IntrepidWoman's Journey

Dumbassery – Part 2 & 3

Posted on: January 4, 2016

And the saga continues with more examples of dumbassery in my life. There are so many, but these two come to mind as they relate to my last blog.

I have had 13 surgeries and number 13 was bad luck. I had hernias as a result of cancer surgery a few years before and instead of having them taken care of, I procrastinated because I thought my job would fall apart if I was not there. I had always put my job first, ever since I was a teacher, starting in 1985.

Anyway, I started having horrific pains which my son suggested might be hernia strangulation.  I was lucky enough to contact my doctor from the Pass, who volunteered his time in Okotoks, where I was living, at the Urgent Care Centre. He had me into a surgeon’s office within 24 hours and I agreed to be ‘fixed’ a few weeks later. The surgeon said he could do it immediately, but again I waited, as I had school groups scheduled and copy deadlines at work.

The day after surgery, which took several hours longer than planned as there were about 5 areas needing repair, I was up and walking around the hospital. Suddenly, my blood pressure plummeted and my kidneys shut down. Long story, short, it took two weeks to get me stabilized and I ended up off work longer than originally planned. Thus, Dumbassery #2.

My third example is my favorite. While working for the town of Okotoks, all staff were summoned one day to attend the opening of the new fire/police station. Lunch and a tour was included. The building was finished and in use but the outside grounds were still a mess.

Because we were late, my coworker and I were rushing through the gravel towards the sidewalk, which was a big step up until landscaping could be completed. I, of course, was clutzy and tripped as I reached the cement, landing heavily on my shoulder. The fall knocked the wind out of me and the pain kept me momentarily sprawled on the sidewalk. I know. It was not a pretty site.

I need to backtrack at this point to tell you about a fireman who had come to the museum to do routine inspections and who I deemed did not have a funny bone in his entire body. Example: He was to let us know the current building capacity. I said, in my dumbass way, “I want to know because I have a group of students scheduled and need to know how many to throw off the balcony.” Well. If looks could kill, I would not be here today to write this story. My coworker looked at me in utter horror and I slunk into my office to relive the disgrace again and again, for the rest of the afternoon. From that point on, I started calling him Grumpy, as in, “Is Grumpy coming to check the storage areas today?” Other staff also started referring to him as Grumpy. He had a very serious demeanor.

Back to my fall from grace, during work hours, outside the firehall. My coworker asked if I could get up. When I said no, she ran into the building to get help. Remember. This was outside the new fire station. Out ran the entire D division of firemen, and the first to get to me was, yup, you guessed it – Grumpy.

He was beyond kind. I was surrounded by men in blue, with Grumpy holding one hand and supporting my back with the other as they checked me for injuries. They kept asking if I had hit my head. I still am not sure why they asked more than once, ha, ha! They were all so kind and very professional.

Eventually, I was helped by Grumpy into an ambulance, given laughing gas by an EMT and whisked away to Urgent Care where I sat in a wheel chair for 4 hours before anyone even examined me.

I had torn my rotator cuff, ended up driving daily for a month into Calgary for physio through Workers Comp and again found out that my job did not collapse if I was not 100 % on it.

Moral of the story – I learned respect that day. Grumpy was very professional at his job at all times and did not kid around. I took a day off work and when I returned, I told everyone how kind he was and that they all needed to call him MR. Grumpy from that day forward. (I also delivered boxes of Purdy chocolates, with a thank you card, to Division D at the fire hall.)

I had to drive by the new fire station everyday on my way to and from work. Everyday I would look over to where I had fallen and where I left my dignity, sprawled on that sidewalk. The landscaping was finally completed and a tree was planted where I had fallen. I like to think of it as my tree. Dumbassery #3.



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