The sun set for the last time on our vacation. And the fiery clouds called my name so as everyone went into the room to change into swimming-suits, I went to the deck for a last photo of the sinking sun.
My parents had come that afternoon and we had a lovely barbecue by the playground.
The hot tub was crowded and I didn't want to attract attention so I figured I would go through the back door to our room. I was distracted. I didn't expect-
The floor fell away beneath me. I landed hard on my right foot, which rolled. I tumbled to the ground. I was asked later if I hit my head or anything else falling, and I honestly can't remember between my foot twisting under me and then me lying on the hallway carpet. I glanced back- stairs? Who put stairs in a hallway? There were only two stairs, but they were plenty to send pain shooting up my leg, pain that stole my breath and had me fighting for a clear thought through the haze.
Luckily I had my phone. Even through I was a few feet from our room. I couldn't crawl. Or move. I didn't look at my foot. I didn't want to see the damage. I called my husband and he managed to get me on my feet, though I couldn't put any weight on my right foot. By the time I sat on the couch, I recognized that I was in shock. I've taken enough first aide classes to know the cold sweat, the shallow breathing, the confusion was no good. I finally looked at my ankle. It was swollen about four times the usual size.
We needed a hospital. I learned about emergency care at Lake Tahoe. I was obvious enough that they ordered X-rays immediately. The X-rays didn't show an obvious break, but the swelling meant they couldn't be sure. I need to see an orthopedic specialist this week. Good thing I met a good doctor for my hip.
I told the doctors about CMT of course. I had to spell it and explain it. CMT did not cause the fall, but it sure aggravated the injury. First, I didn't react well. I couldn't change direction, or correct the misstep. When I landed, I landed hard. Then, my weak ankle just couldn't compensate for the sudden change. It rolled in a big way. And, like I said, I don't remember between the shock and the afterwards. But I also say that the stairs were not clearly marked. No handrails. And who puts random stairs in a hallway? Ugh.
Ian had great advice for me. As I tried to catch my breath and ride the waves of pain, he said, "See Mommy, we should stay home."
He has wisdom in that. At home I learn my environment. I am not surprised. I am not lulled into false comfort. I still trip and fall occasionally, but nothing on this scale. Nothing like this.
The doctors were very kind and compassionate and let me explain CMT and how that changed the usual sprained-ankle story. They wanted my foot flexed for the splint, except I could hardly move it. And when I showed my other foot, they understood that my relaxed angle was not the typical angle. They didn't force it, which is better for the arthritis. I'm going to have an epic time stretching those tendons when the splint comes off, but that's another day.
The big moment was when he brought in crutches. I took a deep breath. "You use your good leg," he said. I bit back my laugh. My good leg is the sprained leg. My bad leg is now my good leg. The left side has my fussy hip and worse balance. Whenever possible, I favor my right side, which is now out of commission. *sigh*
He handed me the crutches and I explained about my terrible balance, my weak wrists, my shaky left leg. He gave me a patient grin. "You just need practice.".
Oh, for a dollar each time I hear that I need practice! Or focus.
"I'll try," I said. They were awkward and clumsy. I hobbled a few steps, wobbled in place. And they got a wheelchair to take me to the car. I have the crutches, but they scare me. I can't hop on my left foot, so I pull myself forward in very short steps. I use my right toe for balance. When I misstep, I end up putting more weight on it than I intended and pain shoots up my leg. Then, my left hip growls at me so I get back to bed as quick as possible.
Needless to say, I'm not getting very far. We made it home and I am resting. I call this bed my island. And I am pretty well stranded here. The minute I move, pain flares up through my ankle and leg again. My family is stepping up big time to help out. Giovanni and Anika figured out how to make my coffee in the morning. Ian stages puppet shows at the foot of the bed. I am forced to rest big time.
Healing hurts. I hope a few weeks will be enough to get back to 'normal'. A misstep changes everything. And under my patience is frustration. Anger at myself for not paying better attention. I know it will take me longer to heal. My system is already spun out. I am drag-down tired. Not sleeping well thanks to the pain. What would take a normal system days or weeks to recover will probably take me months.
I'm not thinking about all that, though. I try to stay here and now. Get through today with my busy children and aching foot. One step at a time. Sort of. One shuffle and hobble at a time.
Ever forward :)
PS- One of our biggest challenges was getting from the hotel room to the car. We learned later that the hotel has wheelchairs. They have an EMT on staff in the daytime. We didn't even think of calling the hotel for help. A disaster is an opportunity to learn :)
The kids loved the hotel wheelchair :). To them, it was a great toy (as are the crutches). Fun is relative :)