In July, my husband and I were walking our dogs, a 14-year-old dachshund and a 5-month-old mix breed. Ginger, the pup, had just finished her vaccination series and I wanted to get her leash trained. This was to be her first “walk.”
We live in a neighborhood with a home owner’s association. The Association is responsible for the strip of grass and trees that line the streets between the pavement and the sidewalk. We got half a block from our home when Tom and I chuckled at Frankie (the 14-year-old) trying to keep up with Ginger.
I’d let the lead out so she could sniff the grass and other things. I remember being surprised at how well she was doing, just happy to be out of our house and exploring the world.
I’d veered into the association grass to let her sniff. Tom, my husband, and Frank were taking up the sidewalk but yet I was right next to them.
I took a step with my right foot—expecting it to meet the earth like every other step I’d taken since leaving the house. Instead, the ground dropped through the grass and my right foot met the bottom of a deep hole, twisting my ankle on the way down. Immediately I felt pain in my right ankle, knowing instinctively that I’d injured myself. However, as I stumbled, my left foot came down to correct myself only to also lose the ground and catch the other side of the hole hidden in the grass.
This time when my ankle bent, I felt—and heard—two horrible pops that shouldn’t have issued from that part of my body.
Down I went, face first, into the grass.
Pain and swelling didn’t wait to take over.
There I lay,(lie? I can never remember which is correct) assessing the situation, and found nothing good. My right ankle hurt but my left ankle screamed.
Puppy and old dog were concerned (well, Ginger thought it was a game) and my husband was at a complete loss. “Get up, I think you’re okay. It’s just a sprain.” He hadn’t seen my left ankle yet.
I think I went into shock. At 51-years-old, I’d never broken a bone before, but I knew—I KNEW— I’d broken something in my left leg and I began to cry. “I can’t. I can’t get up.”
Just turning over from my stomach to my rump was excruciating. My husband, who I love and trust, bore a look of disbelief on his face. “Babe, I think it’s just sprained. It’s going to hurt but you have to get up.”
“I can’t,” was all I could say.
At this point, Tom had a dilemma; we had two dogs freaking out and I was on the ground. “I can’t leave you here alone.”
“Yes, you can. You have to. Take the dogs back and get the car. The house is just around the corner. I’ll be okay here.”
Reluctantly, he knew it was our only choice. I asked him to remember to grab my purse but he hadn’t heard me. I remember staring at my swelling feet and ankles and thinking, “Why?” There was a car at the cluster mailboxes, its occupants getting their mail, and other couple walking down the street, taking the walk my husband and I should’ve been taking on a warm summer evening.
He brought the car immediately and whipped around so that the passenger side was open to me. Unfortunately, the next dilemma presented itself. I couldn’t even stand up. My wonderful husband, crouched down and said, “Put your arms around my neck.”
“Babe, you can’t dead lift me. I’m too heavy.” Unwittingly, I’d insulted him.
He was still crouched next to me, getting frustrated. “I work out and you don’t know how much I can lift. You can’t just sit here.”
“I know, I know.” Frustrated, angry and in pain, I crawled to the curb and reached for the bottom of the open door. There was just no way I was going to risk my husband blowing out his back, or herniating something that shouldn’t be herniated, trying to pick me up. I knew the only way to get in the car was to put weight on my right ankle—which let its grievance be known by shooting pain right up my leg—but I managed to get my ass into the car.
I asked for my purse, which contained all our insurance information, bit was still at home. He flipped a u-ee and went back again. I had my cell so while he was inside I pulled up the nearest urgent care that did imaging. They closed at 7:00 pm. The clock on my phone read 6:57pm.
TO BE CONTINUED…