Personal and Professional Lessons from My “Healing Broken Leg!”

Today is the 6 month anniversary of my “Healing Broken Leg.” As I look outside at the snow on the ground, I think about the beautiful sunny day on July 12, 2016, which also was our eldest son’s birthday. I was about to transplant some ornamental grasses that were in my plant nursery at the end of the 4.5 foot raised terrace and lilac bed. All I remember is putting my right foot on the shovel. The next think I remember was literally flying (6.0 feet) away from the bed. I believe that my left foot, which was in my rubber garden clog, slipped on the damp railroad tie at the top of the terrace because the sprinkling system had been on earlier that morning.

Luckily my husband was home and he heard my screams for help. As I speaker, I know how to project my voice. However, this was the most extreme projection I had ever produced. In between cries for help, I practiced my yoga belly breaking, so I would not hyperventilate or pass out from the pain. When my husband, Jordan, looked out our bedroom window to see what and where the noise was coming from he said he was relieved that I was screaming and alive. He immediately rushed outside to help me and was  greatly relieved that I could move my body and was not paralyzed.

To a make a long story short, the paramedics took me to our hospital’s emergency room where only a broken tibia (shinbone) was confirmed. You can learn more about that Brain Color experience in my Crucial Health Care Advocate Lessons That Can Help You! blog post on October 4, 2016.Then an ambulance took me to my Jordan’s orthopedic surgeon who put my leg the first of 3 casts and 1 brace on my leg. Then it was home to rest and begin the lessons my “Healing Broken Leg” would teach me.

My Yellow Brain remembered my mother’s sage advice: “Man makes plans and God laughs.”  Just when you think you are in control, you are not! Yes, I had personal plans of working in my garden and enjoying the summer fruits and flowers.

I also had professional plans to complete my agreement with Innovative Health Care Speakers Bureau to be one their speakers, help health care professions understand their Brain Colors and their patients perspective, and promote my latest book, What Color Is Your Brain?® When Caring for Patients. All my personal and professional plans were put on hold.

My Blue Brain has always been helpful to others. I suddenly had to learn to let others help me physically, especially my loving, compassionate, and caring husband. I would always say and continue to say, “Thank you, Jordy!” and he would sweetly reply, “My pleasure!”

Professionally, I learned to be flexible with my time and work when I was not tired and not become upset when I felt like my “Healing Broken Leg” had eaten my brain and I could not find the right words or unscramble my thoughts.

My Green Brain learned to focus on my “Healing Broken Leg” and my body. My normal Blue Brain Personality enjoys chatting and visiting with others. However, I discovered that I wanted my privacy. Often did not want to talk on the phone or receive visitors, including my wonderfully thoughtful children and grandchildren. I also researched how to contact the appropriate health care professionals to help me and my “Healing Broken Leg.” Of course Dr. Spiros Stamelos took splendid care of me, as did our chiropractor Dr. Randy Horning and his wife Diann. Antonia Nelson, a dear friend and a Myofascial Release Therapist referred me to Dr. Deborah Mitchel and Dr. Allyson Stellmach at Red Rock Physical Therapy and Wellness. My Green Brain loves learning more about my body than I ever thought imaginable.

Professionally, I learned that I could diligently focus my brain to write two 2 two-hour modules for 600 hundred medical students in the University’s Anschutz Medical Campus-Interprofessional Education and Development Program. The first “Life Skills” module was entitled Brain Color Teamwork and Collaboration and the second module was entitled Brain Color Conflict Resolution and Creative Problem Solving.

My Orange Brain as my “Healing Broken Leg” progressed, I learned to be more courage about my physical challenges, which I had previously taken for granted, such as getting in and out of the car, going up and down the stairs, getting in and out of the shower, shopping, cooking, and doing the laundry. I suddenly needed help getting in and out of a wheel chair, using a walker, taking a shower, doing laundry, and making meals, just to name a few.

Professionally, I learned to be patient with my healing, remain open minded about my recovery, and to modify my business goals to accommodate my “Healing Broken Leg.”

The most profound “Life Lesson” I learned was how grateful and joyful I am that my injury is only temporary! My level of compassion has copiously increased when I think about or see our brave veterans and their families, who have permanent physical and mental impairments and other children and adults who are born with impairments or have become injured or ill. Before my accident, I could only be understanding of someone’s impairment. Now, I have a greater awareness,  knowledge, and perspective of what it feels like to physically and mentally impaired.

Each day I am abundantly grateful for my loving and compassionate husband who continues to be on my  “Healing Broken Leg” journey with me and that I am now able to walk, work, and continue to recuperate!

Boost your Brain Power and Discover your Brain Colors! Don’t forget about the  FREE Chapter, #7 Your Romantic Relationships, from my original What Color Is Your Brain?® book, that you will receive when you sign up for my new Sheila’s Brain Blog section at the bottom of my home page!

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  1. Jane Richards on January 12, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Sheila, I’m so glad that you shared your story of “Your Healing Broken Leg”. The story gave me a deeper understanding of what you’ve endured with this injury. Even though you had told us at the time of our last Masterminds meeting, a broken leg seems fairly benign. Your story goes so much deeper than that.

    • sheila on January 18, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Dear “Silver OSU Sister,Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am happy that my story gave you a deeper understanding of enduring a disability or injury. Yes, my Green brain did not want to talk about the situation, discomfort, and difficulties. It all was part of my healing process. With warmest regards from my blue heart!!

  2. Penelope Steiner on January 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Sheila, I aplolgize for the delay in expressing my concern about your major vicissitude. You are a hero in accepting and managing your physical, emotional, psychological pain.
    8 years ago my ankle was broke (wish I’d had your colorful brain analysis then).
    One positive outcome I read all the untouched books on my nightstand!
    Keep writing brilliant lady, Penelope

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