At what point in your life have you ever just thought “damn…thats is enough! I can’t handle any more!” You know, the “are you kidding me”, “seriously”, “you have to be joking”, “UNCLE” times in your life. Those times you look up or look out and think to your self “what is next, I really can’t handle anything else, but sir, that was not a challenge!”
Yep, I have had my fair share of those times in my life. The times you are supposed to not look at as a failure or bad luck. These are the moments we dig deep and see what we are really made of. The moments we realize that we are stronger than we ever imagined. The times when we may want to give up or give in, but failure is not an option – life will keep going and we certainly want to keep going with it! Those times.
A little over a year ago, I had one of these times. The girls and I had just moved into a new house. We were looking for a change – lower cost of living, easier maintenance. We had a summer plan and had just adopted a dog named Summer Spot Williams. It was going to be an amazing summer and we were all on board to truly rock this new life. And then on June 7, 2017 I fell. It was one of those mornings where very little was going right. I had to be at an appointment and had to drop the girls off at camp first. No one was cooperating – the girls were bickering, I was yelling, the dog would’t walk. A true total mess of a morning.
I told the girls to go get in the car already. I was standing on the steps leading out into the garage. I told them to move and stomped back in to the house to pick up the dog who was refusing to move even though I was pulling on her leash. When I turned around and stepped back out of the house I simply missed a step. I fell down 2 steps. It was like fucking slow motion and I knew I was broken. My left foot was not facing the correct direction. AT ALL. It was well off to the left and my right middle toe was laying under the two toes to the left if it. I was still holding the dog and sitting on a step broken…my girls standing in the garage looking at me. Each of us in shock.
You can trust that I was not quiet. I cussed a lot. I am pretty sure, are you fucking kidding me and son of a bitch came out of my mouth more than once. I was crying and screaming. It hurt like you don’t know. But my daughters were standing there. Looking at me. Scared to death. I had to pull my shit together quickly and deal with this very unfortunate situation. I put the dog down, found my phone, and called 911. I told the operator that I needed an ambulance, that I had multiple broken bones, that I had not hit my head, that I was alone with my kids and could not drive or get up, and that I appreciate that he was supposed to stay on the phone with me, but that I had to make other calls to deal with my situation immediately and could not waste that time with him.
I then called Michele and told her I had fallen. She thought I had been in a car accident. She told me she was on her way. Then I called Leslie and told her to please leave the office and come to my house to deal with this dog. Then I called Jennie – you know, every one needs a Jennie even when you fall down steps, Jennie – to come get my girls so I did not have to worry about them. In the middle of all this, my mom called me. I knew Michele or someone had called her. She was supposed to be heading off to TX that week and here I was ruining that plan too.
There was a construction crew across the street. I told the girls to go ask those men to come over. I know they could hear me, but did not come until the girls went to get them. Within minutes, Leslie had arrived and was mortified. I needed her to move this 5 gallon bucket of paint over so I could rest my leg on it, she did not want to touch me or move the bucket. I yelled to please just move it so I could rest my leg on it. She did so for me. I am so surprised she did not puke on the spot. I had been holding my leg up in the air since I fell because when I tried to put it down I could feel my bones rubbing against one another. That was awful, and the paramedics and I both were surprised I too hadn’t puked.
When the EMT got to me, I was still a disaster, but felt a sense of relief. I knew that it was going to be ok – another setback for damn sure, but ok. I had an IV in my arm before I knew it and the female was asking how much I weighed. She whispered in my ear that this was the one time it was ok to throw out a number – the more I weigh, the more drugs I get. I yelled 580lbs! I am no where near that and did not even care. I hurt something awful and I wanted it to stop.
Jennie got there next and got the girls to come over where she and Leslie were standing. She told me it would be ok and she had it. She told me later that as she walked away the girls started crying – they did not do that in front of me. She told them I was in good hands and that everything was going to be ok. Just as they got to her car, I yelled “it is not going to be ok!” apparently to the EMT. Great timing, Grace! At that time, they were telling me I had to get up off the step and stand on something that was broken to get myself to the stretcher. I knew I could not put weight on my left foot/ankle and my right side was a disaster too. This is when Michele showed up.
