Certain Man’s Wife Copes with the Big Snow
Certain Man’s Wife has long been a fan of a Big Snow. Although being instructed often in the inconvenience of it, and even having some first hand experience with how difficult it makes things for the man in her life, she still LIKES it. Even after having an awful lot of it, and having been housebound nearly continuously for a week, and having her ladies home 24/7, and having Certain Man fussing around, she still LIKES IT!!! Even with the snow covered paths and difficulty getting to the bird feeders, and the snow tracked in and extra laundry and extra cooking, and even having to carry bags of pellets to the stove in the absence of Certain Man, she still LIKES IT!!! And even now, after confessing to such and expecting the avalanche of objections that are sure to follow, and knowing that Certain Man will quite possibly be wroth with her, and will heap upon her ears the reasonable objections and arguments, She does, and probably WILL CONTINUE TO — LIKE SNOW.
The week has been incredibly special to CMW. Her beloved Certain Man has only had to work two of the days, and having him around home is a real boost to the atmosphere around Shady Acres. He is so adept and has so many ingenious ideas about how to fix things when they go wrong. He has a rapport with the neighbors that cause them to call CMW and gush on and on about how helpful he is with his tractor and loader and blade, extolling his virtues and intelligence and neighborliness. Beings that most of our neighbors are either elderly or have serious health problems, they find him a ready help for all sorts of things. I am so proud of him, even though he doesn’t share my great love for a Big Snow. Besides, it is no secret that opposites attract—and besides being MALE, he really is quite my opposite in many things.
So, we’ve been muddling through, he and I, and actually we’ve been pretty good friends through most of it. We’ve worked together to get the birds fed, he has done more than his share of shoveling and such. The one thing he has been vocal about involved me going out in the snow.
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a dozen times. “Hon, what do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m just making a little path here so I can get to my bird feeder.”
“You are going to slip and fall, and I’m going to have to fix the new knee again and the other one, too. I don’t think you should be out here.”
“But Mr. Yutzy, I like to be out here. My knee doesn’t hurt, and I’m being careful.”
“You are going to hit a slippery spot and down you’ll go, and you are going to really be in trouble.”
“I know that I need to be careful, and I’m not doing a lot of stuff. Just shoveling a little and feeding my birds. Besides, I think my boots must have pretty good grip, because I hardly ever have even a little slip.”
He would shake his head and sometimes grin at what he thought was my stubbornness, but he didn’t forbid me to shovel a little here and there. So I cleaned off a path on the deck, and I cleared a path to my squirrel feeder, and I tromped through the snow with some cob corn for another feeder that I thought I could reach pretty well. I re-cleared some areas after the second storm and he pretended to be cross with me, but his eyes were smiley. So I didn’t think I was in too much trouble. Besides. I WAS being careful.
Today was the day that I was to go back to my orthopedic surgeon. I was supposed to see his assistant, but earlier this week they called me and said that they had changed things, and I was supposed to see Dr. Choy because he wanted to evaluate whether I was truly ready to have the second knee replaced. He was going to check on my broken toe, do an evaluation, and then, if he decided that it was okay to go ahead with my surgery, I was going to do the pre-op paper work. This morning, before Certain Man left for work I said, “I really wish you were going along with me today. I wish you were driving and if Dr. Choy decides that I am not ready for the surgery, you could talk him into it.” He thought that I would be just fine by myself, and he was almost certain that he was going to be the only Plumbing Inspector in on this snowy day, so he went forth to his job and I got ready to go to Lewes. I decided to wear my boots with the good grip.
The drive to Dr. Choy’s office usually takes only 30 minutes, but this morning, it took me almost 20 just to get out of Milford. The streets I chose to get to Route 1 South were ones that I thought would be clear, but alas, were not. I had left extra time, and Route 1 was pretty good, but was still mightily relieved when I pulled into the parking lot with five minutes to spare. There was a great traffic jam in the parking lot. There was an ambulance in front of the entrance, and four cars waiting to get past. So instead of trying to go in front of the office to park, I swung around the other side where I saw a parking place. I pulled in, and collected my purse and phone.
The area around where I parked was relatively clear, and I thought how blessed I was to be able to walk without pain. There was no need to use my handicapped parking permit. Besides, I had those boots on with a really good grip. I locked the car and came around the end of the car towards the entrance to the parking lot where I would make a turn and walk down the parking lot in the other direction. The macadam was slushy at places, and there was lots of melting. I stopped as a car went through the slush in front of me, and made long tracks in the slush. I was on a mission! I walked purposefully through the slush, my boots holding their tight grip, my knee working beautifully, no pain, just easy, free movements.
Well, maybe too free. Suddenly, my feet went out from under me. There was no watching this fall in slow motion the way I have sometimes been able to. One moment, I was on my feet. The next, I was flat on the blacktop on my left hip, in the slush, with my purse beyond reach and some of its contents spilling out. The first thing I evaluated, of course was my new knee. It seemed to be in wondrously good shape – still no pain, no twisting. No significant pain anywhere else, no blood, so I decided to try to get up. I am still not sure how I did that. I must have gotten on my knees and pushed myself up with my hands, but I don’t really remember.
