Fighting Poverty with Passion
Once in a while, life throws us a challenge that we’re hardly ready for. On January 30, I broke the femur in my right leg. For someone in his mid-20s to break a femur, he usually has to be involved in a very serious accident, such as car crash. Fortunately, I wasn’t involved in a car crash. Unfortunately, I broke my femur because I fell down two times on the same day: first, I slipped on some ice and then I slipped twelve hours later trying to get into my boss’s car.
In less than an hour after my second fall, I found myself at Tulane Medical Center, which is connected to where I live via a skywalk. The pain was intense. Having never broken a single bone in my body, the pain I was feeling was incomparable to anything I had gone through before. One, two, or a hundred expletives exited my mouth as I tried to cope with the pain. Finally on the morning of the next day—a Friday—I was spirited away to have my surgery.
I would go on to spend the entirety of the weekend in the hospital. I was finally released the following Monday. But all the while I was never alone. Through it all I had family and friends at my side. And though at times I felt overwhelmed with how many people were in my room at the hospital, I couldn’t help but feel very fortunate that all these people cared so much about me. And then there were those who couldn’t be in New Orleans to see me, but nevertheless they reached out to me via Facebook to make sure that I was all right. If anything else, I learned that weekend that even when things seem dire and you feel helpless, the love of your family and friends can see you through it all.
Close to three weeks after the surgery, I’m back in Deming, my apartment complex, where, thanks to Christina Abreo, the Interim Executive Director of La Cooperativa, and Jakita Allen, my AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, I’ll be able to work from home as I recuperate. So far, it’s been a little difficult to adjust to this new reality. On the one hand, I appreciate the fact that I don’t have to do anything too strenuous that could impede my recovery. I miss interacting with La Cooperativa’s members, though.
Having my accident occur during Mardi Gras season has stirred mixed feeling within me. Part of me isn’t really saddened that I’ll be missing out the parades this year. Having lived here for as long as I have, I’ve seen my share of parades, and I certainly don’t want to deal with the 50lbs of beads I tend to collect. In fact, what’s hard to cope with is missing out on making memories with my friends here in NOLA. Once I’m back on both of my feet, there’s no way I can turn around and march backwards and play out those unlived memories. What keeps going is that I know that things could always be worse. That day I broke my leg I could’ve broken something else or a car could’ve taken my life. And so I accept the card that life dealt me that day. Instead of losing myself in fear and regret, I intend to use these coming months as productively as I can. Perhaps this was the omnipotent Spaghetti Monster’s way of telling me that I needed to make a change in my life. Only time will tell what comes out of this new chapter in my life.