The day started out rough. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed with a mildly cranky kid. Breakfast improved both our moods though, so I was thankful for that. I decided that, after checking the City website for hours, we would head down the street to the nearby paddling pool. I decked Ginny out in her swimsuit, packed a towel, sunscreened her, and prepared myself mentally to interact with other mothers. We arrive at the paddling pool…and it’s closed. There is no signage to indicate why or for how long, but I was pretty annoyed. We then began the disappointed journey home, being attacked to death by mosquitos the entire way. It was awful. Ginny was sad, I was mad, and our legs were covered in bugs.
We arrived home and Ginny went to play while I tried to figure out why the heck that pool was closed. No information was to be found so I just grumbled to myself and my sister about it. Sarah had the day off, so when she came home around lunch time, we settled in for sister time and watched Mamma Mia and talked wedding stuff. It was nice. It was making the day seem better. Around 4 o’clock, I decided to head downstairs to check the mail.
This would prove to be my undoing.
Two – just two – steps down, I slipped. My right foot skidded down a step and I grabbed the railing to stop myself. Unfortunately, my left foot stayed put, and boy did it. I heard a really awful serious of pops and snaps and then when I had steadied myself, I looked down at my left foot to see it pointing away from me, ankle looking bulgy and wrong.
Panic set in. I crawled back up the stairs, managed to open the hallway door, and began yelling my sister’s name. She came quickly, and was obviously startled to see me laying on the floor breathing like a maniac. “I think I broke my foot!!” I managed to say. She grabbed her phone and came out to the landing and knelt next to me. “Should I call 911 or Bryan?” she asked. “I DON’T KNOW!!” I truly had no idea. Fortunately, the landlord happened to enter the building at that moment. He offered to call the ambulance while Sarah called Bryan, and then the landlord went outside to wait and direct the paramedics. Bryan works close to home so was able to get to us within probably five minutes. He grabbed a pillow to rest my foot on, and just sat next to me while we waited.
Finally the paramedics arrived. This really has no relevance to the story, but they were so incredibly handsome. Anyways, they came up the stairs to chat with me and check my vitals and then, bless them, give me drugs. By this point my foot was completely purple and they couldn’t find a pulse at all. They helped me down the stairs onto the stretcher, loaded me into the ambulance, and the next thing I knew I was at the hospital. While I was out, they popped my ankle back into place, which subsequently saved my foot, bringing back my pulse. I am very thankful for that.
The wait in emergency was excruciating. They weren’t allowed to give me anything else, so as the drugs wore off, I started crying in the hall. I was scared and sad and the shock had worn off and it was awful. I don’t know how long we waited, but when we finally got into a room I was so relieved. More drugs were administered and I felt much better, if not a little loopy.
The staff at that hospital really helped me. I mean, obviously they helped me because that’s their job, but they were all so cheerful and funny and just really helped take my mind off of what happened. When I think about that awful night, I think about how amazing everyone was, not how miserable I was.
Eventually, my bones were set, my first cast was put on, and we were sent home with crutches. I suck at crutches. We drove home where my brother was waiting to help, and that walk from the car my bed was the worst walk of my life. Halfway up the sidewalk I sat down on a piece of wood and quit. I honestly didn’t think I’d make it home. I was hot, sweaty, exhausted, and feeling nauseated and defeated. After a very long time, I did make it into the apartment, but it was not fun and involved a whole lot of puking. That night was pretty bad too, especially knowing I had to get up and head back to another hospital the next day.
As I said, we went out to another hospital the next morning. We spent most of the day in waiting rooms, I got a couple xrays, a new cast, and then was told to head back home and await a phone call about surgery. The days following this were awful. I couldn’t keep any food down, I was tired, I couldn’t look after myself, and poor Bryan and to take that week off of work to look after me. It was terrible, waiting for the phone call to schedule my surgery. When we finally did get the call though, I felt such relief, as I knew it was a major stepping stone to recovery.
