Over the weekend I found myself sitting in a crumpled heap in a wheelchair in our medical centre’s after hours emergency clinic fearing the worst but not even wanting to formulate the words as thoughts, let alone share them out loud. It was not my finest hour.
If we wind back the clock an hour, you will find me in a much happier place. I was up bright and early and in the garden on a positively gorgeous day. I had a lot to do. I had to get my garden ready for an impending garden visit from a group of keen gardeners the following day. While there was a lot to do, the end was in sight and I even believed it would be possible to have the garden the most organised, weed free, tidy and in control as it has ever been. I was feeling fabulous.
I walked back towards the house to do something or get something and I’d left my gloves on the bench. I don’t normally like to wear gloves, but the wasp sting from days before was irritating me and having a layer of latex between it and further potential damage was comforting.
I had noticed the deck in the early morning shadow was a bit slippy and called out to Hubby the Un-Gardener to take care when walking over it. However, once I was back in the garden and about to start, I realised I’d left my gloves inside and leap up – keen to not waste a moment of such a beautiful day and hurried towards the house, across the very spot I’d warned Hubby Un-Gardener about. At this point things went horribly wrong.
My feet flew out from beneath me. I went up and then with a spectacularly dramatic plunge onto – thankfully – the soft earth on the lawn beside the deck. I narrowly missed the newly installed paving stones that had been strategically placed to make the place a lot less slippy. As I came crashing down – I heard a horrifying cracking sound in the region of my neck.
I lay there for a while wondering what to do. No one had seen me fall and Hubby the Un-Gardener was using the weed eater with earmuffs on, and rightly so. The kids were inside watching the early morning cartoons. There was nothing for it but to yell for help. It felt so melodramatic, but I couldn’t get off the damp lawn by myself.
Hubby the Un-Gardener – at my insistence because I’m stubborn like that – gently helped me to my feet. I started by wiggling my fingers and toes and worked my way onto bigger limbs and finally my neck. Everything moved and there was no searing pain. So I apologised for scaring everyone and started to garden again – with my gloves on.
Over the next 10 minutes things began to feel a little weird and I had a nagging feeling things weren’t all as they should be. I should have realised my annoying MS had a habit of masking pain. It is great when you have a sore throat you can’t feel – but when you may have damaged your neck – this could be a bit of a problem.
By the time I found Hubby the Un-Gardener and suggested I needed to go to the doctor, the reality of it all set in and pain and aching crept across my entire body and I could barely move.
The doctor was really lovely and assured me all I had done was jar a muscle in my neck and I should feel better in a day or two. With much relief I suffered in grateful silence as my shaken and shocked family tended to my every need. Hubby the Un-Gardener went out and immediate put down some anti-slip strips. Unfortunately I had to cancel my group visit and the garden is still a bit of a mess, but tantalizingly close to being the most organised it has ever been.
Gardens are actually quite dangerous places and as gardeners working in them we need to make sure we take all precaution to stay in one piece so we can continue to grow great things for our families to make them healthy.
Come again soon – I may be a little battered and bruised but I’ll recover and be in the garden again soon.
Sarah the Gardener : o)