birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Wonderfully made

Wonderfully made. 

Time plus perspective = humor. This is my kind of logic. There are many days when I wish that the humor came first but it cannot. Just like I can’t control most of anything in the world but I keep thinking that I can and stumbling across my path.

Three years ago I was delusional. I was working part time in a new kind of nursing which I had not worked in previously, I had applied to graduate school and planned on attending full time and I was trying to help my husband run his business from home.

I believed and probably always have that increasing my speed and working hard would fix any problem that I had. It had worked sporadically enough to convince me to try it again. 
My husband was leaving for a 2 week job in Laredo Texas and he decided that he would clean out our rolling trash can. He tipped it upside down in the grass to dry and went to work at the Mercedes plant for the day. 
I arrived home from a morning appointment and began racing around trying to straighten up. 

I saw that trash can and went over to turn it right side up. This trash can opening is 3 foot square and 4 foot tall with wheels. As I said earlier- I was delusional about how strong I was and the can fell to the ground. I got mad and tried again to right the trash can and the swinging top came slamming around into my head knocking me to the ground. I was lying in the trash can lid facing the cavernous opening of the can. I remember thinking “shit- I have busted my head open.” When I tried to move, my neck angrily resisted. I couldn’t straighten my neck and I had blood running into my right eye.

I gathered as much of myself as I could hunchnecked myself to my car in the garage door and grabbed my phone. I could not find any comfortable position for my neck. I am grateful that I didn’t even think about looking in the mirror. I called my daughter who just happened to be home. She came over immediately and asked me what she needed to do. All my nursing training told me that because it was a neck injury- I should probably call 911. But I hated to make such a big fuss about it. 

I had too many things that I needed to do! See? Delusional…

We called the paramedics and they talked me into going to an ER that was not the hospital that I worked in. I guess I wasn’t delusional enough to be unconcerned about what others thought of me! 

After CT scans and revelations that I had bulging discs in my neck and then stitches to close the gash under my eyebrow- I was certain that I was going to be released to go home. The medical professionals kept asking me how this happened and I tried to explain how it happened. I am sure they tested my blood for the presence of alcohol or drugs. I was laughing a lot because as delusional as I was, I could still see the absurdity of the situation. I am sorry or happy to say that I can be delusional, lacking in reality without ingesting a drop or pill of any mind-altering proportions. It is a talent of which I am not particularly proud.

The physician comes in and says that he is not willing to release me to home because I have a large bruise/blood clot on the front of my larynx. He wants to send me to the big hospital downtown ( where I work) to let them make the call.

I forgot probably to mention that this was October 30- the day before Halloween which tends to be a crazy time in an emergency room. People do crazy things around this holiday.

 But transfer me they did and I rode another ambulance 30 minutes back into town but by this time, I had a painkiller in my system and I was a bit more comfortable. 

I lay on a paramedic stretcher for 2 hours out in the hall- I was breathing, quiet, and not bleeding and considered the perfect patient! 

It only took around 18 more hours and an MRI for someone to say that I could go home with a neck brace on. Then another 3 hours for the neck brace person to show up at the hospital for me to leave.

Was this self-inflicted? Absolutely. 

Was it deliberate? No. 

I think deep in the recesses of my psyche something said “you think you can do everything?” 


I was scheduled to speak on a panel that Saturday morning about intimacy in relationships. I know today that I had very little if anything of worth to say about Intimacy because the most crucial part of intimacy is the relationship one has within. I am grateful that the universe spared those people from anything my ego might have had to say! I was running roughshod over every still small voice in my vicinity. It is impossible to have any relationships of integrity when you are not even intimate with yourself!

Thanks to that trashcan I know several things of certainty. 

I am NOT trash and I do not belong in a trash can. I can listen to that small voice that says I was wonderfully made. I cannot hide from myself or my Creator. And now I have a lovely scar right under my right eyebrow to remind me.  


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