I drank a seriously over-steeped ice-cold cup of tea by the river this morning. That wasn’t the plan; it was hot when I headed down there. But as I hit the corner by the highway I heard a shriek and then some loud “Ow! Ow! Ow!” noises. A woman across the street had slipped on the ice and couldn’t get up. I crossed over, found a man taking out his cell phone to call an ambulance. I didn’t know the woman but after he finally made it clear to the dispatcher where we were I told him to go on and I’d stay, because he was with his dogs and they were getting all interested in the poor woman, sniffing her, and she was upset enough. So I sat on the sidewalk, offered her my tea which she turned down, and waited with her for the ambulance. A number of people stopped to offer help. The poor lady kept saying she was embarrassed, and that she was afraid she’d broken her hip. I told her not to be embarrassed, but I couldn’t tell her she hadn’t broken her hip, because as the EMT confirmed when they got there, she had. After the ambulance left and I went to the park to drink my iced tea I was thinking about that, how now everything in her life changes for months, maybe longer. Depending on how bad a break it is, there’ll be surgery, a hospital stay, rehab, a slow recovery. That’s the good news. It could be much more serious, a much longer recovery, or not a complete one, ever. She has a dog at home; she called a friend to take care of him while she was lying there. She had plans for the day, for the week. Now none of that is happening.
Be careful out there, folks.