So… Saturday morning (4/14), I was leaving my house about 10am. I tripped and fell. I’m walking, thinking clearly about “what do I want to do with the rest of my life?” The next thing I know, I hear this tremendous <CRACK> and I’m looking at the sky. The rain drops falling in my eyes.
Immediately, I’m assessing. My ankle already swelling up. I heard a crack. I can’t put weight on it. I’m pretty sure I screamed loudly. I look around, there’s no one out. I could spend an hour waiting for someone to notice.
I hop down the slope. My garage is already open. I hop into my car, and my leg is screaming at me. Pain like I haven’t ever experienced. No doubt in my mind that my leg snapped. I figure I snapped my lower leg, but no idea how bad it is.
I’m driving. Realizing I’m in shock. My hands are shaking, and I keep hearing this roar without realizing it’s me screaming in pain. Horrible sound. I pull up to a stop light, screaming because it’s just more time.
Where do I go? Gotta go to Providence. I couldn’t go to Botsford. God no. No no no no.
I reach another light, and I’m screaming and bouncing in my driver’s seat. I look to the side of me, wondering if they hear me or see me. Are they calling the police, saying some crazy raving man is booking down Grand River in Novi?
I reach the hospital. I’m unfamiliar with it. I’ve never been there. Emergency is on Beck Rd, so I left turn to the emergency entrance… I hope to find something to direct me.
I find nothing. I drive up and there’s a sign that says “emergency response vehicles only”. Well, I’m in a Nissan Rogue, not an ambulance. I should have called an ambulance, right? I’m going to be here a long time, so… I find a parking spot.
I back in. I’m about 250 feet or more from the entrance. What the hell do I do? What if I broke my other leg hopping there? I get out of the car, fall to the ground. I can feel my foot flapping around.I’m thinking “I did a Sid Vicious. Holy shit!” (for reference, the wrestler, not the singer. Sid jumped off the top rope in a match and snapped his leg clean.)
I start crawling. It’s still raining. The parking lot if full of puddles. I start crawling, and screaming HELP! HELP! GOD PLEASE, SOMEONE HELP!
I crawl almost half way. Finally, I see someone. She hears me. She waves at me, and points at the door. I’m not sure what she meant. I keep going, screaming “I NEED HELP!”
I finally see a guard come out, with a wheel chair. They get near me and I say “I’m pretty sure my leg is broken. Please help me.”
They took me inside. It’s a slow day (lucky me). I get checked in, then triaged. They take me to the back immediately. Within a matter of minutes (I think) I’m put on an x-ray. The x-ray is excurciating. They’re telling me to move my foot and I’m like “I told my foot to move, and it doesn’t.” so I’m contorting to aim my foot the way they want.
I’m wheeled back, and then sometime later, A nurse comes in and says “it’s broken”. I asked “what’s broken?” and she says “all of it. you leg. Multiple pieces.”
Meanwhile, I’m trying to get word out. Sending pages, but there’s no signal in the hospital. I sent a page to my brother. Unknown what time he received it. Asked him to tell dad.
Sometime later, my dad show up as I’m coming back from a CT scan. I see him and say “I’m sorry, Dad, but your son can’t do anything half assed. My leg is busted up bad.”
I start explaining everything to my dad in the room, and I’m crying uncontrollably. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! it just broke.”
I’ll add this in there now: My concept of time was truly warped. Shock, and a pain shot, then vicodin later… I asked what time it was, and it was like 4 hours after my leg broke. It felt like 15 minutes ago.
Chris showed up, an incredulous look on his face. My ankle looks like a freckled softball, and I’m still writhing in shock, shaking and weird. I re-explain it all to Chris. I apologize to Chris for bringing him out like this. He’s supposed to be at practice, and picking up Tima later. He’s like “oh no, it’s nothing… ”
I managed to get online via wireless at the hospital, and started posting on Facebook. Just to get my mind elsewhere. Taking pictures. Posting them. They splinted my leg up, and I posted a picture of it stating “Splinted up for splintered leg.”
I’m wheeled out in a wheel chair, given crutches, and prescriptions. Told to call a bone doctor on Monday.
Well, we have 3 of us and 3 cars. I can’t drive, so… Chris drives my Nissan back to my condo, and me and my dad drive to CVS to pick up prescriptions, then to my condo… Then we drive back to the hospital so Chris can get his car.
We get to my dad’s house… how am I getting in the house? I have no experience with crutches. I don’t know how to use them.
We managed it, and I’m writing this, sitting in the same way slung back recliner as I plopped into Saturday, April 14… around 5pm. We managed to have dinner (I have no memory of what we ate that night).
Monday, we got an appointment for Tuesday morning… I’m in the Bone Dr’s office waiting for about 20 mins. Agony, because there’s no where to keep my leg up. I had my leg sitting in my dad’s lap for awhile.
We’re called back, and I’m on an x-ray machine again within 5 minutes. Agony. Turn your foot this way (it doesn’t turn that way anymore).
X-Rays completed, and the Bone Dr comes back. He’s like “your leg is broken. We’re going to have to do surgery.”
No words pulled. He whips out his phone, and has pictures on it. I look at these, and I think “there’s no way that’s MY leg”… except it was. The pictures were horrible. The bone is split wide open. There were 5 separate pieces of the tibia and fibia in the wrong place.
2 plates, multiple screws. Small incision on right side of ankle. Larger incision on leg side of ankle. Smaller cuts to allow the screws to be inserted. Have to wait a week for all swelling to go down. Gotta keep my leg up above my heart for a week. I asked how long will I be out of work? He tells me “4 to 6 weeks.”
“You’ll be end up with arthritis in the ankle, but that could be 15 years down the line.”
2 weeks in a splint after surgery. Follow up appointment. If all healed well, then I’ll be in a cast or walking boot (expecting cast, then boot). 4 to 6 weeks of healing AFTER the surgery.
Well… I had to tell my bosses about this. So, after my appointment, we went to CVS again (new prescriptions… did you know taking Vicodin and other pain pills gives you severe constipation? I didn’t, but I do now!) We then headed to the Library…
I skipped to the best of my ability (god, my upper body strength sucks…) into the Library, and sat in a chair, and regaled them with this story… until the pain made me have to get up and leave.
I’m sorry, man. I didn’t want this to happen. I’m going to miss a month of work, and I miss it already. Silly, me.
So now I await surgery. I posted something on Facebook, being the clever little twit I am… “My ankle is Humpty Dumpty, and I hope I have better kings men.”
Thank you, my friends.