Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Manic Tuesday?

Today is definitely not the worst day of my life but I think it is worth mentioning here just to capture a day of working in home health in Iowa, when things do not go your way.

I was sent to do an admission to a small town called Hartford, located about 20 miles south of Des Moines. It is mainly a farming community. The problem with small towns is that they usually do not have a detailed street map that you can buy. Maybe, if you go to the post office (if the town has one or if you can find it), you can find a map hanging on the wall. Anyway, usually, I use yahoo maps for direction but at times it is not accurate in some occasion like construction with detours or small rural towns. This time, it did not work for me.

I felt lucky at first because the road I was looking is off the main highway. My joy of finding it waned quickly when I found out that it is a dirt road. And dirt roads are super muddy when it is wet and rainy, like today! But it was too late when I learned of it.

I never been in a dirt road before, gravel road, yes, but not dirt road and there is a huge difference when it is wet and rainy --sticky, soft mud! The initial 300 to 500 feet of the road was gravel then it dips into a muddy, sticky dirt road. I was losing control of the wheel and finally after the initial downhill I was not moving at all because my tires got stuck in the mud. I, slowly, realized that I will not be able to trek this road. So, I turned and tried to returned to the main road. But it was not easy. There were ruts created by my tires. These long ruts made my car stuck in the middle of the road. I tried my darnedest to get out of it by stepping hard on my gas pedal and changing to lower gears. My engine started to emit light smoke like dry ice as it is working so hard. Small chunks of mud were flying everywhere and covered my car from top to bottom. After 15 minutes of trying and praying as well as bargaining to God that I will try to be a better person if He helps me out of this predicament, I finally got out of it. I felt so relieved, but shaken.

I took another road to get to my patient's house. Upon arriving, I told my patient and her family what happened to me. They were amused by my story and they told me that lots of people get stuck on that road. The city should place a warning sign not to use that road when wet. I was also informed that each car that got stuck there needed towing or assistance to get unstuck. When they learned that I unstuck myself, they were amazed and asked me if I have a 4-wheel-drive. When I told them that I have a compact sedan with front-wheel drive, they were more amazed. When asked how I did it, I answered "I bargained to God" because I am not really sure how I did it!

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