Monthly Archives: July 2021

I Don’t Run!

It was a lovely Saturday. There was a season of rain that made it unnecessary for me to water my outdoor flowers. I puttered around in my house and did Saturday kinds of things.  There was a baby shower for a friend at 4:30 in Dover, and I planned on attending.  Youngest Daughter was driving over from DC to attend as well, and I wanted to see her as well as celebrate her good friend’s expected baby boy.

It dawned on me that I had a package that needed to go to the UPS store in Dover – an Amazon return that was actually past it’s return time, but I checked with Amazon and it appeared that I could still return it.  However, that store closed at 4:00, so I decided to go a little early, take care of that and then go to the shower.

I had made 9 pie crusts the night before and put them into my refrigerator because it had gotten late and the bursitis in my right shoulder made it feel as if it wasn’t a good idea to roll them out just before trying to sleep.  The morning passed with usual speed, and suddenly, I realized that I had better get on those before it got any later. 

Certain Man, who had been traipsing in and out of the house, doing any of a number of important things, stopped at the counter where I was rolling out the crusts and said, “I’m going to the chicken house.  Before you leave, Just stop out at House #2 and let me know that you are leaving.”

I looked at the clock and said, “I need to be leaving in 45 minutes,” (thinking that maybe we could just say our ‘good-byes’ now and save me the trip to the chicken house).

“That’s fine,” he said, as he went out the door, “I’ll be around.”

I hurriedly finished the crusts, stashed them in the freezer, gathered up the gift that I had for the new baby, and got into better clothes. I had some new leather tie shoes that I save for good occasions, and even though they aren’t stylish, they are comfortable.  Because they are rather expensive, I had been trying to keep them dry so they will last longer.  Even though it had been so rainy, the day had cleared.  They were perfect for this outside baby shower.  I finally was ready, but I was, of course, running late. I backed our trusty minivan out of the garage and headed for the chicken house.  Oh, boy!  The ground was really squishy.  I could hear the water rolling off the tires as I drove in the grass up to House #2.  I certainly didn’t feel like getting out of the van with my good shoes.  So, I blew my horn a couple of times.  There was no response.  Sigh.  I guess that I would need to go to the door and holler.  I was NOT going to go all the way into that stinky chicken house when I was on my way to a baby shower.  No siree! If he didn’t answer, I would just go on my way.  I cautiously opened the door to the mini van and stepped out onto the very soft ground beside the main door to House #2, then up onto the muddy cement pad that goes into the chicken house and opened the door.  Pee-yew! This place does not smell like a party!  The lights were very dim and the nearly grown chickens were resting quietly.  This did not indicate that Certain Man was anywhere inside.   I stuck my head in a little way and looked.  And hollered.  There was no response. 

“Huh!  I know he said house two, and it’s getting later and later!”  I hollered again.  But there was no response.  “Well,” I decided, “I guess I will check over at House #3 before leaving.”  I stepped back, shut the door and turned to step back to my van.

It wasn’t there!  IT WASN’T THERE!!!  

I thought my heart would stop. I looked around frantically and saw my van, ambling under its own power about a hundred feet away, headed aimlessly towards House #1.  I had forgotten to put the simple thing in park!

I do not run.  Pretty much because it doesn’t go well for me.  I’ve been known to tell my family that if they see me running, they had better run, too, because something terrible is about to happen.  I think the last time I exerted any amount of speed was when I was trying to save 2-year-old Liam from getting onto the road back in 2013. You can read that story here: https://maryannyutzy.com/2013/08/27/that-shadows-fall-on-brightest-hours/ (I actually thought about that at this moment!  Isn’t it peculiar how things go crashing through a person’s head at times like this).  I think I was trying to find an excuse to not do what absolutely needed doing and demanded doing immediately!  Oh, where was Certain Man when I needed him?  Except, wait a minute!  I didn’t want him to know about this – at least not at this juncture.

