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Back in February, Aaron Jr and I were living in my parents basement after selling our home in Lehi. (We have since then moved out and into our own place.) One night, after doing laundry, I was watching TV with my parents upstairs while I folded the laundry. Once it was all folded, I neatly put it all into the laundry basket for easy carrying down to the basement to put it away. On my way down the stairs with the laundry basket, my foot slipped off of one of the steps and my feet both started to come out of from under me. I had enough of my wits about me to know that I should not try to save the folded laundry, maybe causing me to hurt myself worse, so I let go of the laundry basket and let it go down the stairs. Since my feet came out from under me, I landed really hard on my rear end and bounced down a couple of steps on it. It really hurt my lower back and rear end. As I was sitting there in pain, my parents rushed over to see what had happened and to make sure I was okay. I sat there in pain, staring down the stairs at my once folded, but now unfolded laundry and basket sitting at the bottom of the stairs. I was bummed that I had to fold it all again, but I know now that the unfolded laundry was going to be the least of the problems that came out of that fall.
Since then, I have had back pain. I have always gotten the normal aches and pains in my back from a lousy night sleep, or from the beginnings of another exercise goal, or from a long car ride, or from pregnancy... but chronic back pain, never. Aaron had chronic back pain (degenerative discs). I had to watch him for nearly 6 years as he painfully tried to endure back pain that kept him awake at night and kept him adjusting in bed to try to find comfort to be able to sleep. This back pain of mine is a small taste of what he endured with his back for so many years. BUT, my back pain does not keep me from being able to sleep. It hasn't really interfered much as far as day to day activity, but the pain is just always there now. Some days are worse than others. It has even begun to affect my left hip joint and my left leg a bit. I think something is going on with the sciatic nerve now.
Anyhow, enough about the back pain and now to the reason why I was telling about the back pain in the first place.
Last week, I woke up one morning and my back was hurting more than usual. I was being lazy on a Sunday morning before church and I was laying on my bed with Aaron and we were watching a movie called 'The Best Two Years'. I love that movie. Anyhow, I finally decided to go in and take a hot bath to loosen the muscles in my back so that I could try to stretch it out. As I layed there in the tub, I knew I had made it a little hotter water than usual, so I was getting really hot and thought I should get out sooner than usual. So, I did. As I stood up, I pulled the plug and grabbed my towel off the hook as I stepped out onto the bath mat. As I wrapped the towel around me, I was feeling light headed (which is not completely unusual after standing up too fast from one of my baths), so I leaned against the sink to stable myself as I waited for the lightheadedness to pass.
Well, all of a sudden I was either watching the movie 'The Best Two Years' again, OR I was in the movie. I don't remember which. :) Then as that movie was playing, I began wondering why my head was hurting so much. Then I opened my eyes. At that point, I was really confused. I looked around for a bit to assess the situation and finally asked myself a question...
How did I get here, and why does my head hurt?
I couldn't for the life of me figure out when I had gotten back into the bath tub. I couldn't figure out why I was in such a strange position in the bath tub. I was sitting / laying back in the tub sideways. My bum was in the tub, while my legs were dangling over the edge and out of the tub, and my back was propped up at the back side of the tub with my head leaning back against the tile. Then, as I layed there, my brain was beginning to piece together what must have just happened. I hadn't been watching that movie again, I had been dreaming about it. I realized that the last thing I remembered was leaning against the sink waiting for the lightheadedness to pass by. But it hadn't passed by and then I was asleep in the tub.
I had totally passed out! What on earth?
When I finally felt like I had figured everything out and was awake enough to stand up, I stood up and grabbed my towel, this time from off of the floor. I looked into the tub and the last remaining bit of water was draining, so I guess I was only out for almost as long as it takes the tub to drain. As I walked out of the bathroom in my towel, I had to be really careful not to slip because there was a HUGE puddle of water all over the floor. Wow, I hit the water hard enough to make a huge splash? Anyhow, I went and layed back down on my bed. My head was hurting so much. My whole head. Aching badly.
As I layed there on my bed, I realized how blessed I was that nothing worse had happened. I kept going over and over in my mind what had happened and how badly it could have gone, but didn't. I was going through the scenarios where I could have cut my head open and been bleeding into the tub, or where I could have fallen back, but then fallen OVER sideways into the water as it drained and then drowned. I felt so blessed that neither of those scenarios had taken place because Aaron Jr would have been here alone. If he had come into the bathroom and had found me like that, I don't know if he would have known what to do. My brother's family, who live next door to us, were out of town. We don't know our neighbors yet, we haven't lived here that long. I was getting sick thinking about the 'what ifs' and 'what could have beens'. (I am good at that.) And also thinking about how grateful I am to Heavenly Father for the blessing that nothing worse happened. I have heard of people falling in their bathrooms and actually dying. But not me.
I had fallen back into the water, hit my head on the way down, and had layed there asleep until I came to. That's it. I know better than to look at things like this as just a lucky happenstance. I know that our Father in Heaven was protecting me. He loves us. He knows us. He is aware of us and what is going on it our lives, our needs, our desires, our hopes, our fears, everything. As I sit here typing this, I am crying as I think about if I had fallen a different way and had died. It scares me to think about Aaron Jr's life at that point. He already lost his dad, what if he had lost me as well? It makes me sick to think about it, BUT those thoughts help me to be more grateful for what did and what didn't happen. I am grateful to Heavenly Father, not only for His love... but also for His protection and for the precious time I still am blessed to have here with Aaron Jr.
Another tender mercy from a loving Father in Heaven.
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