Write Yourself Alive: Day 19 – Broken, Literally

Today’s Prompt: Imagine you’ve just had an accident or have been diagnosed with an illness. If you have in the past or are dealing with it now, write about it. Write a diary entry in your life while dealing with physical injury or illness. Describe the impotence, the limitations, the pain, the change in perception (from healthy vs. sick), and the evolution (change of mind, heart, lifestyle) that may come from this experience.

Fresh from the hospital. January 16, 2012
Fresh from the hospital. January 16, 2012

Useless. Powerless. Inept. And all because I was on my way to Safeway.

Black ice covered the hill I used to live on, and the walk down became a slide, and I ended up hearing a weird noise, feeling a weird sensation, and collapsing to the ground.

Then I couldn’t get up.

Fast forward a few hours, and my leg is in a giant brace and I have crutches. Fast forward a few more after that, and I’m writing a letter of resignation to my bosses, informing them that I can’t work…and that I don’t even know if I’ll be able to walk properly again. My entire career in a kitchen was cut short because of this one incident. My entire life and goals changed forever because of this one incident.

The physiotherapy was excruciating. Absolute agony. Thank god Antonio (my physiotherapist) would distract me and talk about Game of Thrones, because when he wasn’t, I was swearing and crying instead. It’s ironic how I was in more pain trying to fix my leg than I was when I had hurt it.

What hurt more, though, was taking public transit with crutches or a cane. I got odd looks from other people; I could see that they were either questioning if I was this young fool just faking it to get a prime seat on the bus or train, or I could see them judging, trying to think of what I did to have hurt myself.

One woman behind me whispered (in Filipino) to her friend, “She probably broke her leg because she’s so fat.”

I turned around, smiled, and replied to her fluently (to her horror), that I’d never wish this upon her, in spite of her hateful comment.

You could say that this incident changed me irrevocably, because it did. It changed what I wanted to do (and what I could do) with my life. For a good few months, I was in woe-is-me mode, and thought that my whole world was crashing down around me. In truth, it was simply the façade around me that broke, revealing the truth around me instead.

I didn’t see it then, but I see it now, and in a way, I’m grateful. I wouldn’t be where I am, doing what I’m doing right now if not for this one incident. I’d likely be at work right now (it’s 8:35PM), busting my arse until I burnt out.

So thank you, accident. Thank you for breaking me, and putting me (for the most part) back together again.

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