Four left. Four delicious little nuggets of sweet and chewy that would save my life, or at least my sanity, or so I thought at the time. I loved them with the frantic intensity of being yanked from a firing squad at the last tragic second.
There is nothing like a catastrophe to force one to gather together their resources. My tango with these four figs was just that, and the springboard to a brand new me. I was forced to dig deep and found out I was capable, strong, and courageous.
It all started when I fell off my bike on the second last day of a dream vacation to a tiny Greek Isle. On the way to the Hamam for an afternoon of self-care, the front wheel of my bike caught the edge of the sidewalk and sent me over hard on my left side.
Natural morphine took over for a few minutes while waiting for the ambulance. Various ridiculous things ran through my mind. “I need to cancel my appointment at the spa” and “This will interfere with my car accident settlement”. I had been rehabbing that shoulder for a couple of years.
Then as the pain kicked in, “It feels like my left arm isn’t attached to my body!” That’s when panic hit and I shrieked, “NOBODY TOUCH ME!” This included the ambulance attendants, and the lovely Dutch family who came to my immediate rescue. In that moment I flashed on the crowning moment in delivery when the urge to abandon the birth is all consuming and your partner had better stand back. It’s that moment fear of death prevails over rational thought and when violence can ensue.
Instead of a steam bath and massage I found myself in the tiny ER of the only hospital on the island. Right there laid out on a piece of plywood on a gurney, I was distracted as the Greek and Russian doctors and nurses conversed fluently in each other’s language with passion more suitable to a high school cafeteria at lunchtime. There was no English spoken, not even to me. In spite of the pain, I found myself feeling more like an amused onlooker than a patient.
Out of nowhere a lovely English speaking Greek doctor appeared in pressed flannels and a pale yellow short sleeved shirt. I remember thinking he must be an angel the way he floated over to my side.
“Miss, you have fractured your left arm just below the ball, and when you fell, the ball jammed up into your socket. Would you like me to pull it down or just let it descend on its own time?”
There was no offer of pain meds so my answer was an hysterical “NO!” It wasn’t long before I was hooked up to a sedative. This was good for everybody.
I lay there until the doctor attached a sling, doled out some pain killers, and then took a cab back to my hotel. I had two nights to get my act together before flying out. It was an unthinkable hot mess.
Two days later I managed to board a three hour flight to Copenhagen, where a previously planned two night layover visiting with my cousin ended up being two nights in bed at a Copenhagen Airport hotel.
Lying stock still, the misery and shock of the previous forty-eight hours claimed me, and anxiety rolled in on monster truck wheels. I was alone. How in heaven was I going to get through the next two days never mind survive two long flights home.
Suddenly, in my left ear, I heard the word panic. It sounded like someone was actually speaking to me. How could that be? I was alone. But it gave me pause long enough to realize I was indeed in a blind panic. That prompted the next thought which was that was no way to solve anything. I took a deep breath, settled my body into the bed and let go of as much tension as I could.
Then I prayed. Deeply. Passionately. Out loud. I asked for courage, grace, answers, anything that might help me. I called in all my guides, workers, and angels.
My pleading must have gone straight to the Big Guy, as in the next moment, my body filled up top to bottom with loving, expansive warmth and held long enough for me to realize I was not alone. In those minutes I knew the Divine was present giving me a clear message that I was safe, and felt my brain re-engage.
Suddenly I was ravishing and remembered the doctor told me I had to eat something with the pain meds every four hours. I called the front desk to be told the hotel didn’t have room service. What? I certainly was not able to leave my room or answer the door for a delivery.
Then I remembered there might be some figs left in my purse. At the start of the holiday I had picked up a bag of dried figs to snack on while I tooted about my Greek island paradise. Digging frantically through my purse I heard myself whimper when I found them and surprised myself with a little giggle.
The next sixteen hours passed with a feast of figs every four hours, each tender morsel life sustaining. It was almost a religious experience but since I am not religious, I took it simply as another Divine assurance that I was safe.
The next day was not nearly as bleak, and one day after that I was miraculously on my way home. Airline staff and fellow travellers were happy to ease the way, and my journey continued to be blessed.
The most amazing part of this whole experience was that it didn’t ruin my holiday. In fact I feel weirdly grateful for everything that happened. I proved to myself that I am strong, resourceful, and courageous, but best of all that I am indeed Divinely guided. This gave me a level of trust in my safety that has been a game changer.
Those four figs became the symbol of a good life to come and inspired this blog. I want to share with you bites of my life; tender, hysterical, and meaningful moments, to join us all together as human beings, all doing our best.
I would be happy if future lessons were not so painful, but I’ve come to see the larger the pain, the more important the message. I had become an expert at overruling my gut instincts, and guess what? It just kept getting harder!
Years ago my business partner asked me what I was going to do to manage my stress and my answer was “slow down”. I surprised myself with the vehemence of the declaration. Where did that come from?
I didn’t just slow down, I stopped, and starting listening to my gut, even if it was hard, even if I didn’t agree. Steps appeared, and now here I am connecting with you all.
Thanks for stopping by. Greetings all.