My friends on Facebook know that I fell and broke my ankle on Sunday. In addition to their prayers for me, they’re asking what happened. Well, even in the ER I was thinking, “Here’s a blog post.” The bad part is, the pain meds are turning my brain to mush. So I hope I can actually make sense.
Before I begin the story though, I want to say how much I appreciate my wonderful neighbors, my daughter and son-in-law who were in town to be there with me (other daughter and family were away but they would’ve been right there if they could have been), my local church family who came to pray for me in person, and all of my Christian friends and readers who were praying and encouraging me from a distance.
So here we go. Sunday was my day to serve with Feeding God’s Children (my church feeds the hungry and homeless in the park every Sunday afternoon). Probably around 150 or more served. I was doing the beverages and pretty much didn’t stop filling glasses for two hours straight. Definitely wasn’t drinking any fluids myself. It was a beautiful but warm day. When I was done in the park, I was exhausted, but drove over to see Mom. I took her for a walk in her wheelchair around the outside of the nursing home because it was such a beautiful day. When I left there, I stopped at KFC, ate my chicken when I got home, and promptly fell asleep on the sofa. Without drinking much at all.
About an hour later, Poppet started barking like crazy at the neighbor cat, so I put her in her crate so she would settle down. I laid back down on the sofa and watched TV, still tired. Maybe half an hour later, I realized the house was getting very hot, so I got up to turn on the air conditioner. It was about 7:45 pm. I made it into the hallway when I felt dizzy.
Now, let me share that I am a Master of the Swoon. The first time I passed out I was four years old. Walked out on Christmas morning, saw the tree and presents, gasped, and passed out cold. I’ve passed out when sick. When my kids were injured (after the crisis was over, of course). When I visited hospitals (the antiseptic smells did it). When I put the sewing machine needle through my finger. When I get overheated (heat exhaustion). When I’m dehydrated. I know the symptoms so well that usually I can return to a chair or sit down on the floor. This time that didn’t happen.
I felt dizzy. I said, “ooooh.” Everything went instantly black. I have no idea what happened next for sure. I assume my body weight went one way and my leg another. I heard my ankle snap and it brought me out of my faint. I cannot say for sure, but I don’t think I’d hit the floor yet. I saw the horrid unnatural shape of my foot/ankle/leg. I think I screamed. A short while later, I thought I would try to crawl to the phone, but of course, you can’t crawl with a broken foot. I had to drag myself into the bedroom for the phone.
At church that morning, I’d been telling God that I wasn’t being very successful with “Coming Away” with Him this year. “Come Away” was the word He gave me for 2010. So as I crawled into the bedroom, I remember thinking that I didn’t think a broken ankle was necessary for me to learn the lesson of “coming away” with Him into a quiet place.
I dialed 911. I was sort of gasping and groaning into the phone, so I don’t think there was any doubt that I was in crisis. I gave the gal my name and address and whatever else she asked me. Then I gave her my garage door code so the firemen and EMT could get in. Thankfully, Poppet was still in her crate. She wasn’t out to try to play with me when I was down on the floor, and I didn’t have to worry she would get outside when the EMTs entered.
It didn’t take the troops too long to get a splint on me, to start my morphine, to give Poppet a Greenie (a treat that’s good for her breath), and to wheel me out the door with my purse and my iPhone so I would have all of my information with me. They tried to call my daughter who was (I thought) in town, but had to leave a message. On the way to the ambulance, I saw a couple of my neighbors on their lawns watching. One of the ladies came up to the back of the ambulance and asked what she could do. So I told her my garage code and asked her to let Poppet out to potty and make sure she had water and was allowed out again until I could get in touch with family.
In the ER, the doctor told me if it was a sprain they would put me in a boot and send me home. In my head, I’m seeing my foot the way it looked on my way down, and said, “If this is a sprain, I’ll eat my hat.” When the x-ray came back, one gal said I’d “shattered” my ankle. One young nurse said it was a “gnarly looking break.” Yep.
My daughter and son-in-law were there by then, and once they knew I wouldn’t be having surgery until the next day, they headed to my house to see to the dog, and off I went to my hospital room, my morphine drip, and a long, long day until they could get me into surgery at 4:30 Monday afternoon. I came out of surgery with one metal plate and nine screws, two of them really long. I fractured three bones. The plate and seven pins are holding together the outside of my foot. The two long pins are holding together the bone on the inside of my ankle. And the broken bone in the back of my foot/ankle is healing with the help of the splint. It’s non-weight bearing for weeks to come. At least four, but I’m not sure now what the doctor said about that. Morphine haze.
So there’s my story. There were several more God things that happened, things that fell into place in unexpected, almost miraculous ways to make sure I was cared for and things were being handled. I would take time to tell them, but the pain is kicking in and it’s time to stop.
Oh, and please note in the top photo (snapped before leaving the hospital for home on Tuesday and edited on my iPhone) that I had polished my toes on Saturday so that they look all nice peeking out of my splint. They’d needed polished for weeks, and it’s so nice I got them done before my accident.
PS It’s summer. Remember to hydrate your body!!!