What. A. Week.
I needed to be in Logan (120 miles North of where I live) for a teacher fair on Tuesday. Dilemma: I can’t drive & no one I know goes up there. Solution: public transit adventure. Every step of the way was SOMETHING.
Monday, after I got my cast taken off, I went back to work. Hooray! It’s the final week of the 3rd term, so everything was pretty hectic (students waited until the last minute to turn in the homework they had been avoiding, etc), especially since I had been out for the 2 weeks prior. I worked straight through lunch & right up until my carpool needed to leave. Woo! Adrenaline rush on crutches.
My carpool needed to pick up her wedding dress & she was going to drop me off at the commuter train on her way home. Her GPS navigation got really confusing near the final turns & she followed a bus into what she thought was the park ‘n’ ride. It was the “bus only” lot. Yeah, we got pulled over for that one.
After the officer sent us off with a warning & directions to the commuter train lot, I found that I had missed my intended train, but the next train was one of the few that goes past Ogden (which is usually the end of the line) so I had lucked out in that respect! The train even had power outlets, so I was able to charge my phone & take care of a few things. Like purchasing my shuttle fare for the evening.
I got off the train a few hours later in Pleasant View and started crutching to the bus stop; it was gusty & starting to hail. A woman offered me a ride to the bus stop (half a block away) and, though I did try to turn down her offer, accepted her kindness. When I told her my bus was only 40 minutes in coming, she suggested I come over for a quick dinner with her family! She only lived a few blocks down the road and I’d only eaten granola bars all day, so I eagerly agreed. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, we ate slow-cooked steak, potatoes, & carrots. Luck o’ the Irish?
She returned me to my bus stop right as it whizzed by us, so we chased it down & I continued on my journey. As soon as I sat down, the man next to me asked what I’d done to me leg. I thought, “So we’re talking on this bus, are we? I’ll rest later.” He has bone cancer, so we bonded over our increased appreciation for simple mobility. Pleasant conversation, warm bus ride, and then back into the storm with my loaded backpack.
By this point, my bladder was screaming for a break, so before I started the 1.5 mile crutch to the shuttle stop, I headed toward Wal-Mart to use the facilities & maybe just sit on a bench for a few minutes. As I was crossing the parking lot, I was offered another ride! This time, it was an elderly couple that ferried me to my next destination. We had common ties to the town in which I do my student-teaching. Utah really is a small world. After exchanging names that I’ve unfortunately forgotten, I crutched straight indoors a full 2 hours early for my shuttle. Grateful for the extra time (and for not having to crutch the full 1.5 miles), I spent it on grading papers & texting.
When I finally arrived in Logan around 11pm, my friend was waiting in the parking lot for me. Sweet victory, I had arrived! We spent the next few hours preparing for the teacher fair. I think I went to bed around 3:30 & got up at 6:30. It took me a full 2 1/2 hours to get ready, not including breakfast (because I skipped it - I was out if time!), making my morning average to be one task per 15 minutes. Tasks included: shower, dress, brush teeth, put on makeup, pack my bag, do ROM exercises, use the restroom, straighten hair, & I’m sure I did another task or two. Life takes so much longer on crutches!
Between the library, the teacher fair, and several errands on campus, I crutched a few miles. Since I’m stubborn, that included many flights of stairs. My the time I got to the University Inn (my return shuttle stop), I was absolutely spent.
And then my shuttle driver rolled in. Blasting country music & skimming the curb with a single tire. Out stepped the angel Frank, my driver. Boots, jeans, button-up shirt under a vest, handkerchief around his neck, and a cowboy hat. Factor in the unflappable affability & his offer to take me all the way to Salt Lake City even though I’d only paid for fare to Brigham City, and I was about ready to marry that cowboy. Or at least ask for a dance. We talked about John Wayne, Burt Reynolds, & people he knows all over Utah. I rode through heaven to the Salt Lake Central Depot.
From there, I took the commuter train back south, caught a bus, and accidentally got off 1 stop too far. Rather than wait for a northbound bus in the cold, since it was around 9pm by this point (and I was getting picked up for work at 6:45 the next morning), I crutched a mile or so back toward my apartment. It was slow, painful going and I stopped several times before I decided to sit down in Starbucks and call for backup. I told my roommate I didn’t think I could walk anymore & she came straightaway. Monday & Tuesday, check. Adventure.
Wednesday was hectic, but by comparison it felt tame. I did get stuck at work until 5:30 because no one could give me a ride to the bus before then. I crutched over to my friends’ apartment since it is close to a bus stop & I learned my lesson the previous night. The week was wearing on me, so I ended up staying the night there.
Though I tried to recover on Thursday (and did successfully rest/elevate my leg for a good, long while), by the time I got all my work done and coached a lacrosse game, I was so tired that my simple plans for the evening (shower, dinner, bed, wake up early to prepare for Friday) seemed daunting.
It’s no small wonder, then, that I was so tired I fell asleep with dinner in the oven. For the record, this is what a frozen chicken breast (that had taken up the entire diameter of the dish) looks like when your roommate gets home around midnight & turns off the oven because the charring smells didn’t wake you.
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