Since the gas prices have gotten so out-of-control, my friend Paula and I have begun carpooling to work a little more frequently than we used to. We used to carpool to nursing school together, and when she took a job at the same hospital at which I work, albeit on a different floor, I knew we would be carpooling again, and I was thrilled about it. After all, we never run out of things to talk about, and now we would get to see each other on occasion, sometimes even often, depending on how our schedules worked out.
This week, we were working a couple of the same nights. One of those nights was Tuesday. I drove down to her house to leave my car, and she drove us out to work, as is our routine on the nights that it is her turn to drive. We made it through the night fine and made it back to her house...and this is where it all fell apart.
When we arrived at her house, I noticed that I had a flat tire on my car. So I figured that Paula and I could change it, as we have done this before, on her car, after a clinical session one day during nursing school. I went to work, loosening the lug nuts, with the lug wrench that came with the car. To do this, I had to stand on it, as those suckers were on pretty tight! All was going well...until my shoe slid off the wrench that I was standing on...and I fell on my turned ankle...and I heard a pop.
When Paula came back outside, I was sort of crying/hyperventilating from the extreme pain in my ankle. She asked if I needed to go get it checked, and we looked at it, and it wasn't swelling, so I said no. She offered Advil; I accepted; she went to get it.
When she got back, everything had changed. A swelling the size of a golf ball was on the outside of my ankle. She took one look at it and said she was taking me for x-rays. I asked where. She replied, "Back to work." Well, work was 35 minutes away.
By this time, her husband was up, and he was dragging all sorts of tools out of his garage. He told us he would take care of the car, and we headed back to work, to the ER, to get my ankle checked out. The good news was that it was just a sprain, which worked out perfectly, because a broken ankle would have meant an extended time off work, as well as an inability to fulfill my summer bonus contract, which would mean I would not be getting the bonus that Bill and I are counting on. The bad news was that it was now 9 AM, and Paula was expected back at work that night, and she was running lower on sleeping time.
However, she never flinched. She was most concerned that I was taken care of, and she definitely did the right thing in insisting that I go get my ankle checked. It turns out that it is a pretty bad sprain, and I am on crutches (although I get to start walking with the crutches today, which will up my mobility quite a bit). The doctor told me I could expect a three-week healing time before I am back to normal.
And while we were off on our ER adventure, Paula's husband took my tire off, blew it back up, found a nail in it, removed the nail, patched the tire, and put it back on the car. Friends going above and beyond? Two out of two. Grateful person who was so lucky to have such great friends taking care of her? That would be me.