I started off hurriedly in the same direction that the mini van was headed.  I had shut the door when I got out, so I knew that somehow, I had to get to the van, open the door, get inside, and get it stopped before it hit anything.  I didn’t seem to be gaining on the vehicle at the present speed, so I tried to turn things up a notch.  The ground was very soggy, and my poor shoes squished in protest.  I saw that the van was getting slower and as I hurried, I watched it inch its way into the middle of a very large, deep puddle between the two chicken houses, and stop.  In retrospect, I realize that it probably was not going any farther, but at the moment, all I could think was, “It’s going to take off any second.  I need to get there! As in NOW!!!”  I thought dismally of my resolve to keep this pair of shoes clean and dry, and marched bravely into that very large deep puddle.  By the time I reached the van, I was in water up to my ankles.  I yanked open the door, reached across and put the gearshift into park and pulled my feet, first one and then the other into the van after trying to “dog-shake” the water off before setting them inside.  I sat briefly, relieved that there was no damage to the vehicle, then put it back into drive and inched my way out of the very large deep puddle, and hoped not to get stuck on top of everything else. 

I sat on the chicken house lane at the end of the chicken houses and looked at the time.  I decided that I would try to find Certain Man in House#3 but that I would make it short.  I motored around the end of House #2 and drove down to the main door of House #3.  I made sure the van was in park and blew the horn, then repeated the whole “Poke my head in and holler” business.  I thought I saw him down the house a bit, but didn’t know if he heard me.  I decided that I was just going to go on without talking to him, and began to turn the van around when he poked his head out of the door, cheerful as all get out.  I decided that I wasn’t going to waste time telling him my story until later.  I told him that I really needed to get going if I was going to make the UPS store, and he told me to “Get goin’ then!”  So, I did!

I looked at my shoes and thought about going into the house to dry them off, but they actually looked none the worse for their trauma, and there were no water marks on my hosiery, so I decided to not worry about it and go to the UPS Store (I actually made it with about 5 minutes to spare) and then on to baby shower.  Which is exactly what I did and had a wonderful time.  My feet didn’t even squish in my shoes when I walked, and in time, the shoes seemed to dry out just fine.

And so, I tell you again.  I don’t run!  And if you see me attempting to run, after you make sure that nothing is chasing me, would you please check to see if I’m chasing something that is needing to be caught?  And chase it for me?

I’d be grateful!


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Say It Isn’t So . . .

Some of you have asked about my “nasty fall.”  I told my siblings that I would write the story for them and it has been evolving over the last ten days and is finally DONE!!!  I am amending it slightly (but not much) for my blog. 

My good husband (who, I hasten to add, has been very kind and understanding and considerate) had something to say the other day when I said that I was still working on “My Story,”

“I’m not sure why this is taking so long.  You could say it in three sentences and be done with it!”

I said, “That wouldn’t be any fun!”

“I know,” he said, with a sigh, ” It just isn’t how you do things.  You need to go on and on and on . . .”  
(Yes he did!  He said that!)

So I am going to do this!  I’m going to tell it in three sentences and you can stop if you want to and delete the whole thing. But first– How Daniel would tell it (In less than three sentences).

“She fell.”

 How I would tell it in three sentences?
“I tripped and fell going into the doctor’s office.  I thought I had broken my hip.  I hadn’t.”

And then, for those of you who want a distraction at this particular time –this is the story of how that all happened: (And if you don’t want to read it all, Please don’t feel obligated. After all, I do “go on and on and on . . .”)

*********************************

For some time, I’ve been troubled by bouts of bursitis in my right shoulder.  Then, in the last intense months of caregiving, I developed the same in my left hip.  It hasn’t been any fun.  I’ve had shots at previous times that were extremely effective, so I made an appointment to get repeats in both before the reunion and especially before the week when our grandsons were coming. In the midst of all the confusion, I missed the appointment because I hadn’t written it down in the right place.  I had in my head that it was a Friday morning, when, in fact it was Thursday.  Bummer!  I had to wait for Dr. C’s assistant, H.M,, to get back from his vacation and caught up on his patients.  So the next available appointment was made for Thursday, July 8, 2021. 