She had apparently been having conversation with a friend on her way over that I had fallen and she was sure I had sprained my ankle. She walked in and saw it was definitely broken and screamed for me to suck it up and stand to get on the stretcher…she apologized for yelling at me later. I got into the ambulance finally and Michele followed behind. Leslie stayed to take care of the puppy and Jennie was off with the girls.
While on my first ever ambulance ride for me, I tried very hard not to get car sick. You are totally riding backwards in there and I hurt so bad. I wanted to take my mind of of everything and asked them for my phone. I called Tiffany. She answered and said “can I call you right back?” I told her I did not know if I could answer because I was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and that I had fallen. The drugs obviously had started working by this point.
There was no waiting once we got to the ER. Dr. Marsh came in to see me – I decided later he should be renamed Dr. Harsh. I was being sent for X-rays. Guys, I do not need a degree to tell you this shit is broken! And let me tell you that the X-rays were torture! Contorting here and there – move this way, hold it that way. I was starting to panic because of the pain. I was truly exhausted and so over this day. When I got back to the room, Dr. Marsh told me he was going to have to “reduce” my ankle. You know, the scene in Grey’s Anatomy or ER where the Doctor looks at the patient and says “this is going to hurt”? Yea…they have NO IDEA how much this is about to hurt. No amount of medicine in that hospital would have stopped that pain. I tried to convince him to wait until I was just put to sleep but for some reason this was not a choice. He also pulled on the right toe that was under the two to the left. I am sure everyone in the building could hear me scream – at the top of my lungs. Michele had to leave the room.
Soon after, my mom got there. And soon after that my cousin Matthew showed up. I was set to have surgery that night. My surgeon was staying on his birthday to do my surgery. Next thing you know, I was being taken to pre-op to get me ready. Thank God the anesthesiologist showed up soon after I got to pre-op! He had put me to sleep many times before (we will get to that at some point – this was my 9th surgery in 3 years!) and, as always, I reminded him that me waking up was the most important part of his day. He told me that my surgeon had gotten stuck in a surgery and would be a while. I just started to cry because I was in so much pain and did not feel like I could wait any longer. He checked my chart and then called the nurse to make sure it was correct. He was so upset that I was in so much pain – unnecessarily. The amount of pain medication I had been given the entire time I had been there was then given to me in one fell swoop by this angel to get me into the operating room. Mind you, I had been here all day! It was now almost 4:30pm!
I woke up in a room with a soft cast on my right leg and my toes still bandaged up. My surgeon told me everything slid right back into place and only needed a plate, 8 screws and 2 pins to put me back together. Ugh, that seemed like a lot. The next morning, PT showed up and told me I needed to stand up on my right foot. I did not want to do that. I was still in so much pain there. Long story short on that front, it turns out that my toe was still dislocated and it took me 48 hours to convince someone to unwrap my bandage and look at it. Everyone was so concerned with how bad my left ankle was that they all forgot to mention to my surgeon that my right toe was dislocated as well. Someday I will tell you all about that as well. I will also someday tell you all about the recovery from this horrible adventure.
A little over a year past this time and I am back to finding the meaning in it – what was I supposed to learn from this experience? My ankle still hurts. I 100% know that the weather does effect your bones and it is not bullshit when someone says they can feel the rain coming. I count down the months to 18 post-accident to see if that is real life for total healing although I doubt that will exist. I met some amazing people that I will tell you about during the next stage of healing and learning to walk again. It is not fun to be bound to a wheelchair. We take so much for granted in this life…and sometimes we have to be reeled back in…maybe that is what I needed. But most of all, I believe I learned that just when you don’t think you have time to deal with you or to put yourself first, there is someone greater than you that can put you back into your place. Slow down. Appreciate life. Cherish those who are in it. Be thankful for those who love you. Love deeply. Put yourself first so you can be there for others. Breathe. And with all of that, UNCLE!