Every Problem Has A Silver Lining

By Paramjeet Kaur (Pamma) • April 26, 2015

A bright Saturday morning it was, when I stepped out for the studio to get a passport photograph. This was followed by a pampering time at the beautician. Admiring my freshly pedicured feet I hopped into a restaurant for a quick bite as I had a lot of work to catch up with and then relax on the Sunday which was to follow. Little did I know what awaited me?

No sooner had I come out of the restaurant than I missed a step on the undulating pavement and I lay on the ground. Many a times I had sprained my ankle so I thought it was one of those annual sprains but it was not to be so. As I tried to get up, I wobbled and lay flat on the ground. The pain was excruciating. Well, people in Kolkata are very helpful; they got together and helped me to my car.

My only daughter stays abroad so I’ve got used to fending for my self because my husband a severe diabetic with diabetic foot problems can’t be of much help even if he wishes to. Sensing it was a fracture I contacted my sister who fortunately lives near a hospital and knows quite a few doctors there. The hospital happens to be far off but along with my husband we managed to make it.

I was lucky to get a good orthopedic surgeon. Immediately the X-ray was done and my family members were called out. I knew it was something serious but I was not told. A temporary plaster was put and I was admitted to the hospital. Later my husband told me that the ankle joints were broken and the thin calf bone too. According to the doctor it was very crucial. Operation was the only answer. My mind was in turmoil. I am a teacher and the examination corrections had to be completed. I asked my husband to get the papers. As the operation was scheduled for Monday I managed to finish my work and send across the marks on Monday. It wasn’t easy but I kept telling myself, “Hey! You’ve fractured your foot and not your hand.” What a relief it was to meet the deadline!

The awaited Monday dawned. I was wheeled in to the operation theatre. I was trying to be very brave. Three screws were put into my ankle. The operation was successful and I was to be released after a week. The hospital bed was my arena and the window, my communication with nature. I spent my time reading, messaging and writing some poems. The busy bee was trapped!

Sometimes luck can be very harsh. On the day I was to be released, I had another fall in the hospital due the nurse’s negligence. Thinking it not to be so bad I did not pay much heed to it but I did report it to the matron and she conveniently forgot to tell the doctor. I was released and I stayed with my sister for a week. I was pampered, taken care of and I had all the time in the world. I had to visit the hospital after a week before I came home.

A week passed. I was taken to the hospital. The doctor examined me and said to just have an X-ray before leaving the hospital. The needful was done. I was being wheeled out of the hospital when the doc called my husband on his cell and asked where we were. He called us back and shaking his head said that I couldn’t leave. “What?” I exclaimed. “Why?” asked my husband. The doc showed us the X-ray on the computer screen.

“I don’t understand,” I said.

He explained that the little bone holdng the screw had been smashed. He asked me if I had put pressure on my foot. No, I hadn’t. Well, it was that fall in the hospital that had done it. I am mentally a very strong person but that was when I broke down. I was wheeled back to the hospital room once again and another operation awaited me. How I cursed my luck! The next day the operation was done and my leg was put in a heavy plaster as I would have to wait for the bone to join naturally. One screw could only be fitted.

I had to spend two long months in bed. Positive thinking is an attribute gifted to me by God and was made stronger by my late mother who never let us lose hope. I spent the two months pleasantly. I took it as a rest from my hectic life. I felt God had seen me working very hard so he had given me that rest.

Being fifty plus I used to be petrified of the computer, but this period I devoted to the laptop which my husband had brought for me three years ago on his visit to Bangkok. It was an educational experience. I educated myself and the computer, once a monster for me was transformed into my best friend. I can’t imagine myself typing out this anecdote and mailing it.

So many friends and well wishers came visiting me. My daughter also flew down from Muscat to spend some time with me. I found old friends on Face book. Music, which I feel is the food of joy was my saviour. I had so much to do! Of course there were times when I did get irritated and frustrated but I overcame them. My coaching classes continued in my bedroom. As I teach the board classes, their work couldn’t be held up. The school work also carried on, like setting the papers and correcting them. It was tough but God helped me out. Before the winter vacation I did go to school with my massive plaster. Our Principal was very considerate and extended all the help that I required- God bless him! Time went fleeting by.

Today, it’s nearly two years. I still have to wear a band around my ankle. I am allowed to wear only sports shoes (even in the blasting heat). Despite all this, I feel I am lucky. Now my family tells me that the doctor had told them that it would be a miracle if I could walk after such a crucial fracture. Yes, it is a miracle- I walk, though with a limp, I am able to do all my work. I also went to Amritsar, all by myself to offer my heartfelt gratitude to God.

Of course limitations have come up in life but I have learnt to accept them. My pace has slowed down. Twice, I went to the seaside but couldn’t wade in the sea (I used to love doing that.) I used to go for long walks which I cannot anymore. If I stand for long I get an excruciating pain. Inspite of all this, I consider myself blessed as I am mobile and can carry on with teaching which is my passion. Thanks to my doctor, Dr. Brijesh Rai who did not take me for a ride. When he first saw me walk into his clinic, he stood up and said that he would offer a prayer that day. It was then that I realized what a serious situation I had been through.

My advice to all the negative thinkers- look for the silver lining and remember the words of Richard Bach,

“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands”

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