This is the last time I’ll mention my damn back. Promise. So, where were we? Oh yes, I was just coming to the realization that it would take a village to get me “aircraft-ready” for my impending nine and a half hour flight to Frankfurt.
For those of you just joining us, here’s a quick recap. In Chapter One I shared that mere days before my departure for a wedding and a month’s holiday in Europe, I thought I’d pull 210 weeds in my backyard. In the process, I royally messed up my back. Standing and sitting were suddenly impossible.
So what’s the big deal? IS this issue really worthy of three posts? Hell, yes. I’d buggered up my sciatic nerve and, based on the experiences of my mom and pals who’d suffered from sciatica in the past, I could be looking at a recovery period of months. But I was under tremendous pressure to make that particular flight, not one “a little later, when you feel better.” The wedding was to take place two days after my scheduled arrival. Also, my (deliberately unenlightened) son and daughter were eagerly anticipating our first family reunion in seven months and flooding my feed with heartwarming “not long now!” texts. I couldn’t face missing the wedding nor disappointing my two, and so, staying home, lying on my side and weeping into my porridge about the unfairness of things, simply wasn’t an option. With hope garnered from the fact it was comfy to walk, I was determined to get my back in shape for that long flight. Once in Frankfurt, I’d simply avoid sitting or standing.
But I couldn’t do it alone. Someone would have to drive me up the hill to the flatter area in my neighborhood and “walk me.” Someone would have to drive me to my physio appointments. Someone would have to schlep the dog and the rabbit to their boarding facilities (two hours roundtrip). Someone would even have to drag up my suitcase from the basement. This list of the “necessary someones” seemed endless to my medicated and addled brain. But, I had to accept that in order to make that plane, I had to widen the circle of “those in the know.”
It Would Take A Village
Looking back, it’s curious how withdrawn I’d gotten as a result of the injury and the powerful meds. It was a struggle to share my news. With a key “go to” already in Europe for the wedding, I reached out to someone else I’d been feeling rather guilty about not telling sooner, a particularly good friend who I see almost weekly over coffee and dog walks. Boom. Her response to my innocuous text was immediate and concise.
“What do you need? How can I help you?”
She kindly consented to not only drive me to my next physio appointment but she volunteered to escort me up the hill to park and walk me throughout the flatter neighborhood for an hour or so. As the days unfolded, not only did she continue to “walk me” but she arranged for a mutual friend to do the physio run when she was busy and also popped over to escort our dog Poppy on much-needed challenging hikes. She also made the brilliant suggestion that I upgrade my ticket to a wider, more forgiving seat.
I approached another friend to schlep me to yet another medical appointment. She not only rearranged her schedule but cheerfully drove me home via the grocery store to pick up something for my dinner that night.
The company helping my mother settle into her new abode (yes, Francine’s on the move which WILL be fodder for another post) even called to see how they could help. Batting away my mewling objections, the owner kindly offered to provide, free of charge, someone to pick up my pets and schlep them to their boarding facilities.
Another good friend wisely counseled me to take things slow, listen to my body and perhaps reconsider my highly anticipated full-on busy meet-up with a visiting blogging pal.
My sister and mother dropped by to assist with things around the house. While I attempted to calm Francine’s ill-concealed worries (most likely concerning impending paralysis) by efficiently circling the dining room table at least 92 times, my sister not only sorted out my suitcase but did laundry, tidied up and remade my soon-to-be-returning-home daughter’s bed.
I’m delighted to report that while it would take a village, thanks to the efforts of my family and friends, I did it. I made the flight.
My personal Sherpa not only met me on arrival in Frankfurt but she continued to drag my heavy suitcase about the narrow streets of Europe.
And me? I’m more than blessed, thank you. This was taken in Salzburg on our last day.
A huge thank you to everyone who brought me to this point. I could NOT have done it without you.