Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sister Hartzell's accident and transfer week

Dear family and friends,
            Last Sunday we took the Bowies to church and enjoyed our meetings. The concluding speaker in Sacrament meeting was a newly returned missionary, Elder Bailey, who served in Germany and gave a great talk on the Tree of Life.  His younger brother is a ward missionary and has been team teaching our Gospel Essentials class and doing a great job.  He will make a great missionary next fall when he leaves. After Church we dropped of the Bowies and needed to go to the mission office to do a couple things before tomorrow.  We had several people mention to us that the park called “The Old Mill” close to our office is really beautiful with the spring bushes and trees in bloom.  So we decided to stop by and see it.  We had a really nice time taking some pictures and walking around. 


Beautiful flowers at The Old Mill
Then just as we were getting ready to leave, life got more interesting really fast.  I tripped and started to fall and could not catch myself. I was able to drop my purse and walk out of my shoes but I fell headfirst into a pond that had rough concrete made rocks and gashed my fore head pretty deep but a clean-cut. I fell headfirst into the water and was completely submerged.  I turned over and tried to stand up.  Jim had jumped in and helped me up and another fellow jumped in the water and they lifted me out of the water to the bank.  The water was about 3 feet deep.  Another fellow there was a nurse and took over assessing me.  Checking my eyes for signs of possible concussion.  Besides my head bleeding pretty badly, also my right arm really hurt, more so than my head and I wouldn’t let anyone touch it.  The fire department responded to the 911 call and determined that I didn’t need an ambulance, and Jim could drive me to an urgent care for treatment.
            At the urgent care I received three stitches in my forehead gash, which was quite deep.  They however didn’t have an x-ray technician so we had to drive to another town 15 minutes to the north and get the radiology done there.  My right wrist is fractured and will need to see an orthopedic doctor in a couple days.  Quite the traumatic afternoon and evening by the time we got back to the apartment.   Jim helped me get cleaned up and I slept on the couch for the next several days to make it easier to get up.  Despite the problems we were thankful that things were not any worse.  The broken wrist was the result of trying to stop myself and that probably saved my head from much worse injury.  There were lots of people at the park that came to help, great Christian service and attitude.  Priesthood blessing helped too.  I am on an antibiotic to prevent infection and a pain killer. Jim: as you can guess this typing is mine so if there are errors consider the source.  The ground at the park is very rough.  Flagstone walks mostly so the ground is uneven and I was unfortunately behind her rather than in front when she tripped.  A helpless feeling, as an initial bystander watching this play out in front of me, and hearing my wife call my name as she is falling into the pond, caused me great heartache and a hard time sleeping Sunday night as I would see that scene, and hear those words over and over.  Thankfully those things fade in time and then we can focus on the blessing we received. 

            Monday we stayed home all day. We rested and took naps and Jim took good care of me. Jim went to the office for a little while in the evening and Larry and the kids stopped in for a surprise visit while he was gone. We played games and that was fun but tiring. 
            Tuesday, we both slept better last night.  I had a hair appointment in the morning and then we went into the office to do the transfer data entry.  President has changed the organization of the mission from 5 zones to 10, so there were lots of changes to make.  It took about 4 hours.  I did okay, but had to take a nap part way through. As long as the pain med is working I am okay, but towards the end of the 6 hours my wrist is really hurting.  We have received a couple good dinners, which Jim especially appreciates, since he doesn’t have to cook it.
            Wednesday morning we had our training for the new missionaries and that went fine.  We were already in west Little Rock, so we went from there to an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon that Larry knows and is in his ward.  It was at the clinic and it was packed and took a long time to get into seeing Dr. Tait, even with an appointment.  Result was confirmed broken wrist of fractures in end of the ulna bone, which fractured in several places.  I have a pretty blue cast now and the hope is that the ulna will heal and not shift alignment.   It was nearly 3 pm before we finally got to the office and worked for a couple hours and went home.  Sister Hess is helping me at my desk, fetching and doing the typing.  She is a great blessing to be available to me, I don’t know what I would have done if she were not available. 
            Thursday went well.  Sister Hess was such a help to me. We sent out letters, answered emails, and processed three missionary recommendations.  We had some shopping to do for the office at Sam’s Club after work, and of course “had to have pizza” for dinner there. 
Friday I got my stitches out this morning and then we did our cleaning of the office, one winger and all.  Sister Hess helped finish the recommendations and the usual answering emails and follow up items with the new missionaries. I received a beautiful flower arrangement delivered from President and Sister Wakolo.  It was a pretty good day.  Jim: I was blessed to have a pretty light week at the office and I was thankful for that, given the other time commitments.

            Saturday was conference and we enjoyed each session, seeing President Monson and hearing to our joy that our mission president was sustained as a general authority seventy.  That was totally a surprise to us, and yet not.  We are proud to know him and his wonderful wife.  They will do wonderful where ever they are called to serve in the world.  We will still have them until the end of June, we assume.
            Love, Elder and Sister Hartzell


Julie Garrett said...

You look better with every picture. So sorry this had to happen. 2 years ago, just as we were getting ready to move, we were in St. George where Marshal had a conference. I was walking down the hall in the hotel and tripped. I tried to catch myself, but couldn't. Before I fell I pulled my ham string muscle and tore my rotator cuff. Much physical therapy later and shoulder surgery I was just fine. I hope you heal fast. Interesting about you mission president. Now you will have to break (pardon the use of that word) in a new one before you come home.

Shelley said...

I didn't realize he was one called. How neat! Those pictures look brutal but I'm so glad things are looking and feeling better. What a story huh!! Love you guys and miss you tons!