On August 7th, 2003, my life took a major tumble for the worse. (See 1st journal entry). Of course, as I lay on the floor in the lobby of the medical center at the state womens' prison, I hadn't a clue how badly I was injured. At first I was just glad few people were around. Then I was glad that the inmate workers had just washed the floor. Then I began to take stock. I had fallen like a redwood, landing really hard, flat on my belly, and the foor was cold. My head and neck seemed to be ok, and my legs. My left arm moved, too, but my right arm did not. In fact when I tried to lift it, only my sholder seemed to move a scant inch off the floor. The rest of the arm just lay there.
Ok, I thought, I have broken my arm. I'll be out 6 weeks, surely back by Halloween, when Cindy(the other HIV Counselor and Educator) goes on vacation. Little did I know...
By then a crowd had formed. The head nurse, not known for her bedisde monner, crouched beside me, patting my back awkwardly, urging me to get up. Instinct told me, not a good idea, no way could I lift my extreemly large bulk off the floor with only one arm. When I said so, her patting became more insistant. My dear friend Cindi came in, took in the situation, and sat on the floor in front of me, just sending out waves of warmth and strength. I was so grateful.
Our APRN who does gyn work came over to offer Reiki- yes, I said, please, please, for by this time I was beginning to hurt. Her energy was womderful, but the head nurse was now pounding my back and urging me to get up. No way. By now I knew I needed an ambulance crew to pry me off the floor, and that I was really and truly injured.
When I opened my eyes, I could see the impatiently tapping cowboy boots of the unit director, and I began to wonder if the ambulance woukld ever arrive (Rumor has it that the new warden had canclled the ambulance, stating that injured staff were to go out by car, Both the head nurse and unit director were angry at her ursurption of their ambulance calling rights, and there I was in the middle of their territorial battle. Lucky me, the madder the head nurse got, the harder she "patted" my back!)
Finally one of the doctorscame with a shot of pain reliever of some sort, the ambulance arrived and four strong people hauled me up off of the floor(I did not scream), sat me on the stretcher, and carried me out of the medical unit. My last view of the place was of every member of the medical staff watching as I was trundled off. I raised my left arm and gave the best replica of the Royal Wave that I was capable of, and that was my last view of my beloved place of work.