Between the time that I made the first appointment and July 8th, there came a day when I sat down HARD on the arm of the loveseat  when I intended to sit on the cushion to comfort a teary eyed Charis.  She and I both heard something crack –  initially followed by nothing too noticeable, but —  “I’m pretty sure,” I told a wide eyed Charis, “that it was only the sound that a finger makes when you pop the joint — like cracking your fingers . . .”  She was satisfied, but as time wore on, there was rather annoying discomfort in my tailbone. 

Then the morning of our July 3rd reunion, Liam and Frankie were helping with the tea, emptying the thawed containers of concentrate into the cooler and rinsing them out. I put a towel down to catch the inevitable drips- and they did a good job!  I was actually impressed with how little ended up on the floor.   A bit later, however, I came flying out of the kitchen to get something at the laundry sink, and missed the towel by the minutest inch and my left foot went crashing into the toe board under the sink with vociferous force!  I was still barefooted, and there was no protection at all for my toes.  Ow!  That really hurt!!!  I hung onto the edge of the laundry sink trying hard to keep from crying.  And when I gazed upon my foot, at least three toes looked crooked and were turning purple. I couldn’t get them into my shoe so I stuffed them into my sandals- which I seldom wear these days, and went off to the reunion.  I did mention it a time or two, but there were so many people that I loved to distract me, and it seemed inconsequential in the larger scope of things.  Besides, my beloved family is known to laugh helplessly about such things and I wasn’t quite ready for that yet!

We got home from the reunion, and things were in a grand upheaval at our house because all of our offspringin’s were home and there was so much (and so many) needing attention.  But those toes really hurt!  And my left hip really hurt. And my right shoulder really hurt!  And my tailbone really hurt!  I couldn’t sleep on my right side, couldn’t sleep on my left side, have never slept on my stomach, and the tailbone was making it hard to get comfy on my back. I got to thinking how providential it was that I was scheduled for a visit with P. Orthopedics. I would have them check out the toe and the tail at the same time!  When Thursday morning finally rolled around, I was feeling pretty vulnerable.

Before I left to go in I was talking to Christina and said, “Would you please pray for me this morning?  I feel like a car wreck, going in there, with all these parts hurting. H.M. and I go way back, and he is always so kind to me.  I’m afraid I’ll have to cry if he’s in the least bit sympathetic.. So please pray that I don’t cry.” She, understanding and caring as ever, duly promised, and off I went. Our Minivan was going to the beach later that day with the grandchildren and Jesse, so I was in Daniel’s pickup so as not to make a time crunch. I had forgotten my handicapped permit, so I needed to park some distance away.  But I was feeling hopeful and cheerful, so I got parked and headed up to the door. There was a car parked in front of the entrance, where a woman was helping a very slow and incapacitated man into the car. I took a step up onto the sidewalk, and the two of them looked up briefly. We were exchanging pleasantries and I was beginning to feel hopeful and happy (and grateful that I wasn’t in as bad shape as the man in the loading zone) when that terrible feeling of catching my sandal on an obstruction happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to think.

SPLAT!!! I went down hard on my right hip and I felt my elbow scrape against the cement. The immediate pain was impossible to ignore. There was greatly concerned noises from the woman. She ran over to where I had landed, then said , “Can you get up? I’ll run get help!”  She went back over to the man, came back over to me sprawled helplessly, but struggling to get up, and said, “Yes!  I’ll run get someone!  He will be fine until I get back!”

“Yeah,” I heard the man say, “I’m not goin’ anywhere!”  and she ran off. 

I decided that I HAD to get up somehow, (I hate when people try to pick me up!) and I struggled to get to my feet. I finally got to my feet and tried to take a step.  Oh, wow!  I almost went down again.  I grabbed the corner of the building for support and ceased my endeavors.  It felt like the ball of my hip joint was going to go up out of the socket, and I couldn’t walk. I stood stupidly on the spot. I was SURE my hip was broken! Two staff people were there shortly, one on either side, trying to assist me a few feet to a convenient wheel chair that was sitting in the entranceway. The pain was overwhelming, and I was so embarrassed and frustrated and aggravated!  Somehow I got into the chair, and they were reassuring me that they were going to get me cleaned up.  By now I WAS crying, (without any specific sympathetic murmurings) and as we rounded the corner, the waiting room was wall to wall with people that were all looking at me. My right elbow was bleeding but the staff said I needed to sign in, and pushed me up to the window where, somewhere, about eye level, was a clipboard.. I betook my arm with its mutilated, hamburger-looking skin,


