Well, this was the View From Here I didn't expect to see. Sitting in the back of an ambulance, in a back stabilizer-- I watched my farm fade away through the thick white cross symbols on the back windows of the ambulance.
I took a spill. It wasn't so much the fall as what I fell on. A solid sturdy wooden stool that cracked in between my lower spine and my ribs.
Funny how my first, urgent response was to get to Mike. He was in town attending a funeral, his second of the week. Marriage is a funny thing. Power struggles over chicken coops, two-way exasperation over kids, schedules, and housework. But when the world narrows to excruciating pain and fear there was only one person in the world I wanted to hold my hand and look into my eyes. Mike. The funeral director found him in seconds. He called home and said "call 911." By then I was starting to go into shock.
I wish I could say that help was there in a heartbeat. It wasn't. I hung on listening to Elmo's World in the background trying not to pass out. I thought by the time Elmo was over help would arrive. It didn't. Living in a remote rural area means having to wait at times like this. The first responder (one of only 3 in a county of 528 sq miles) was Nita who has been the first responder for 30 years. She gave me oxygen, took my vitals, said a silent prayer.
Then Rusty arrived. When I saw his face I could have cried with relief. I'd sat with Rusty in meetings for Big Stone Area Growth. His emergency radio clipped to his shoulder-- pausing his conversations and thoughts to listen to the squeaks of his radio. They are all volunteers you know. They got me to the hospital. No fractures. A few days on pain meds and I'll be fine. Mike surprised me by saying to the ER staff, "I didn't expect Kathy would be the first one to take an ambulance ride from the farm." His View From Here includes ambulance rides-- mine didn't. But then farming is dangerous and he's seen the ambulance at this farm before.
My friend Kris had just given me the book Population: 485. Meeting your Neighbors One Siren at a Time. A collection of poignent essays on being a first responder in a small community. Friday I found myself in one of those essays.
Thank you to Rusty, Jim, Nita, Mom, and the sheriff who came to my rescue. Thank you to the 10's of people who called offering help. Blessings to all of you.