The old laptop didn't have the muscle or updated operating system needed to work from home, though my work station can easily. The problem is that I can't sit at the desk for a while. A week ago Saturday I broke my leg...
My last entry was during Expedia's prop night, and afterwards I went home and slept for a bit then took the motorcycle back to Seattle for my accent class. Nope, it wasn't the motorcycle, as was the first guess of most the friends and relatives when they got my messages or short calls letting them know. I got back home safe and sound, napped again and headed out for my friend's birthday party, where we met up at the roller rink. I almost didn't get skates as everyone was running late, but figured what the heck, it's been years and what's five bucks?
It was nice seeing some of my fellow Meisnerites, and after a few circuits I noticed it was nearly 6:25 PM, so I went for one more lap before leaving to run lights in North Bend. About a third of the way around is where my reintroduction to roller-skating ended. I started to fall automatically planted my foot, then felt and heard a terrific 'snap!', felt the lower right leg fold and fell down the rest of the way.
I was on the floor for about a minute when someone asked if I was alright. "No, I just broke my leg."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes, of course I'm serious!" I wasn't especially gracious that moment. I didn't notice them doing it, but in a flash the floor was cleared and Dave, (Donna the birthday girl's boyfriend) was out checking me out for immediate care needs. He is an EMT. There was also a doctor who came out. I believe they were checking for any serious nerve or vascular damage. In five or ten minutes the on duty EMT's showed up. During that time my old Meisner classmates got my stuff out of the locker and brought it out.
The EMT's were a little skeptical about the break at first, because the muscle memory had snapped the leg nearly back into place. I pointed out one's foot doesn't normally point 90 degrees to the right. They were able to unlace and slip off the skate, but the sock and trousers were cut away. The skate hurt a bit coming off, but allowed the foot to come up to 45 degrees. Not so far from normal, and a little less pain. "Ah, it looks like one of them is broken here.", pointing to an irregularity in the shinbone line. That was the tibia break.
While they were taking vitals and getting the inflatable splint ready, I called Paula on the cell phone telling them I'd not be able to run lights because I'd just broken my leg. I figured they would worry more if I didn't call, because I am a dependable fellow. I told her I had to go in a minute, and she said they had to get ready for the show. I couldn't resist, so I told her, "Well, break a leg!" That pretty well let her know I wasn't about to die, as she and Steve would worry a lot. She groaned and scolded me at the same time my old classmates and friends gathered around me did. The EMT's looked at me like I was stupid.
A few seconds later my friends gave me whatever hugs and good wishes they could, I helped the EMT's move me to the gurney, and I was wheeled out. By the way, I hate speed bumps right now. Then for long waits in the emergency room. Called a few more relatives to let them know, and my friends Beth and Rachel. Steve and/or Gregory called me too. I was glad cell phones were okay in the emergency room. Lots of pain and quick acting/short lasting drugs. The worst part was x-rays. The twit twice asked me to hold my foot straight up after I had already told him I was trying, and I was. I wanted out of that torture chamber in the worst way. I finally told him something like , "The bone is broken, just look at the foot. It's dangling not twitching." I wish I could remember what he looked like so I could beat him with my crutches. I've a moderately high pain tolerance, and my eyes were watering like rivers. Wish I knew how to scream at will.
Eventually the doctor came by briefly to explain the options, and it sounded like rodding the leg was the way to go. Once I was admitted he came by again and explained in more detail based on the questions I'd come up with (and written down). Rodding still sounded the way to go, short term and long term. The next morning they would take me to surgery at 7:30 AM and insert a steel rod the length of the tibia, which in turn would act as a splint for the fibula. They were both long oblique spiral breaks, the tibia down by the ankle, the fibula up by the knee. (Same type breaks, same leg, same hospital as my brother had when we were skiing when he was in 8th grade.)
Steve and Paula stopped by after their gig with food from Azteca -- I wasn't allowed to eat after midnight. That gave me about 25 minutes to dine. Finished up just in time. Gregory arrived from Seattle about 10 minutes before midnight. We talked for a bit, at midnight my roommate asked them to be quiet. He wasn't gracious, but he wasn't feeling well either. Hospitals are that way. Ten or fifteen minutes into the new day everyone gave me a hug and went home.
Going through the surgery was pretty standard, except it seems the only stuff on the hospital cable early Sunday morning were hateful, eerie looking preachers telling me why God wants me to hate certain people. Well, like my room and the ER the tv controllers didn't work. Three for three, and I couldn't get them turned off. I don't know when the general was applied, I just woke up in the recovery room, feeling utterly miserable. When I got to merely miserable it was back to the room. Most of Sunday was a blur of pain. My brother came by in the morning, an hour or two after the surgery, but he had to run to another hospital because the flu had really hit my sister-in-law, Tonia.
I had a ridiculous experience Sunday night. I had acid, which developed into reflux. I asked for antacid, but was turned down. I guess nobody wanted to waken the doctor for heartburn. You'd think they could have one person on staff capable of prescribing a Tums. I was using the morphine drip to keep the increasing acid pain under control, which in turn kept me awake more than the intense heartburn. I don't like the way morphine makes me feel, so usually I only get enough to alleviate the pain enough that I can sleep. The same with percoset and vicodin. I've never had heartburn that hurt so long or consistently. A couple antacids and I would have used a quarter the morphine and slept more than an hour that night.
When the PT lady returned Monday morning I passed the crutch test and was given the opportunity to check out. After the previous night? I called my brother, the strongest of those who offered rides and got it set up. In the mean time, got to talk to Bruce my roommate. Really nice fellow. Eric got there about forty minutes late, and helped me pick up crutches and such on the way home. Sadly, he had to go to a job site and see a fellow. Between that and the forty minute conversation he had with the fellow, the trip home took an extra two hours. The pain meter was pegged, and stayed that way until Thursday. I should have had him drop me off at the house while he did his business. Still I was happy to be home.
Beth came over that evening and made me dinner. I fell asleep pretty early. I had a sleeping bag as a comforter. Don't ever do it. Use cotton. Hot or cold, it felt like a cold clammy sweat from the pain and medication until Wednesday when Beth was over again, and she brought my comforter from downstairs. Beth was a sweetheart, and the next day, Thursday, did laundry for me, and helped me get the shower sheath for my leg over my knee. Between that and the comforter my level of comfort went up tenfold.
Beth and my roommate Aaron continued to help me through the week. Aaron not only picked it up, but set up this laptop so I didn't have to configure it. Otherwise it would not be online for another day or two. Steve came by last night with the loot from an amazing shopping spree he and Paula went on. They were very sick last week, and wanted to be sure I was set as they are going to visit Paula's failing grandfather this week. Aaron is up in Canada for a few days, celebrating he and Sonya's first almost wedding anniversary -- they were married on 2/29 last year. Through the haze of pain and drug discomfort my wonderful friends and family were always there. From talking to people on the phone while I was in the hospital to setting up a new computer while preparing for a trip, or buying and delivering groceries (and assisting with changing the dressing) while preparing for a trip, to making meals and helping an invalid shower, I never once felt bereft. Rather I felt gifted, and still do. Thank you! I love every one of you people so much.