and put an illegible “MYutzy” on the line. Then someone had pity on the poor girl and took me back to a room. where they cheerfully cleaned up my elbow and put some cream on it.  They decided to “just keep you back here,” to wait for my appointment with H. M..  I was very relieved about that, to say the least. They said that someone would come and get me for X-rays shortly. 

I wasn’t really thinking much about my left hip and right shoulder, tailbone and toe at this point — but at the mention of X-rays, I suddenly remembered the real reason for this visit in the first place.  I wondered what they were going to do about all that.  Of course, since my hip was probably broken, the other items would be of no consequence, but nevertheless, I asked. They went and conversed with H.M. and he said “Not the toe. I don’t have time today. But we are going to X-ray both hips and that will ‘catch the coccyx’ and we can see what’s going on.”

The next thing I knew, I was wheeled into X-Ray, and put into all sorts of uncomfortable positions.  I lay there on that table- thinking the worst, sure that I was going to need hospitalization/surgery/hip replacement — Something radical, and it was not a good feeling. I confess that it didn’t feel very fair- lying there, SURE my hip was broken, and wondering why in the world God let it happen to me- like I should somehow be exempt.  It took some serious soul work to quiet this rebel heart (and I felt like I NEEDED to sort things out before I actually knew I was going to be alright).  I’ve walked many a mile with this Heavenly Father, and I know that He is to be trusted.  And so I did some praying on that table, repeated some precious verses, and thought of songs of comfort. Strangely enough, the song that kept ringing through my head was the third verse of “Away in a Manger!”

“Be near me, Lord Jesus,
 I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me, I pray
Bless all the dear children
In thy tender care
And take us to Heaven
To live with thee there.”

My heart was quieted, and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, reminding me that there were lots and lots of people in far worse situations than I was and that many didn’t have the comfort of knowing they were not alone.  The tech got the films they needed, and then instructed me to get off the table and back into the wheelchair.  She did not offer any assistance at all.  (“H-m-m-m. Maybe that hip isn’t broken after all,”)  Then someone pushed me down the hall, back to a room, and I waited some more.  I heard patients being brought in and out around me, heard casts being cut off, muted conversations, and then finally, about 45 minutes after the fall, H.M. brought his cheerful face into the room and looked at me with a quizzical expression. 

“It’s not broken!” he announced.  “Your bones are actually perfect!” 

I could hardly believe him!  “It’s not???”  I asked. “Then what is wrong?

He explained about bone bruises and arthritis and all sorts of things and then said, “Your tailbone is fine, too.  Just arthritis there.  However, we are going to do the planned injections to the right shoulder and left hip and I think you should go for physical therapy for this hard fall.  Or you can just wait it out.  It will get better, though.  And the more that you use it, the better!”  

“That’s the second time I’ve fallen on your sidewalk,” I ventured ruefully.  “You would think I would know enough to be careful.  But because of my toes, I was wearing my sandals, and they just caught somehow . . .”

That caused him to pounce upon my exposed purple toes and waggle them back and forth. “I can tell by just examining them,” he said, “if they are broken, and these are not!”  He waggled them back and forth some more.  I refrained from hurting him.  “There might be a crack in the one,” he said reflectively, “but we can’t tell unless we X-ray, and we wouldn’t do anything about it anyway, so it really doesn’t make sense to X-ray it.”

And suddenly, I felt a whole lot better about my toes and my tailbone.  But this hip!  What was I ever going to do?  After the two promised injections he turned me loose.  He was in a bit of a hurry because he had broken a tooth on a frozen chocolate chip (!) and needed to get out of there for a dentist appointment.  I stood in the middle of the room, feeling unable to move an inch, much less actually walk.  “How am I supposed to walk?” I asked, hating the piteous note in my voice.

