We were do-it-yourselfers before they became DIY in message-speak. However, it never occurred to me that I could start rumors about myself, and I really didn’t do it intentionally. The message I thought I sent, and the one that arrived were quite different.
The problem began at The Big Chill, a weekend writers’ retreat, with a late night fall as I got out of the shower followed by a call to 911, two very kind friends who followed the ambulance and gave aid and comfort through the ordeal, a diagnosis of a broken humerus with a prescription for pain medication and a sling, and instructions to see an orthopedic doctor when I returned home.
By the time we finished, it was two o’clock Sunday morning. I was loopy from the trauma, the pain meds, and lack of sleep. Having been taken to task before for not letting family members know immediately when there was a problem, I typed out a message to Al and the son and DIL who live nearby. It read, “I am okay after a fall getting out of the shower and a trip to the emergency room. I have a small break in my upper arm that will probably entail six weeks in a sling. I need to see the orthodontist next week to read X-rays and make a plan.”
Whether I made the mistake in my loopy condition or auto-correct misread my mind again, I could not say for sure. However, the recipients read what I wrote, not what I intended, and were filled with visions of missing teeth along with the broken arm. Since the DIL arrived early with her flower arrangement for the Sunday service, she passed along the word to one of our pastors who shared and – you can guess the rest with early committee meetings, choir, then Sunday school classes drifting in – the word was out.
Thus, I inadvertently started an unfounded DIY rumor about myself. Like most rumors, it has been harder to reel in than to distribute. I’ve spent a good bit of time for the last week answering questions about which teeth and how many were involved in the accident. I tell my concerned friends that I have seen the orthopedic doctor, the only one I needed to see, and he has assured me that the sling I got in the emergency room is all that is necessary. He said The Great Physician will take care of the healing.
You can see the sling and the intact teeth in the picture. I am left to ponder if there a lesson here about spreading rumors – whether or not they fall under the DIY category.