I felt terrible and embarrassed, I felt that I ruined my neighbour’s night. I was in pain, in shock, and I was tired. I felt as though I had woke up from a dream, as I looked in the mirror at my face. I immediately noticed my nose looked crooked! I took a closer look thinking, What did I do to myself??? I didn’t look like myself. My bridge was swollen along with the bruises under my eyes. The cut above my left eyebrow was bleeding down my face, both cuts were deep and open. My face was sore from the scrapes and abrasions, that were unsightly and very painful…..I felt like going to lay down and curl up in a ball and go to sleep, but of course I couldn’t. I knew I may have a concussion, or have broken/fractured bones, so I had to go to the emergency room…I grabbed a few items, and tried to straightened myself up as the taxi arrived. My neighbour lead the way, quietly supporting me. I felt blessed to have her with me, she was super calm like me, and this would’ve been very difficult if she wasn’t. I know the emergency waiting room would be packed and hectic, I anticipated that the wait would be very long, and it was…..
As we waited, I felt weak and was trying to stay awake. The registration clerk commented that I looked “pale”, I felt like I was floating as I gave her my information. While we were sitting, I engaged in conversation with my neighbour to help me stay awake, while people looked on. They were staring, but trying not to stare, and I could feel that they were wondering, What happened to her??? I felt they assumed I was assaulted in a domestic dispute. I hate to be stared at, and I was self-conscious about my open bleeding wounds, my battered look drew attention, but I was cool-as-a -cucumber…..
After my name was called for the next waiting room, I prepared for the awkward series of check ups, and hospital gown. I was relieved that I made it through the first 2 hours, waiting, hoping, and praying in my mind helped a lot. I received responses and support from the few family and friends that I told, I didn’t tell the majority because I knew they’d freak out. Of course, they were extremely worried and concerned. My cousin told me that she told her co-worker that I’m “really into my looks” that “I care about my skin etc.” so this must be devastating for me…I thought, Damn, do I come off vain???…..I do care about my looks…..
My neighbour waited peacefully and patiently with the other patients as I returned from the first tests. She told me I looked a lot better, I’d gained the colour back in my face. I told her I felt better, knowing that I didn’t have any life threatening injuries, and my faith re-energized me. I felt a rush of energy, I wasn’t sure where it was coming from, but I felt stronger. My neighbour’s peaceful demeanor was reassuring, she had a piece of clay that she’d been molding to help her pass the time. She is a professional Artist, I’ve seen her work before, and it’s exquisite, but watching her create was astounding. The carving was of a man’s face, she’d been working on it since we arrived, and it looked amazing. Others looked on as I joked with her about the fact that she was able to use this trying time to create a masterpiece. I couldn’t believe she was able create a carving with such fine details with her bare hands, and in such a chaotic environment!
The night lasted into the wee hours of the morning, I waited and waited, as I listened to the commotion all around me. Finally the doctor came into see me, she asked me what happened in a concerned tone. She assessed that I was coherent, with no neurological issues, needed stitches, and x-rays for nose. She told me not to worry, that I’d be okay. My neighbour had to leave, she stayed for approx seven hours, and I Thanked her graciously. She told me she’d be sure to give me her completed carving, as a memento of the nights events. I collect art, I thought that was cool 🙂 . I waited and waited and finally got my x-rays and last the stitches. My cousin was on her way to pick me up, I Thanked the doctor, and prepared to go home, FINALLY. Whew!
It’s been a month, and I’m healed up, but handling other business/drama regarding the flood. My neighbour was kind enough to check in with me a few times, but she hadn’t seen me. We met up to chat, and she was ecstatic about the results of my healed face, the fact that I only have a scar above my eyebrow. She told me she had a gift for me, it was the finished carving. She explained that the carving was very symbolic for another reason, the face happened to have a nick, a mark, in the exact same place as my scar. She told me she couldn’t get rid of it, it was baked into the carving…We chuckled at the irony…..
I chose to share this story because it was a lesson that I can not forget, because I have a scar on my face to remind me. The scar may lighten up more, but it will be visible, and I know that’s for a reason…..Whenever I feel the urge to rush, I remember the the looong ordeal, from the flood to my accident that followed. I will also remember the kindness and selflessness of my upstairs neighbour and her husband. But most importantly, the pain I endured inside and out…..
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