Counting My Blessings After a Painful Fall
“Would you like an injection that could take away your pains immediately?” The student doctor was grinning as if he knew that I wouldn’t take his offer. I didn’t disappoint him.
“No,” I answered decisively. “No injection, thank you.”
“Why?” He seemed mildly inquisitive.
“Because pain should not go away immediately. It has a purpose.” In my mind I added, “One gets to lay down and rest, to reflect, to count blessings.”
My pains and I left the hospital carrying medication which the doctor said would decrease swellings and treat inflammation.
This is not an attempt to make light of a fall, especially when experienced by an aging person. A doctor should be consulted, x-rays done, instructions followed, and medications used as prescribed; all this happened in my case. However, my focus is on facilitating healing by positive thinking while recuperating. Counting my blessings was an easy way for me to nurture positive thoughts.
I had struck my foot against the crack in the sidewalk and plunged forward, landing face down. Consequently, there was tenderness in my swollen chin, discomfort in my sprained thumb on the hand which I reached down to break the fall, and stiffness in my bruised knee. Nothing was broken (a welcome diagnosis for senior citizens like me), but movement in my thumb was limited by great pain, and everybody advised me to take it easy.
So I lay on my bed, counting my blessings. Each of the snippets mentioned below clearly reveals that in balancing the not-good with the good in my situation, I was coming out ahead.
(1) Inner Strength
Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength. ― Sivananda
The day after the fall I went to church despite my discomfort. I was scheduled to present an item on the program and I did not want to disappoint the program leader. Besides, I felt that my attendance that day was an act of gratitude for my survival. Nobody, except the few I told, knew that I had fallen. I made my contribution as effectively as I would have on any other day. Despite my aches, my spirit remained strong. Mind over matter? Or, strength over suffering? Thank God for inner strength!
(2) No Stress
More smiling, less worrying. . . More blessed, less stressed. ― Roy T. Bennett
Had I fallen during my income-earning years, without hurting myself gravely enough to qualify for disability benefits, the fear of losing income would have stressed me. Now during my retirement, I was not disabled, not pressured to hurry out of my restful, relaxing posture; and not having to worry about deductions from my old-age benefits. Despite not knowing how long I would take it easy, I knew that nothing would be deducted from the income I expected. That made me smile.
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. ― Charles Dickens
One of my neighbors sent her daughter to check on me and help me out. The little girl washed my dishes and seemed happy to do it. She actually said that it gave her a good feeling to help me. She came back two days later for a second dose of good feeling. What do you know? Not only was I receiving cheer. In my weakened state, I was providing cheer for someone. Though involuntarily, I was being useful.
It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help. – Epicurus
One of my chat groups provided virtual and actual companionship. The nurse in the group offered instructions which I followed and from which I benefited. Another brought one of my favorite food items prepared, ready to eat, and sufficient for more than one meal. They checked on me constantly through WhatsApp. A situation which could have left me feeling lonely and fearful, became proof that there were kind people who cared.
Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand. ― Hayley Williams
When I found myself on the ground, face down, I heard my late mother’s voice saying, “Stop dragging your feet; lift them up.” That day when I fell, instead of lifting my foot above the huge crack in the pavement, I dragged my foot into it and lost my balance. During my reflection, I wondered what other practical lessons from my mother I had neglected to heed. Had any other trouble in my adult life been the consequence of disobedience? Were there any other falls (physical or otherwise) on the agenda because of good habits I was overlooking?
Even in this area, I came out ahead. Throughout the house, I practiced walking and lifting my feet. While I was taking it easy, I found time to practice a habit I had neglected. I also found time to remember with gratitude some of the other habits my mother had taught me, such as, taking the time to count my blessings.
Sometimes, when you fall, you fly. - Neil Gaiman
Not only has my fall inspired content for this article, the article has prompted a boomerang of inspiration from my readers to me. Some have shared stories of their fall, their suffering and their healing. They have made me aware that because we experience similar mishaps, we are more willing and better able to share concern and compassion. We have all been inspired to look for the blessings in unwelcome circumstances, and to take turns lifting the spirits of fellow survivors.
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© 2019 Dora Weithers