When we announced we were going to Cairo for four months, many people expressed concern about our safety. I kept telling them Colorado Springs is more dangerous than Egypt. Last week the Centennial State proved my point.
On January 9th I had jury duty and Colorado Springs had a wind storm. It was holding steady at about 30 mph, but there were frequent gusts in the 75-100mph range. As I was crossing the street on my way to the courthouse, one of those gusts hit me from behind and sent me running (as in, I had no choice in the matter) then sprawling flat on my face and head-first into a concrete curb.
To say, “I got knocked down by the wind,” is like saying the President-Elect Trump is not careful with his word choices. This was exactly like being thrown from a moving vehicle, sliding several feet, and only stopping after slamming into a wall. With my head. Did I mention the head-first part? I actually heard a loud metallic clang (???) followed by tweety birds.
My first thought upon opening my eyes was, “Did anyone see that? Because that was embarrassing, but I really could use some help.” Immediately I heard a man yelling, “Oh my God! I’m coming! I”m here, honey, I got you. Can you move? It’s OK. It’s gonna be OK.” And then there was a woman yelling and running toward us to help too. There was so much blood on my face and in my right eye that I could not see. I was not sure where the blood was coming from because I was in too much shock to feel pain yet.
There was a lot of blood (because you know head cuts), but a lot of help. The man and woman helping me were MJ and Kathy and they called 911 and Kevin and got me settled inside with water and cleaned up my face. There are a lot of other things that happened in the next half hour, but we ended up in the ER where I got about a dozen sutures and a CT scan. Half of the others in the ER were there for wind-related injuries. There were two drivers of semis that overturned, a man who got blown off a ladder, and a woman who had the wind slam her car door on her hand so hard that it actually latched. Part of the roof came off the courthouse; there were multiple fires from downed power lines. Schools were eventually closed and high-profile vehicles ordered off the roads. I think I told a doctor that I am originally from Florida, where we know enough to stay indoors during a hurricane.
After getting home to rest and taking stock of my injuries I saw that I had multiple cuts and abrasions even though my clothes did not tear (it’s basically rug burn from contact with the fabric). I must have gotten my right arm in front of my face because I have no cuts there. The laceration in my head is about 2 inches long and went all the way to the bone. My neck, shoulder, and lower back have muscles in spasm and thus are pretty painful, even a whole week later. Both knees got bruised badly. Until just yesterday I could not move very fast and was worn out just from walking around the house, hardly doing anything beyond homeschool and consuming vast quantities of hot tea infused with Tylenol.
And today it got even more awesome. I went to a Little Clinic to have the sutures removed and had a nurse who was in a bit of a hurry and a little too rough. On about the third snip she jabbed me with the tweezers and the pain was worse than the originally injury. I am not squeamish about medical stuff like this, but I was instantly dizzy and the room went all gray and I nearly passed out. I actually thought she must have hit a nerve that controls those things, the reaction was so instantaneous and strong. I had to lie down and Kevin had to come pick me up to drive me home.
But I am really, really grateful to God. He protected me from what could have been (probably should have been) so much worse. I have all my teeth. I broke no bones. I have no brain injury. All the muscles, bruises, and scrapes will heal in time. I can walk. I can see. I can feel. I have a much greater sense of empathy for those of you who live with chronic pain or immobility (and am praying for you more often). Our friends and family have been here with offers of help, prayers, and brownies. Oh, the brownies.
And I got a one year pass on jury duty.
We are missionaries with Engineering Ministries International, based in Colorado Springs, and traveling around the globe to serve.
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