Don’t mind me. I’m just a one legged woman in a skirt crawling around the back of my hatchback looking for the pin that fell out of the wheelchair so I can put it back together before the blizzard hits. I’ll be fine!
I love my life, I really do.
No matter what is happening there’s always something to amuse me. Today in the 30 minute drive between one of my doctor’s offices and the hospital pharmacy, I heard an ominous *ping* echoing from the back of my car.
Language that would make the most seasoned sailor blush spilled out of my mouth in a torrent…. I had heard that *ping* before.
With my stump still healing, I’m supposed to have it elevated while seated so I have a padded leg rest. The entire wheelchair is sound. Everything on it has some sort of locking mechanism except the lock on this extension, for that there is a steel pin that slides into a small hole about a quarter of an inch. Without the pin, the extension sort of flops around and falls off. Without the extension, my leg swells… I could keep going with this line in the story but I won’t. Just suffice it to say that I really need that stinking pin. Which is of course the reason it popped out randomly in my completely uneventful drive.
Fast forward to the hospital parking lot.
After a lovely warm and clear morning and noon, ominous clouds began to blow over the mountains. The wind began howling, blowing hard enough that I wondered if I would blow over. (Why did I choose today to wear the super cute high heeled suede boot again? Oh yeah, it looks great with my sweater.) I have a new bruise on my one whole shin from blocking the door as it blew closed on me.
A severe chill was descending, making me wish I had bothered with a jacket after all, as I crutched to the back of the car.
I pulled out the chair and had to fight with the wind over who would get to keep it for the rest of the day. I won. But of course, just as I had dreaded, the pin was gone. More colorful expletives erupt as I deftly hop over the lip at the back of my car in my pencil skirt, turning to crawl further into the car to where I think the pin would have fallen.
One leg. Sexy pencil skirt. One high heeled boot. Crawling.
Pin = 1
Dignity = 0
As all this is happening, at least two dozen people rush past my car for the shelter of the hospital, in too much of a hurry to notice my plight. At least most of them were too busy to notice.
I did get one whistle from a soldier as he and his companions grinned wryly at me.
Glad to know I’ve still got it.
Naturally the pin had fallen in the least accessible spot in my car, giving me the opportunity to practice my contortion skills and show off my amputee flexibility to retrieve it. More cheap cuss words were needed to make it happen, but it happened!
Pin = 2
Dignity = 0
When I had finally extracted my pin from its chosen resting spot, I had to retrieve my slowly wandering wheelchair. As more people hurried to the building, it is a wonder none were concerned about the wheelchair they saw scooting slowly across the parking lot.
One leg with one high heeled boot. Pencil skirt. Hair blowing wildly. Chewing on a steel pin. Chasing a wheelchair across the parking lot with crutches.
Pin = 3
Dignity = 0
By the time the chair was finally back together, the wind was blowing so fiercely that my hair was a tangled mess and I was freezing. As I began wheeling up the hill toward the hospital, I heard a voice behind me state (not ask),
“It’s too cold and windy. Let me give you a push!”
I always tell people to let me handle me when they try to help me. But this man didn’t have the “poor you” tinge in his voice or look on his face. There was something familiar about his manner and attitude, something… easy and comfortable. He was a vet, late Vietnam era, and the only soldier older than 30 and younger than 70 that I’d seen during the entire parking lot escapade. In the 45 seconds it took him to swiftly convey me into the warmth of the building he had me in stitches. It was only as I turned to thank him before he left that I noted a single small pin on his jacket of a certain identifiable crest.
Of course, Gwendolyn. He would be…
Originally published 10/26/17