If you're a personal friend of mine on Facebook, then you saw my post from Thursday with a picture of my foot in a splint. Here's the full story on that:
I was getting kids out the door so we could meet Allen at the bank. Max and Ruby were heading down the front steps already, and I was holding Ben and locking the door. There are three steps. I don't remember if it was from the middle to the bottom step or from the bottom to the ground, but at that moment my right foot wobbled in its Dansko clog.
At this point I have to just say that I feel like such a klutz, because Dansko is the official clog of Competent People (nurses, teachers, etc.) People who are on their feet for work for 12 hours a day wear these things. Yet on more than one occasion I have wobbled my ankles in them, one time falling down while holding Max (although that time did not hurt my ankle but did hurt my hands and knees from falling into gravel and protecting Max from the fall).
Anyway, I wobbled at just the wrong moment because instead of recovering, the ankle just went out, 90 degrees style, first one and then the other. I started to fall and twisted my body so that I would fall on my back and not squash Ben whom I was holding. Thank you God for mother instincts!
I screamed as both ankles went out from under me, and again fortuitously the neighbor across the way heard my scream and came over to see what she could do. She held Ben for me while I called Allen. Allen sped all the way home. The kids were pretty nonplussed by the whole thing but relished the opportunity to play in the yard while I lay on the concrete.
Looking back on it, I know it all could have been so much worse. For example, if I had fallen in just about any other position on that area of patio, I would have gotten a much more serious injury. I could have smashed my head on a brick ledge, the rest of the steps, a tomato cage, or the fence. I could have broken my back on the steps. I did hurt both ankles, but the left ankle was much less severe; after a few hours I could bear weight on it.
We went to the ER (in the Echo, of course!) and our saintly friend Lauren came to the hospital to gather the kids and take them to her house until Allen and I were done in the ER. I got into a room right away, which was lovely, and got some pain medicine, which was equally lovely. They did x-rays. The x-rays were somewhat inconclusive due to the amount of swelling, so they sent me home in a splint with directions to see an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible.
I got in to see one today (another mercy, since Lord knows doctors can be booked out for weeks and weeks). They did another x-ray and are still somewhat in doubt as to the nature of the injury. There doesn't seem to be a fracture or a ligament tear, but the PA seemed concerned by the way my bones were positioned and wanted to treat it conservatively for now.
Conservatively translates to wearing a "boot" for four weeks and using crutches so I'm not putting any weight on it. Thankfully, I can drive if I take off the boot, and I can shower if I take off the boot. Still, I'd rather not do much driving, so I'm hoping to work something out with the other families at Ruby's school to see if any of them can help with pick up and drop off.
So, it all could have been worse, but boy, is it hard already!!! I have three small kids. The oldest is quite capable of doing what she is asked; the middle is capable at times but usually unwilling; the youngest is not quite 1 and not quite mobile, and definitely not able to do what he's asked. I can't really pick any of them up unless I'm already sitting down. I really wish Ben were walking already! That would make things a lot easier!
It's a very helpless feeling to watch your two year old sizing up the situation, know that you can't *make* him go to his room by carrying him there, and just defy you. I've often relied on "the physical assist" in terms of carrying intractable children to their rooms for time outs. Now I see I'll have to do something else. I'm also thinking I might need one of those backpack leashes...except I don't want to get pulled down!
Anyway, I have moments of wondering how this is going to work for four weeks. Thankfully I have great friends who are helping out and bringing meals, which is one thing fewer to worry about. Allen can't really afford to take any more time off of work. He used up his sick time staying home Friday and yesterday, and his company doesn't give personal time. I'm sure he qualifies to get leave under the FMLA, but that's not paid leave, just unpaid leave. Unpaid=no bueno.
I was over at Lauren's house the other day and she said, "Jenny, you need a nine year old!" Anyone got some to lend out? A mother's helper sounds great, but we can't afford to pay one to do it.
It is certainly an occasion that has already stretched us in many ways. Allen was forced into the role of caregiver not only for the kids but for his wife, and that was hard to feel like a single parent AND a spousal caregiver. For those spouses out there who are daily following through with the "in sickness and in health" part of their marriage vows, we salute you: it is surely not easy. I felt (and feel) very helpless and useless lying on the couch, seeing things that need doing, and not being able to help with much of it. The kids are mostly just confused why we keep saying in loud voices, "Don't touch Mommy's leg!!!" Max and Ruby call my boot "the robot foot." If only it had cool robot powers.
Please pray for us to have fortitude and grace to meet the daily challenges. Oh, and for healing for this ankle. The doctor intimated that if all is not well in a month, the next option involves screwing the bones together, which sounds like surgery, which sounds like bed rest, which sounds like "let's not even go there!"
One day at a time: it really is the only way to live. It's not the same as being careless or imprudent or refusing to plan for the future: it's about putting each day into God's hands and saying, "Thy will be done and HELP me with it!"
Okay, back to sleep (this blog post brought to you by middle of the night ankle discomfort).