Mary Burns

First post: Aug 24, 2021 Latest post: Aug 30, 2021
It was an ordinary Tuesday morning until a moment of poor coordination or inattention changed my life. In just seconds a new twist to life. Unexpected and unwelcome. 

It happened descending the stairs. It happened while changing directions on the landing partway down the stairway. While coming around the corner to descend the last three stairs, I tripped and couldn’t prevent a flying fall onto the flagstone floor. The contact broke 5 pelvic bones and fractured the sacrum. 1 disc shows a compression fracture, and 2 discs appear to have slipped. 

The predicted recovery period for fractured pelvis usually follows a course including a difficult first 3 months. During the 3–6-month period there are gains in mobility along with less pain walking with walker and cane. Finally, the 6 month to one year period can include decreasing and sometimes even vanishing pain, and it usually includes changing from walking with a walker, to a cane and sometimes discarding the cane. The pain also decreases and may even vanish. 

The earliest hours and days of the injury now seem like a blur. I recall much pain and the sedating numbing effects of pain medication including narcotics. The body mind seemed to be a blob of unruly pain of all varieties and intensities. Bracing against the pain was instinctual but not helpful. All that tension just like the second arrows the Buddha described. Knowing that it doesn’t help to brace against the pain, did not stop the body instinct from reacting with avoidance. “Avoid the PAIN” has been a primary instinct. Fearing the pain, automatic. Remembering to relax and investigate the sensation is work and cultivated. And, worthwhile. 

I welcome the voice of others on this Caring Bridge site. I have discovered and rediscovered over these 3 weeks of body trauma, that the voice of others helps. Kind and wise words penetrate the habits of pushing against, as well as all the urges to get away, to escape the pain. The voice of the other can immediately give warmth and ease to my heart mind. The center of my chest and belly relaxand warm. The whole body then relaxes with these gifts of caring and kind words. The touch of the other is not distant. It is immediate and intimate regardless of geographic distance. 

So, I invite your words, and the wise and kind words you might find caring or inspirational as you meet the welcome and unwelcome aspects of life. I will gladly accept your kindness and the energy of giving. I’m learning to receive more deeply in this healing phase of life. Please touch in from time to time. It’s a long road to recovery.