Monday, January 5, 2009

I fell down and saved the lives of a couple of "crackheads"

If you know me, you know I have a hard time staying upright. If I could get paid for falling down, I could pay for Ashley's college. (More about that in another blog.) Sadly, I'm not very good at it so I am often injured. The last time I met the ground caused a convergence of events I could never have imagined. I'm sure there's a moral to the story besides, "sleep late," but so far that's what I'm going with. This is a wide sweeping saga. Please to enjoy and don't feel guilty for laughing at my misfortune. I'm doing it myself.

Background information:

1)For the last several months, my Mom has been going through some scary medical problems. Her doctor retired or moved or something and she had to break in a new doctor. Apparently her old doctor had been overlooking "enlarged spleen and lymph nodes" and "elevated liver enzymes" for a year or so now. Her new doctor sent her to a specialist immediately. My mother is not a good patient. She has "white coat syndrome." This means that if you are a doctor, she will not be able to speak to you... at all. So I have been going back and forth to appointments and biopsies, etc. for several months. I was with her when he diagnosed her with NON-ALCOHOLIC cirrhosis. (She requires that I make sure you understand it is non-alcoholic. She's never had a drop of alcohol in her life. This would be irony. Her brother died from alcoholic cirrhosis) So, the Wednesday night after election day, I was scheduled to go down and take her to a new specialist for treatment options.

2)Last year Celia and Mom gave me a totally cute Coach purse and wallet for my birthday. I then acquired *ebay* a new Coach umbrella. I was styling! I must confess I loved that purse.

3) My Papa spends his leisure (all) time at the Nutrition Center in his town playing 42. Somewhere along the way some genius had the idea to have criminals (that's the judicial system calling them criminals. I'm just repeating it) work off their probation and parole there. Of course criminals prey on old people and my Papa is old, 91 to be exact. Yup, he's still a spark plug. There have been rumors of a mother/daughter , ummm...crack addicted, from now on to be called "crackhead" team that have been "staying" with my Papa to "keep him company." I'm not sure what this means and I don't want to know. They have been spreading stories about him around town, but I wasn't too concerned. I hope to be scandalous if I live to be 91, maybe not this scandalous, but scandalous in a godly sort of way, none the less.

So on the morning of Obama's historic election as POTUS, I went out early to exercise my constitutional privilege and vote. "I fell down" doesn't quite capture the violence of what occurred next. In my slow motion memory, I hit a (thankfully) manicured toe on an uneven crack in the driveway, flew 50 feet into the air and landed with the force of 20 Sumo wrestlers on my left knee, caught myself with both wrists (mistake...should have only used one wrist) and bounced to my left elbow.

***Did I mention I was IN MY VERY DRIVEWAY where God and everyone could see. I asked God to just take me home right then and there. I mean, I was looking semi-cute, I was dressed (I'm not trying to die nekked...or naked,one of my rules) and I was sure to be found. Of course, He said, "NOPE." I guess it wasn't my time, and the ensuing events would provide too much "sweeps week comedy" for Heaven Cam. Yes, I am convinced I am a prime time sitcom on television or the equivalent in Heaven. I'm sure I am appointment TV like "The Cosby Show" was in the 80s, but I digress.***

Somehow I manged to drag myself to the car, drive myself with my arms, don't recommend it, and vote. I'm not sure how I did that, but I am one stubborn broad. I had Ash drive me to the doctor after school. I told them I had a 4 hour drive to make in 2 days and I needed them to fix me. "Pshh yeah," was the response. So I was diagnosed with sprains, strains and contusions. It sounds much cuter than it actually is. The doctor prescribed steroids to help with healing. Did I mention that I am allergic to almost all pain medicine? Bonus! I was a mess. I couldn't hold anything because I had nasty sprains in both wrists and my knee was flat, and causing my whole leg and foot to swell so I couldn't wear a shoe. Pain is too minor a word. A side effect of steroid treatment is that it shoots out your immune system, and I don't have a good one to start with.

So after calling Mom and letting her know I couldn't make her appointment, I had Ashley drive me to church on Wednesday evening. Why? I can't answer that. Stupid is all I can come up with. I was the most pitiful thing! I had one grossly swollen leg, two swollen wrists and couldn't even hold my phone. I sat in church with my leg propped up on a chair. Of course, I was also coming down with a nasty atomic "bug" and had most of my voice. When we got home I couldn't pick up my purse to get it out of the car and forgot to ask one of the kids to get it out. I also forgot to say "lock the door." Mistake.

That night a large, well organized purse theft ring hit North Texas and they hit the mother lode when they got to my car. My purse as well as Ashley's. They immediately went to Wal-Mart and laundered my money into almost $600 worth of Am Ex gift cards and phone cards. They took my life! You never know what all is in your purse until it is stolen. It is a major pain in the derriere. You have to call and cancel everything. This is a pain on a good day, but I couldn't hold a phone, was super-sick and had no voice. Several credit card companies thought I was a dirty caller. (Props here to Chase who refunded our money immediately and then investigated.) The last few months have been a pain dealing with the fallout from the purse theft and I can't even bear the thought of dating a new purse, much less falling in love. Fortunately, I have a totally cute second and third string purse "bench" so I'll be OK. Getting a new driver's license was also a trick because I couldn't stand in line. My knee kept getting worse and worse.

So, after Mom's appointment that I missed, I called her to see what her treatment would be. She said they were just going to watch her. WHAT? Are you kidding me? You don't watch cirrhosis. This is what happens when I'm not there to "advocate" on her behalf. Then she tells me that she is glad I'm not there because she is worried I might over-react to her next news and do something "stupid." It seems these "ladies, um, crackheads" that had befriended my Papa had moved into his house, stolen (pawned) almost all of his things and he had signed a bunch of blank checks allowing them to steal all of his money. When he ran out of money, they threatened him with harm. He was now at my uncle's house, terrified and the "crackheads" were IN MY PAPA"S HOUSE! She was right. I would have gone to jail that day had I been there. I would have called the jail and told them I would be checking in. I would even tell them what time to expect me. I just needed to give the 'crackheads" a few minutes to meet Jesus and get right with him before I sent them to Him and then I would check in. Does this seem an over-reaction? I don't think so. So instead, in a classic moment, I put the whole thing on the prayer list at church. Maybe those "crackheads" will get Jesus and try to make restitution. It cracks me up to think about my Pastor praying for "Donna's Papa's Crackheads."

Needless to say, it has been stressful around here. It has now been 2 months. My knee is healing on track, but I still can't wear a shoe. It still swells up every day. My wrists are still painful, but getting better every day and I am still dealing with respiratory issues from the nasty "bug" I caught. (I had an asthma attack during the church Christmas Program and I was on stage singing. Classic Donna.) It will still be a while before I am all the way healed, but there is good news. My Uncle Don was able to get financial power-of-attorney for my Papa and he was also able to convince my Papa that the "crackheads" were not his friends. They are now both in jail, for the time being at least. They won't have to stay long. I bet they have no idea how close they came to meeting Jesus. See, the moral of the story really is "sleep late." If I would have slept in, none of this would have happened...or maybe it would have happened later. Who knows?

1 comment:

Tara said...

Sister friend....this is making me laugh so hard I have tears rolling right down my cheeks. And I sincerely feel badly for laughing at your injuries and identity theft, but I think you might need to submit this to Reader's Digest or something.