Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Brush with 112--Part I

While my injury story started on a Saturday morning, the reason why I was where I was happened about a month prior.

Every year, a Bible conference is held at Interlaken in Switzerland. It's not cheap, but from everyone who has went has said that it is worth it. It's a yearly event that occurs not long after July 4th. Hubby was on a 6-month business trip and our pastor's wife convinced me to go. I found a great deal on a room and a friend, that was already going, wanted to tag along with me and pay half the gas. Yeah! Reservation made, room booked, bags packed, a house/dog sitter booked, dog food bags made up, and lists made. Everything was going perfect except for one little detail:
Going from the north-eastern part of Italy where we live to Interlaken meant one of two ways....1) Go through the mountain via a 5 (or 10..don't remember now) mile tunnel OR 2) go over the mountain where you could glance out your passenger window and see straight drops. Oh goody! Sounds like something that would make me either hurl or pass out. Since I hated both ideas, but the thought of plunging to my death (slowly) off a steep mountain was worse, I chose through the looooooong tunnel. Dear Adele (above said pastor's wife) asked to ride along when we got to that point. Yea, a God-fearing lady who has been to the conference for at least the past 9 years chooses the tunnel over the over-pass if she has the option...."Although the tunnel's not ideal." Ummmm....WHAT?!?!

The closer to the day, the more nervous I got. I was so nervous (butterflies and all) the night before that I barely slept...not a good thing given that I was about to embark on a 9 to 10-hour drive....part of the way through a looooong tunnel. Oh! And Interlaken is snug in a mountain valley, so more mountain driving. {See why I was a tad nervous?}

I woke up the morning of July 9th, 2011 with a tummy-full of butterflies and a pit of dread in my gut. I prayed starting almost from the moment I opened my eyes. I got up at 4:30am. I took a shower and finished the last bit of prep. I had packed a suitcase for staying in a dorm-type room....I had enough clothes and toiletries for the week along with dish washing stuff and a few things to keep me entertained during downtimes. I had packed the Jeep the night before and had parked it downstairs in the attached garage (originally built as a ground-floor house with its' own entrance, but work stopped when the son changed his mind....the vehicles are normally parked underneath the bedroom/half-bath/office) so that it was safe as well as enclosed for the last few items. I shut the dogs behind the hallway door that led to the bedrooms and grabbed the first of 2 loads I had left to take. In my arms were: my handbag (that had my phone and a bottle of water for the drive), pillow (I take it with me when I travel as a sense of home), and a bag of recycling that needed to go (as a last prep for the dog/housesitters).

This first pic is looking down the stairs from our "livable floor."
 This pic shows the height of the stairs. Taken from the ground floor looking towards the back. Around the corner is where we can park our vehicles out of the elements.

Now that you know what I was carrying, visualize that......

Arms full.

Italian steps (higher than American ones).

A bottom step that has an extra inch-ish because it doesn't quite touch the concrete floor.

Oh! And slippy sandals. The type that when you take a wrong step, your feet tend to slide in them.
This is not the offending shoe. That one was tossed by a dear friend of mine. Hopefully with Oomph! lol

Now that you know the background, the stage is set for what happened next.