My Body Scare: Why Community Is So Important
Updated: Jul 16
April 24th. I was doing just fine. I worked out the day before — nothing too extreme, but I got my blood moving.
I felt a little bit of pain in my body, but I wasn't too worried because when it comes to non-external pain/injuries I handle them pretty well. So...I carried out my day as usual. I pushed through what I thought was nothing. April 25th - 4:00 AM. I scream in pain. My eyes flooded with tears because I could barely move. I laid in bed and prayed. Tears flowed. I tried to turn myself ...and nothing. My right leg was a dead weight unable to move. Every little turn or movement I tried to make, felt like my bone was grinding against the other. I was in constant pain.
4:30 AM. I tried to grab my phone and called one of the only people I knew would pick up at that time — My mother. It took me a minute to even get a word out because I literally could only cry. She calmed me down with yet another prayer and told me to go to the doctor. Not too long ago, Georgia had announced its slow re-opening from COVID-19; so, I made up my mind to take the chance of leaving my apartment for some relief. I knew I couldn't drive so I opted to UBER when I knew a clinic would be open. 4:30 - 7:30 AM. I laid in bed for what seemed like an eternity trying to find a comfortable position for sleeping. I think I got about 30 mins of rest until it was time for me to attempt to get dressed and call my UBER. 7:30 AM. Getting out of the bed was a STRUGGLE. My right leg could not bear any movement; so, I used some dancer tricks to finagle myself out of the bed. I was barely coherent. Blood rushed (or did not rush) to the main functioning parts of my body and every hop I made was done without putting my right leg on the ground. Somehow I made it to my bathroom sink where I then felt so lightheaded that I was either going to throw up or faint. EVERYTHING WAS A BLUR. I was terrified. My phone was in my bedroom and I had no one in my house to assist me. I slumped over my bathroom sink splashing cold water on my face to bring some life back to my body. The only thought running through my head at this point was, "If I pass out no one would ever know." That was possibly the scariest moment in my life and truthfully I never felt more alone. After 5 mins of splashing myself with cold water, I managed to hobble back to my room to call a cousin who lived pretty close by. The sound of her voice on the other end of the phone - though still in bed — was a relief for me. I cried. She immediately acted and agreed to take me to an orthopedic. 40 mins later. She showed up at my doorstep willing to stay with me for the duration of my doctor's visit, picked up meds, brought me food, and checked in on me. At that moment, I was so grateful that I had someone I could rely on. Someone to pick up my call and someone to help when I needed it the most. Generally, I'm a do it myself kind of person, but the morning experience of not being able to walk or feeling faint, made me decide not to take the UBER because I needed someone there by my side. Growing up, my biggest peeve was that if ever I called someone I love or someone that's supposed to be there...they failed to pick up. I'd always say, "Suppose something happened and I was calling for help"? I'd make "not picking up" a big deal from people who mattered to me because I feared that something could go wrong and they would never know (or that it would've been a wasted call and thus too late). My view made me the type of person that always answers the phone or the one who calls back/messages (even when I don't feel like it sometimes) when I miss a call or the one who calls a family member to say I love you if I didn't get it in before I hung up. I never want to live in regret or know that I was the call that didn't answer if something happened. Saturday, April 25th, made me realize the importance of staying in communication and community - because I experienced one of my greatest fears... but people picked up my phone call! The community/people you have around you matters. Sure, we all get busy and can't always be there all the time, but making sure you have a circle of people you can count on adds another dynamic to your life that gives a calming sense of security. I made it to the hospital because someone cared. I sat through X-Rays and a consultation knowing that when the doctor asked if I had someone to help me (which she did)...I could say yes. My freak scare made me contemplate so many things. 1) Life can always change in a moment - remain aware of never taking anything for granted, be kind, share forgiveness and love 2) The potential of living and doing life alone is scary 3) We all need a community. People we can trust. People who care. People who check in... AND People who pick up I left the doctor's office with a perfect X-Ray, crutches, a prescription, and a follow-up screening because the orthopedic had no answer for why I couldn't walk or move my leg. Despite having to go back to get answers and an unbearable level of misery, I was thankful. I think that was the biggest lesson of it all. Remaining thankful in all things or just finding that one glimmer of hope made my terrifying experience sooo much better. I realized that I could've been angry about being alone, but truthfully, I wasn’t! Connecting with people, even if they weren't there with me physically, whether that was a message or a phone call from family or friends, ...it all mattered. Even though I was physically alone after my experience, I was never alone. So, I guess my last word is just a reiteration that the only constant in life is change. We can't predict it, we can't control it, but we can make the most of it. We can control our actions and reactions to how things play out. We can be people who are there for others, we can enjoy life, and work towards being better versions of ourselves, and we can be more dependable.
None of us know when things will change or come to an end and the best thing we can do is enjoy, embrace, love, and do our best at being a good human being.