Thursday morning at 830 am, I was driving to work after a busy few days. I was happily contemplating my upcoming vacation with the family. 4 days off and a trip to see John’s family. And, a pool with a waterfall. Ok, it’s not Hawaii but not bad for a Memorial Day weekend. I was driving my new car and thinking how far I’ve come. We deserve the break and time together. Then the light went on for my low gas tank. I thought I could maybe make it to work but, better not risk it. I pulled over at a gas station in Bellingham and filled up the tank, collected my credit card receipt, closed the tank door and started to walk around the car. Then……
I felt my right ankle turn. My heart started beating fast. Oh no, I was falling. I heard the extremely loud crack and I was on the ground. Shocked, I quickly turned over trying to assess the damage and then I felt it. The burning pain in my right leg. This was well known pain. I tried to move and that made it worse so I stuck my left foot under my knee and screamed for help.
Now, you would think a woman screaming on the ground at a gas station would get some attention but, the other two or three people getting gas didn’t stop to help me. They just finished their transactions and drove away. “Are you kidding me” nope, it actually happened. Finally, the poor attendant came out and tried to help. I asked her to call 911 and get my phone from my car so I could call John and work.
I proceeded to call John first. I tried to stay calm as I was sitting on the cold concrete waiting for the ambulance to come help me up. I didn’t want to scare him. He had to stomach the calls before about Zachary and I. I had to tell him myself. He was calm but concerned. He would meet me at the hospital. Next, I called my colleague at work. I tried to be calm though my leg was burning in pain. She told me I was crazy to call her right after this happened. I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew how my colleagues had found out about my accident before. I couldn’t let that happen again. I would be the one to explain it.
When I hung up, the ambulance and firemen arrived. The paramedics asked if I could stand with help. I answered, “maybe”. They pulled me up in one quick movement where the pain leap up so much I was dizzy and nauseous. I proceeded to try to stop vomiting continuously as they tried in vain to find a vein. Nasal spray was the only way I could get in pain medication.
I got to the hospital and they ran a bunch of tests finding I had broken my right femur above the knee and needed surgery to put in a plate to stabilize tonight. So, here we go again….. More orthopedic surgery, non weight bearing, walker, wheelchair, therapy, pain medication and on it goes. Same old song and dance (well, chair dance at least).
Where am I now? I’m fine. That is something we all tell ourselves when you are trying to convince yourself that you are. What does it mean? FINE = Frustrated Individual Nearing Explosion. How can I do this again? I’m not strong enough. There is a strength that somehow takes over when you are back in your dark place. Back where you thought you would never be again. Broken, immobile, embarrassed, and frustrated.
I rolled into my Physical Therapy place today. As I have for the past two years to start all over again. I was calmed by the message that I received from my therapist. You still strong. You can do this no problem. Here are some exercises. Something to do to make steps towards independence again. I made my weekly appointments and rolled out to my car.
I know I can return to mobility again. This is not where I was before. I have gone through worse in the past years then just one silly broken femur. I have lost my son. I have lost my self. I’m fighting not only for him this time. This time it’s for me! I can do this and will return to my independence. God willing and with the support of the tribe of beautiful people around me. Still routing, praying, and supporting me one step at a time.
So, here we go again…