Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
After reading my friend Audrey's blog this morning, it triggered something in me and I realized I have never actually "blogged" about breaking my hip. Don't worry, my friends didn't do it but you will see the connection at the end.
We were under the bridge on a Wednesday night. Tommy was preaching and he had asked me to share a story that night. I did, then stepped back away from the mic so he could finish the sermon. When I stepped back, my feet got tangled in the cords for the sound system and I hit the ground, hard. Everyone gasped and he turned to see what was the matter. I told him I was fine and to finish his sermon, I just sat there until he was done.
He and some others pulled me to my feet and one of the cops, Steve, came over and said, "You are going to the hospital." I told him no that I was fine. He told me to stand on my leg. It felt like jello! He told Tommy to get the van and he lifted me into it. (He's a big man!)
I have never broken a bone in my life, so I just thought it was a bunch of hooey. We got to the emergency room and sat there until about 3 in the morning. They finally x rayed my hip and sure enough, it was broken. I still tried to tell the Dr. she had made a mistake! She just patted my leg and said "honey, this is what i do for a living. I know what a broken hip looks like!"
They finally moved me into a room sometime in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Around 4 0r 5 on Thursday afternoon, they did surgery, about 24 hours after I had broken it. I have also never been put to sleep before, so was a little anxious about that.
Right before they put me under, the nurses came into the room where they were doing the surgery, with a blue rubber glove blown up like a balloon, and a Reece's peanut butter cup tied to the end. The balloon glove said Happy Birthday! It was my birthday and I had totally forgotten. I told them to please be sure my balloon and peanut butter cup made it to my room after surgery. They assured me it would. It did!
The next thing I remember is waking, being deathly sick and telling the nurse I wanted Tommy. "Who's Tommy?" she said. I said, "my husband." She said, "Well, you can't have him!" Too funny! Just in case you missed it, it is now Thursday night..over 24 hours after I broke my hip.
The next day is Friday, and I wake up, get up out of the bed and dress. No one is around to tell me not to, so I walk down the hall. I did pretty good, so I walked again. I went about 6 rounds before the nurse came in to "walk" me. She had a big harness to hook onto me in case I fell! I just started dying laughing. "I've already been BY MYSELF, 6 times," I told her!
After my walk with the nurse, I started waiting on the Dr. to come in and dismiss me. I HAD to get to Gatlinburg that night for our September retreat! It started at 7...around 48 hours after the incident under the bridge. I waited and paced for the Dr. to come in and dismiss me. Finally he came. He told me he was going to sign me up for rehab. I told him there was no need. I had been doing my own rehab. (They had given me a sheet with exercises on it that I had already started doing....plus the walking.)
He then told me he was going to write me a prescription for pain medicine. I told him I had not taken any pain medicine from the time they started trying to shove it on me when I came in, to the present time, and I didn't intend to take any. He looked rather stunned then said, "Ok. I guess you can go!"
I had already told Tommy to go on to Gatlinburg for the retreat and I would get my sister, Teresa to bring me up. As soon as that Dr. gave the word, she and I got out of there! She took me home and I put a black garbage bag on my leg and got into the shower. Then we headed to Gatlinburg. Now here is the part of the story I like the best.
I had called Tommy and told him I was on the way. When we got on the road down to the hotel, I called again. He had everyone at the retreat go outside the hotel to greet me! What a reunion! I couldn't help but get teary eyed (and I rarely cry!) I thought to myself, "This is what heaven will be like....I will either be in the crowd greeting or I will be the one being greeted." You cannot put a price on friendship. You cannot really explain it. But you can be thankful and never cease to praise the Lord for sending certain people into your life.
Two days after breaking my hip and having 3 long screws put in, I was standing with my friends in Gatlinburg, singing praises. I don't think I have ever sung with such gusto!
Now, here is a funny p.s. to the story.
Cindy Bates and her family have a reputation for always being late - to everything. As I pulled up in front of the hotel, I got a text from Cindy. "I just heard about your hip. I am so upset. I don't even want to come to the retreat! Where ARE you?"
I wrote back, "I am sitting in front of the hotel. Where are you?" She was still in Pigeon Forge on her way. I beat her! You can't make this stuff up!