“Marina, it’s time to wake up to go to work. Your boss is going to be mad at you as usual,” my mother exclaimed as she was trying to wake me up. Apparently, she had no idea that I couldn’t sleep from the unbearable pain I had to deal with all night. “Mama, who cares about my boss? He is always feisty no matter what, even if I make it to work before sunrise,” I answered bitterly.
My mother found her way out to the kitchen mumbling, while I was preparing myself mentally, emotionally, and physically to what had been waiting for me. I knew that the moment had come and that it was time to uncover the foot. I was hesitant at first and I kept doing the sign of the cross on my ankle, hoping it’s a minor injury. I finally mustered up enough courage to look and removed the cover. “O.M.G, it’s a map not a foot!” I shouted shockingly. You name any color and you would find its different shades somewhere on the ankle. I was trying to stay calm when my mother came back in with coffee in her hands. She was about to spill it on the poor foot – just to add to my misery – when she noticed how colorful it was, I mean how horrible it looked.
I reached out to my phone to call Mr. Feisty informing him that I won’t be in, for God knew how many days, until I was able to figure out this “map” thing. At the time, I had no insurance and it was so expensive to check myself in at a regular hospital or practice. Thanks to my brother’s connections, he was able to call a friend of his who was a recent orthopedist graduate. He was kind enough to come to my place and examine my ankle. Despite the obvious symptoms of a serious fracture, his diagnosis came out as a sprain. I am an English major not science, the doctor must have been right.
He recommended that I use crutches and a gauze for about a month. “Not a biggie, Marina. You can tolerate this for 30 days and everything will get back to normal,” that was me trying to comfort myself. One month had passed, it was time to remove the gauze and examine myself again. Eagerly, I started to unwrap my ankle. I knew I had been on top of things; using crutches, troubling the other foot so as not to exhaust the sprained one, and my mother had been a third crutch to me especially when it was time to get up and down the stairs. There was no need to worry, I got this. The closer I got, the faster my heart would beat. Unwrapping was both emotionally and mentally exhausting. Finally, I was able to get to the foot that I almost forgot how it looked like before the doomed night. “Mamaaaaaaaa….,” screamingly I called my mother. The foot that was colorful a month ago, developed more colors. All the hard work that was put into it was just a waste of time.
It didn’t take me much time to decide that payment plans would be the best way to cover the medical expenses. Thanks to my amazing friend, Mary & her husband, they drove my mother and I to the emergency room of Fairfax hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. After almost three hours in the waiting room, the nurse was kind enough to finally take some x-rays. Shortly after, she came back with the results. “How long ago did this happen to you, ma’am?” the nurse asked coldly. “Mmm, about a month ago, I believe,” I calmly responded. With shocking eyes gazing at me, she resumed, “A month ago! Ms., you have had a fracture for a month now and you had no idea?” I knew it, I should have pursued a science degree.
After another hour or so, they finally sent me home. I was referred to an actual orthopedist this time who had put a cast on me as well as prescribing a special boot for the ankle. After four months, I was allowed to remove the cast and gradually, slightly started to press on the right foot again. I was so excited. I wanted to jump up and down. I wanted to run and do all kinds of activities. I realized that we never get to appreciate what we have until we lose it or are about to.
Wanting to celebrate this great news, my friends and I agreed to go for a short getaway. I have been stuck at home for four months with limited movement. I could not travel or go anywhere. Florida as a vacation destination for a couple of days seemed like an awesome idea. The following day, I went to work with full confidence that my boss would, without a doubt, approve my leave request. He had witnessed what I had been through and he should appreciate me coming to work despite my pitiful condition. However, to my shock, he denied my leave claiming that the couple of days I took off due to my ankle situation had affected work drastically. I was in disbelief that he did not want to approve my two days leave after all what I encountered. I had to go to work every day and drive with my broken foot for 50 miles. Not only that, but I also had no medical insurance to cover any of the expenses which was the main reason for being in a cast for more than expected. And on top of that, my salary experienced a big cut because of the days I took off. I was not only mad at my boss at the time, but also at God. He was the one who allowed all this to happen to me. All of this took place because I went to church that night seeking to hear the word of God and this was how I got rewarded.
As I was so bitter, angry, upset, oppressed and tired, I decided that God and I had to talk. Fortunately, the church was holding its annual retreat for the college ministry. I decided to sign up even if I was not a member of that group. I didn’t care about anything other than spending time with God and figure this out. Luckily, two of my friends decided to join as well and we drove together to West Virginia. Nothing was occupying my mind other than getting away in the woods, spending quality time with the Lord and obtaining a word from Him concerning my work situation which became intolerable.
The first day was like a blur. We made it to our rooms, unpacked, had dinner, attended the talk and went back to sleep. However, on the second day and after the talk, all the action took place. Some of the youth agreed to go on a hiking trip. As my foot was getting better day after another, I thought I am all healed and decided to join them. To someone who didn’t fully recover and never hiked before, it was quite of an adventure. To be continued…