He looked at me with a strange look on his face and hesitated a bit..  “I honestly don’t know,” he said.  “You’ll have to figure it out!” and he was gone.  No cane?  No walker?  No nothing???  “Oh, Lord Jesus, help me now!”

I started to hobble to the door. Two steps.  Stop.  Regroup.  Deep breath.  Three steps.  Stop.  Grab the counter.  Hold on for dear life.  Whisper a prayer.  Breathe deeply.  Hobble some more.  I finally made it to the checkout window, made a return appointment, picked up the paperwork for the Physical Therapist and then hobbled by starts and stops through the door, out to the waiting room.  It was empty!  That was a relief!  Then I hobbled some more and held onto stuff and finally got myself through the door and outside where I was going to wait for Christina to come and pick me up.  I was just about ready to give in to copious tears when I heard the sliding doors behind me open and a young woman came out from the Physical therapy office that shares the building with my orthopedic group.

“Please, ma’am,” she said concernedly.  “Can I help you?  You look like you need assistance!”

I turned tearful eyes towards her and said, “Thank you, but I think I will be alright.  I’m going to wait out here for my daughter who will be here soon.  But thank you!”  She looked like she didn’t quite believe me, but after another worried glance went back inside.  Pretty soon, I saw Christina and Jesse pulling into the parking lot and I hobbled over to the minivan and got in beside my Beloved Son in Law.  Christina took the keys to Daniel’s pickup and headed out to where it was parked.  Jesse took me home and gathered up the grandchildren (who were worried sick) and Deborah and headed off to the beach so as to distract everyone, and I tried to find a comfortable place where I could sit and ponder. 

I kept thinking about what H.M. had said to me about “the best thing you can do for it is to keep moving.  Use it!”  And I thought about the fact that it was probably sound medical practice to not give me a cane or a walker, because it forced me to try to find a way to move and walk.  (I decided to forgive him for that). Then I thought about the fact that with the grandchildren here, there was more than enough that needed doing, plus Rachel and Rob (Youngest Daughter and Beloved Son in Law #2) were moving on Saturday and I wanted to make food for that as well as help if I could. There was also the issue of needing to take the boys back to Ohio somewhere along the way, and lots of digging out to do.  Thrown in on top of everything else was Dave Hertzler’s funeral and I didn’t want to be left out of helping with that.

I decided that if “using it was the best thing I could do for it,” I would use it.  And so I did exactly that, using pain medication and trying to rest before things got too out of hand, and we made it through.  We even took the boys back to Ohio on Sunday.  We had to take Daniel’s pickup because the A.C. and the transmission on our minivan started acting up.  Unknown to me, that was a blessing because I actually can sit more comfortably in Daniel’s Colorado than I can in our minivan.  So that was providential.  There were three boys on the skimpy back seat, but even that was no problem at all.  They did extremely well!

(Aren’t they the handsomest, finest grandsons?)

We spent from Sunday evening to Tuesday morning in Canton with Raph and Gina.  On Tuesday, we went down to Plain City, our old stomping ground and saw some of the aging relatives and friends and Daniel took care of some gravestone measuring for a little marker for his sister, Lena, that they want to put beside her mother’s. 
The space that we hope to fill . . . .

We slept there on Tuesday night with the intent of starting home on Wednesday, stopping for the night somewhere and then coming home on Thursday.  Wednesday was our 48th anniversary and we thought we might celebrate by stopping at some place of interest, having a nice dinner, and just taking our time.  Well, we are both old sticks in the mud, and along about Breezewood, we realized that we would be home before Midnight if we drove straight through and that sounded really good to both of us.  At about 11:00 we stopped at the McDonalds by the bridge and had some supper,

then came breezing home to our own bed, our own house and believe me, it was sweet! 

So there you have it – the story of the fall and the ensuing week and I’m here to tell you that I’m doing far better than expected.  So much so that I’m not going back to Physical Therapy unless this healing curve reverses and I start to feel bad again.  I’m still hobbling sometimes, and there is still pain sometimes, but I’m far better than I ever dreamed and for this and so much more, my heart gives grateful praise!

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