Surgery day arrived, 5 days after the initial accident. We arrived at a third hospital, and proceeded to wait 4 hours to head up to the operating room. In general, I try to be a very understanding person about hospital wait times, especially in the emergency room. However on this day, I was quickly losing my patience. I was running on next to no sleep, had hardly eaten anything in days, let alone the pre-surgery fasting, and just wanted to get this thing over with. Finally though, we were taken up.
Waking up from surgery sucks. Back when I had my gallbladder removed, I remember hating the oxygen mask and how generally weird I felt upon waking. This was so much worse. I had to fight to wake up, my eyes were so heavy and the oxygen was so…oxygeny. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t say anything. My entire body felt tense, especially my leg, and I couldn’t just relax. Finally the mask was removed and I felt a zillion times better, though it took another hour for my body to relax, and a day or so for my leg.
The nurse took me to my room where my faithful, steadfast, wonderful husband was waiting. I was treated to a hospital dinner of macaroni and cheese and oh my GOSH it was amazingly delicious. It was wonderful to have my appetite back. I did throw up a couple times the next day, but other than that the nausea has disappeared. Then it was time to go home, where I proceeded to have the best sleep I’ve had in weeks. It was niiiice. Though disappointing to remember the broken ankle when I woke up.
Throughout all of this, we had Ginny on and off. Her grandparents living so close has been a blessing, as they’ve been willing to take her for a few days at a time here and there. I can’t look after her properly right now, and it’s devastating. She wants so badly to be helpful, but only succeeds in getting in the way. Her cuddles are rejuvenating, but her presence is exhausting. It’s brutal being a parent when you’re injured or sick.
Yesterday, I went to see the doctor and was pleased to learn that my cast would be coming off permanently. I now have an air cast boot thingy, and it’s a game changer. I’m not allowed to put pressure on my foot, but I no longer have to lay around with it elevated all the time, and it weighs 800lbs less than the plaster. Plus, I can take it off to shower. And my poor wrinkly foot needs a good cleaning.
These past 2 weeks have been something else. I go from being thankful for the love shown to me by everyone, to resentful that people don’t seem to understand that I don’t want to do anything. These next 5 weeks are going to be tough, but I know that it will be okay. Plans have had to change, but we’re in a position right now that we can adapt without much trouble.
Above all of this though, I am remembering God’s faithfulness. Things are bad right now – I broke my ankle, I made Bryan miss work, I can’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of Ginny, I missed my big date with Bryan, wasn’t able to clean the apartment when I planned, missed my trip to Winnipeg to visit my mom, we can’t do what we had planned for our anniversary, I’m going to have to do physio and go through the pain of learning to walk normally again, and now I have to figure out how the heck I’m going to register Ginny for pre-k and if she is accepted, how will I take her to school… So much bad, seeping in from all angles. My summer is ruined, and I’m stuck on the couch or in a wheel chair. But God is there. If the accident had occurred any other day, my sister wouldn’t have been home. And guys? I am shy enough that yelling down the hallway for help would not have happened. If you ever wondered the extent of my social anxiety, that is a prime example. As it was though, Sarah was home to help me. Ginny miraculously slept through the whole ordeal. The landlord showed up at just the right time. The paramedics saved my foot. The staff was kind and friendly and funny. Bryan had extra vacation days to take. His parents arrived home in time to take Ginny. And of course, the massive network of people praying for me has been an unending source of comfort. Without God and the support of my family and friends (and some strangers), I would not be in a good place right now.
As all of this is going on, I am reminded of the words of my friend Dory: Just keep swimming. That’s what I’m going to do, and I’ve even ordered a tshirt (which hopefully fits…) that has the saying on it. I’m going to have good days and bad days, but I’m going to make it through with a smile if I can just remember that this is a small portion of my life. Soon enough, this will be a weird memory.
Seriously though…this was such a bizarre injury!!! And to top it all off…there wasn’t even any mail that day. So all this trouble for nothing.