraculously knit themselves together without any outside help. But they did. (I think Wolverine might be a distant relative. We are both Canadian, after all.) So the next step was re-learning all those things you take for granted: sitting, standing, going pee... Everything. But I did it, and you know what? I did it in SEVEN WEEKS. Yep. 49 days, and I went from a completely immobile invalid to a strong woman walking out of the hospital under her own power. Hero factor: INFINITY.

This is me, walking in real shoes for the first time. The therapists called me "Iron Woman".

So now you know my story. Well, part of it anyhow. And the take-home from this is simple: 

Anyone can be a hero. You just have to believe you are capable.


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