The first Saturday in December, we had a fun morning planned. My daughter was playing with her friend Karen in our local health food store, a piano and flute duo.


The first Saturday in December, we had a fun morning planned. My daughter was playing with her friend Karen in our local health food store, a piano and flute duo.

As they played, we visited over coffee and peppernuts. And later we shopped. What wonderful organic things I bought!

Elderberry juice to prevent the flu, extra virgin olive oil for bread, sand plum jam, sweet southwestern peach salsa and ingredients for a delicious trail mix.

It was 12:30 p.m. when we finally arrived at our car. And then it happened!

As I entered the car, my leg slammed into the sharp point of the car door, with very painful results.

Once home, I elevated my legs. There was no gash, but a painful bruise about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Two hours later, I tried to walk across the room. As I walked, I cried out with excruciating pain and the bruise swelled to the size of half a grapefruit.

I quickly called my nurse friend Helen. She came immediately, and the upshot was I was taken to the emergency room by ambulance with a hematoma.

Four hours later, I was home with instructions to elevate my legs, put no weight on that leg and see my primary physician Monday.

When I saw Dr. Goering, he had the same advice, and also warned I may require surgery.

At that, I said, “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done!”

Then Dr. Goering commented, “If this is the stupidest thing you’ve done, you’re pretty smart!”

Fortunately, that little bit of humor helped put things in perspective. And I recalled again why I chose him as my physician.

For years, I have used an “I Can Do It” daily calendar, which offers positive thoughts and words of wisdom daily. My calendar saying the day of the accident was very fitting: “I always choose a health professional who is just right for my current needs.”

How perfect! From my friend Helen to Dr. Goering and his nurse Lisa, there were so many wonderful people who participated in my care.

At my best estimate, there were 22 in all!

But a few stand out. First was Helen, who went to the ER with us and knew just the right questions to ask.

Then there was the person who attended me in the ambulance, calmed me with interesting conversation and promised to e-mail when his mother finds a publisher for her first book.

The surgeon Dr. McEachern, his nurse Angie and the kind, competent home health nurses — Valerie and Lori. And most of all my family, who suddenly became round-the-clock caregivers.

I was very depressed by my stupidity. I felt like Charlie Brown in Peanuts, who gets depressed about Christmas when things don’t work out for him.

But when I thought about all these competent and caring health-care workers, how could I be despondent?

So by Christmastime I was happy, because my healing had begun. And Christmas Day felt like a miracle.

After blizzard conditions the day before, Christmas Day dawned sunny and calm. We had just enough snow to enjoy a white Christmas.

And I realized there’s always a bright side to everything — if you just remember to look for it!

©2009 Marie Snider

Marie Snider is an award-winning health-care writer and syndicated columnist. Write Marie Snider at thisside60@aol.com or visit her Web site at www.visit-snider.com.