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Renner: Life is a Trip Part I - Don't be alarmed

I cannot tell you how glad I am it is this year and not last year. On July 1, 2012, I stepped on my alarm clock.

I know what you are thinking. What was my alarm clock doing on the floor or why was I walking on my nightstand next to the bed? The answer to either of these two questions is irrelevant. The reality is I was rendered incapacitated. (I was also a little constipated, but I think that was from the painkillers.)

Stepping on my alarm clock caused me to twist my foot in the exact opposite direction I was intending to step. This twist caused my foot to swell up and turn various colors of purple. Not being able to stuff my swollen rainbow-colored foot into a normal shoe caused me to go to the ... get this ... "walk-in clinic."

Need I say I didn't walk out of the walk-in clinic? I hobbled out in the gigantic black book and a pair of crutches. Wait, hobble is way to tame of a word. In truth, I left the building the way a spasmodic octopus probably would have. I had arms, crutches, a free foot, a foot strapped into a knee high BIG boot, car keys, and my purse flapping and flying in every direction.

I can assure you during this time, no one was watching the 72-inch screen TV, taking a nap after waiting two hours or reading the Christmas issue of Reader's Digest.

All eyes in the waiting room were waiting to witness the miracle of me getting out the door without breaking any other of the 207 bones in my body. My sister Mary said it best. She said that me with a boot and crutches is just another accident waiting to happen.

I am "crutchedly" challenged. Add painkillers to that mix and I am screwed. Is it my imagination or is the medical community working against us?

I mean, here I come into a clinic admitting that I was klutzy enough to break my foot by stepping on an alarm clock. So the solution is to give me a giant boot that it is so heavy I can hardly lift it off the ground, a pair of crutches that are actually 6 inches below my armpits and a bottle of painkillers? Does this combination sound like a secure and safe plan to ultimately provide me with steady protection from further breaks? HECK NO!

This combination screams "See you back here in about a week. And be sure to use our crawl-in entrance around the back."

Eventually, I did successfully stumble out of the walk-in clinic to my car. By "successfully," I mean that I personally did not fall and break another appendage. However, my "now-extra shoe" fell out of my purse and my car keys fell out of my hand.

I was crutching my way back to my car from the clinic. I thought I was really clever to take the car keys out of my purse before I even took one step with the crutches. Well that backfired on me because right in the middle of the drop-off area, the keys fell out of my hand and got caught in the straps of my foot boot. I couldn't stop right there and try to untangle them. I kept moving towards my car and, with every stomp of my boot, the keys jangled and threatened to fall to the ground.

I personally envisioned them falling right when I got to the car and me kicking them under the car with all the force behind that huge black book. The vision included having to sit on the ground and fish the keys out with one of the crutches. I am happy to say that did NOT happen. When I finally got to my car, I leaned the crutches against the car. They, of course, immediately slid to the ground, scratching the car door on the way and clattering into a heap on the parking lot. I have learned that crutches are secretly programmed to slide down to the ground, no matter what you set them up against. There is no cupboard, no cabinet, no table, no desk. Nothing that crutches can be leaned against.

I put my purse down on the germy ground so I could use both hands to untangle the keys. That was easier said than done. I ended up bending over and pushing the unlock button on my keys so I could at least get in the car and sit down. Butt first, I flopped down sideways in the driver seat and began to tackle the chore of untangling my keys. It took some time, but eventually I did get everything and myself situated into the car.

I didn't keep exact track, but I think three lucky people walked out of the clinic and drove away during the time it took me to get to and into my car. I put my purse up front on the passenger seat.

I leaned the crutches behind the driver seat and they immediately slid to the floor. I got both feet to fit under the steering wheel, although it felt like my foot boot was dangerously close to the break.

The key was finally safely in the ignition. I paused and thanked God that it was my left foot that I had broken so that theoretically I could still drive.

Then I reached over to my purse to take out the painkiller prescription the doctor had given me so I could stop and fill it before driving home. Yup, you guessed it! It wasn't in my purse.

I had left it lay on the registration counter in the walk-in clinic. I then asked God to please forgive me for the words that were now going through my head.

Renner is a Dickinson native and a retired Dickinson High School librarian who works part-time at the Dickinson Public Library.