There was a terrified little man who came over and stood there helplessly wondering if he could help. I remember telling him that I was fine, and that I thought I could get myself up, even as I was doing it, and he was worriedly trying to get things back into my purse. Somehow, I was suddenly in an upright position and all in one piece. I collected my purse and thanked the kind gentleman, who was looking relieved. Then I headed across the parking lot towards the office entrance, not nearly as free and easy. Indeed, it was with great picking of the place to put my foot down. Slush was dripping off my skirt and the sleeve of my coat with every step, and I felt the cold wetness soaking through my clothes to my skin.
When I was about twenty feet away from the entrance, I was suddenly stooped short by the sound of great shouting going on behind the emergency vehicle that was beginning to move from its place where it had been unloading a patient (and making the great upheaval with the parking lot).
“STOP!!!” Screamed someone from behind the vehicle. “STOP!!! Don’t back up any more!!! STOP!!!” The young female driver brought the large ambulance to a lumbering stop. “Someone is right behind you!” Scolded someone from the office staff who had come out to help with the patient. “You almost ran over this couple.” she said loudly, indignantly. Visibly shaken, two elderly people came out from behind the vehicle. Snow had been piled up over the sidewalk, and they were headed to the door on the shortest possible route, never realizing that the ambulance was getting ready to move.
The driver was more than a little disgruntled, too. “I didn’t know they were back there!” I heard her say defensively to no one in particular. “There was no way I could have known they were back there! Everything is in such a mess!”
My little spill on the driveway certainly paled in comparison to being backed over by an ambulance, but I was still very embarrassed, very dirty from landing in the grimy slush, cold and wet. When I signed in, I told the receptionist that I had taken a tumble in the parking lot. I needed some paper towels to clean up the area where my coat had left water all over the counter, and I did want to clean myself up as well.
A nurse came out with a hand full of paper towels for me, and said solicitously, “We need to file an incident report and someone needs to look you over to make sure you’re okay.”
“I’m fine,” I insisted. “Really. Nothing seems to be hurting overly much at all.”
She eyed me dubiously. “We still need to check it out.”
I went into the restroom to dry off, and that is where I discovered that both knees were soaking wet. (That was when I decided that I must have gotten up on my knees when I was trying to get up. That is still a miracle to me.) They didn’t hurt, they weren’t bruised or skinned, and my nylons weren’t even torn. I took stock of the rest of my body. My right hip was starting feel like it was going to have a bruise, my right shoulder was beginning to ache a little, and my hands were bright red. I thought that was pretty small consequence for a woman of my (ahem)
social standing who had such an ungraceful fall.
But you would have thought that I was broken and bleeding. The office staff was galvanized into action. This fall certainly expedited things as far as getting me in and evaluated. The waiting room was full, but the next patient they called was “Mrs. Yutzy”. They had their service rep come in and do an accident report, complete with little drawings. I had to sign a paper saying that what she said on the report was true. I insisted that everything was fine. I was fine. My knee was fine. My wrists were not broken. My hip was okay. I mean, I landed on my most padded part, and had a heavy coat on to boot.So they finally decided that they would let the doctor do a brief evaluation when he got in, and went on with the program.
My broken toe was x-rayed and found to be healing, and then Dr. Choy made his appearance. He checked hip, hands, both knees and found nothing amiss. “You’ll be really sore tomorrow,” he said cheerfully. He grinned with delight over the range of motion of the new knee, and pronounced the progress there “outstanding.” I told him that I had been shoveling snow over the past few days and that my husband was so afraid that it wasn’t good for me.
“It’s very good for you,” he said, laughing. “It is excellent exercise. Falling isn’t the best idea, but shoveling is just fine. Getting out in the fresh air makes you feel better.”
Then he checked the knee that hadn’t been replaced, and put it through a short range of motion. It didn’t take him long to agree that it should be done as soon as possible. He answered a few questions that I had, and suddenly, the paper work was finished, and I was going through the waiting room. The elderly couple was sitting there, still talking about their frightening experience.
“Yeah, she almost ran over us! We were right behind the ambulance and all the sudden it started coming back. If that lady hadn’t hollered, she would have run right over us. We were right behind it. It was scary!” Listening to their account made my heart lurch with thanksgiving as I was reminded again that things could have been so much worse.
And then, I was on my way home. All in less than an hour after I had pulled into the parking lot. That has to be some sort of record for that office.
There is one thing, though, that I’m a little bit puzzled by. That business about being “really sore tomorrow” must not have been any sort of guarantee. At least something appears to have set in already, making me wish for some sort of diversion.
However, Youngest Daughter is on her way home from college for a week, and Youngest Son and His Wife just called and said they are coming home for the weekend, too. If plans carry, Middle Daughter will be back home on Monday night. How much more of a diversion could a gal want?
Methinks it will serve me well.