Routinely, every 3 months since 1988, I have visited hospital for botox injections to keep my neurological disease in check. Last Tuesday, my latest shots seemed to go routinely. I had planned out the rest of the day which included visiting a gravely ill friend - I wore my best trousers! Suddenly, during the last injection a wave of nausea hit me. Who knows why. Unconcerned, I stood and went to the window to take deep breaths. My consultant thought it would be good for me to lie down but I was sure it would quickly pass. Then, for the first time in my life I fainted. Alas, as I fell heavily, my right ankle caught in a medical cart and snapped at right angles. I thought I could see bones sticking through. It certainly felt like that.
Rushed down into A and E it was confirmed that I had broken several bones and would need an immediate binding up in plaster. As they cut my trousers Carol, who by then had been brought by kind friends to the hospital, commented 'If only you had worn jeans today!' X rays confirmed complex breakages which require plates, screws and pins. However, until the extensive swelling subsided no further action could be taken. My bed, to which I had been rooted for 10 hours was wheeled up to the trauma unit C8 where I slid into a 12 bedded male ward, full of suffering.
'If only' is, of course, is a tempting response. 'If only I had not stood up, if only the medical cart had not been there, if only I had a clue about what fainting means......' One of the growth points (of many I need to learn these next days) is to realize: first, nothing should ever be treated casually as just routine. Life is fragile and each day we should be thankful for the gift of life and alert. Second, when things go wrong, don't burn up with recriminations which will only stoke up frustration, but accept that the good Lord can work a good purpose through everything that happens to us. Ps 16 has again been special: 'I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken '(verse 8).