Cradling my injured arm, we slowly made our way through the castle into Fantasyland. Eddie gingerly led me to a brick wall where I could sit and evaluate the damage. Meanwhile, he placed the three kids in line for Peter Pan, leaving Jess in charge.
I could not stop crying from the pain and the realization that I had potentially ruined our vacation. “Who falls at Disneyland? What is wrong with me?” I wailed at Eddie. My arm was almost entirely immobile. We weighed our options. I could have it checked at the Disney first aid office, where I was sure they would send me to the hospital. Or… I could go directly to the hospital where it would take hours, and our day would be shot. OR… I could just tough it out, staying at Disneyland as planned.
I insisted on the latter. I positioned my arm as if it was in an imaginary sling. Our pace slowed WAY down. We STROLLED through the park, appreciating each sure step, often yielding to others. If Olivia wanted a picture with a character, we stopped. If Jessica and Cory indicated interest in a ride or attraction, we did it. Throughout the day I downed a lot of Advil, spending much time patiently waiting for the others. My aggression had been completely subdued.
Upon returning to the hotel, I decided to call my friend who is somewhat connected to the medical field. Well, okay… her mom, sister and brother are all nurses, AND her closest friend is a science teacher! What more could you want? As we talked, we determined that I had not broken anything. It had to be a soft tissue injury. That was reassuring to me. I felt I could finish out our trip, relying on Advil and ice to get me through.
To add insult to injury, it was my right arm and shoulder that took the brunt of my fall. Being right-handed, this left me quite handicapped to perform even the most mundane, simplest tasks. Changing my clothes proved to be the most difficult challenge. Painful! Brushing my teeth, blow-drying my hair, eating – anything that involved raising my right arm the tiniest fraction of an inch, brought unbearable pain.
Back from vacation, I daily analyzed if I should call the doctor. Many people told me that I could possibly improve with time, however, after three weeks of NO improvement, I FINALLY made the appointment. My rotator cuff was damaged. I was to start physical therapy, with surgery as a back-up plan if I did not respond to treatment. The good news was I already knew an excellent PT who had recently seen Ed, Jessica and Cory (THAT story is for another blog).
As I arrived for the first appointment, the teasing was in full swing in regards to yet another Margo coming through the door. I humbly shared the story of my “accident”, giving everyone permission to tease me about it. THEN, it became really comical when I had to explain my previous “injury” to the same arm due to ABS… that is… Angry Birds Syndrome (refer to my blog post, “Birds”). I must admit, it would be nice to have more honorable injuries!
Slowly my arm has responded to therapy, with surgery no longer part of the discussion. It has been over 3 months since the infamous castle belly flop, and I am still not a hundred percent recovered. Recently, I read a quote by Beth Moore which said, “Better to be broken than to snap.” God seems to be taking me on little practice runs of brokenness. He is teaching me to yield to Him in every area of life. I must be a reluctant learner because the “opportunities” just keep coming.
There are three short verse in I Thessalonians 5 in which God gives three keys to successfully living through or with brokenness:
Verse 16 “Be joyful always.” (that’s the WHOLE verse)
Verse 17 “Pray continually.” (Whole verse, again)
Verse 18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I have to simultaneously do all three because I cannot have joy unless I pray, which leads to giving thanks which is ultimately an expression of my faith. I trust God with everything – especially my broken parts… whether physical, emotional or spiritual.
Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, had a great quote in his book “Finding Home.” He stated, “The purpose of pain is often to develop our character, yet we run from it because… pain is the gift that nobody wants. I love that!
“Lord, please break me before I snap. Use the gift of pain to grow deep spiritual roots in my life. I will be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. Oh… and one more thing… while I know that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, maybe we can do these life lessons in joy somewhere else… Just a thought…!!! I love you Lord!!