Sunday, February 01, 2009

My Week of Firsts: Part 1

Am I dreaming?! I really keep hoping that the past 5 days have all been a bad dream, but I'm beginning to think this is real.


Let me start from the beginning...
On Tuesday night, the Dallas/FW area started getting some inclement weather. My first sign that things were freezing was when I went outside at about 6:00pm to get my mail, and slipped and fell in front of my mailbox. I lauged about it because I felt so stupid, and I'm sure I looked ridiculous. No harm done...just a bruise and a little embarrassment.
Wednesday was a different story. I stayed in most of the day because the ice had gotten really bad. Fort Worth schools were closed, so I figured I was home for the day. But, our church (where I also work) decided to go ahead and have Wednesday evening activities because most of the ice was melting by the afternoon. With the exception of overpasses, my drive should've been fine, so I decided to go up to church via back roads at about 2:00. I had parked my car in the garage the night before (which I hardly ever do) because I didn't want to have to scrape ice off of it on Wednesday. Since I don't usually park in the garage, I don't even have a garage door opener in my car. So I backed my car out on my VERY icy driveway. I guess my driveway has a lot more shade than most on my street because everyone else's ice was melting already. Since I don't have a garage door opener in my car, I got out and went back to close the garage door. As I was walking BACK to my car on my driveway, it happened...

I fell SO hard and fast I couldn't really remember what I did except that it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. I know that my leg slipped out to the right, and I remember hitting the inside of my right ankle on the ice/driveway when I fell. Immediately I knew something was seriously wrong, but I needed to catch my breath and think a for a minute. I know this sounds gross, but I could tell that everything in my lower right leg was disconnected. It was throbbing mixed with knife sharp pains shooting up my leg. UGH!! Praise the Lord my neighbor was just getting in her car to leave, so she saw the whole thing happen and was able to help me. If she hadn't been outside, I don't know what I would've done because I couldn't move my right leg at all, and my cell phone was in my car already. She went and got her daughter and another neighbor, and with their help and my office-roller chair they were able to get me inside to my couch. I was really bummed because Ryan was out in the Gulf, as usual, and I had no way to get a hold of him. I sent him a text, but he was underwater at the time, so I was going to have to do this without him. I also called my boss/music minister/friend, Andy, to let him know that on second thought, NO, I would not be coming to church that night. I think he understood. I called my sister-in-law, Kendall, right away because she was home from school due to the inclement weather day. She only lives a couple of minutes away, so she came right over and we decided I definitely needed an x-ray and decided which hospital to go to. I was nervous for her to be driving because some of the roads were still icy and she's pregnant with my neice or nephew! So, we decided we could make it to Harris Southwest in Fort Worth without having to deal with any highways. I know this is gross, but here is a view of my ankle at home on my couch. Not too bad, huh?


Let me take a moment to tell you that I have NEVER been to the ER, I have NEVER had an IV, I pass out at the mention of the word "bloodwork", I have never been put under anesthesia, and I even have to hide my eyes during the "cutting people open" parts of Grey's Anatomy. I get light headed when I go visit other people in the hospital! So I was completely TERRIFIED. I was praying that I had a clean break, that they would put me in a boot or a cast and send me on my way. But, things didn't turn out so well. I got bumped up the priority list in the ER, so I got in really quickly which was a miracle. The first doctor took one look at it and knew it was broken and sent me in for x-rays. On a scale of 1-10, my pain had been at a 10+ up until this point. It was almost unbearable. Anyway, I got a Vicodin and began to feel a little more comfortable (and drunk!). My pain subsided to about a 9.5. That is, until the nurse came in to set my foot which is something I hope I never have to feel again. Let me also say that I hadn't cried once by this point. I think I was in so much pain and shock that crying didn't even cross my mind! Kendall had been with me this whole time, and I am so thankful that she was there. She is so calm and reassuring, and really helped me keep from freaking out. My brother had just arrived with some food because we were all starving, but right as I was about to eat my Chick-fil-A the nurse stuck her head in and said, "Don't eat or drink anything in case we have to do surgery."
SURGERY?!? I couldn't stand the thought of being cut on, but before I knew it, the bone specialist had come in to tell me what had happened. I had broken both bones in my lower right leg, the tibia and fibula, and had seriously damaged/torn/pulled all the ligaments in between. They could actually get me into surgery within the next 45 minutes (which was amazing!) and it was definitely not something I could avoid. Looking back, I think it was a blessing that I didn't have much time to stress about it. It all happened so fast, and that's what I needed. I got my IV (my first one ever) and it didn't kill me. I might have squeezed my brother's hand off, but he'll be okay. And I tried my best to text a few people to let them know what was going on. I was so high on Vicodin that I couldn't remember how to do it, so that is why some people heard and some people didn't. I apologize if I didn't make any sense that night. My brother did a great job talking to people and trying to communicate for me that night, so thanks Brad. By this time my parents were already on their way from Abilene, and I had a few familiar faces to send me off to surgery. It meant a lot to know that people were already praying for me. For some reason, I remember giving Jim Kiser a high five as they wheeled me back to the OR, and I told Andy to be sure to wipe the dogs' paws off with the towel by the back door when he went to let them out. Seriously, mud on my floor was important right then?!Drugs do weird things to people.

Next thing I knew, I woke up in recovery, and my parents were coming in. Everything had gone fine, but the surgery had taken 3 hours, which was twice as long as they thought it would. I have a plate on the outside/fibula, 2 screws on the tibia/inside, and another screw holding together the ligaments I tore and/or pulled in between the two bones. That's a lot of hardware. I'll follow up with my stay in the hospital in Part 2, coming soon...


9 comments:

Alisa Nelson said...

we are so sorry you fell - that must have been so painful. Hope you are on the road to recovery & feeling better!

Melodie said...

oh my goodness Sarah! i am so sorry. i hate pain! i might have cried once i hit the ground. praying you heal up quickly!

andydawn said...

WOW...how awful! I am soo sorry :( hope you are feeling better now. That break looked painful!

crazymom said...

what the @$$#%#$%! i am in pain just reading that! good lord what shoes were you wearing missy! i am so sorry you had to go through this w/ out ryan. and man he isnt even playing war! know that we are praying for you and wishing you well! what the healing time on all that ?? you need lots of lovin' when your man gets home,, tell him i said so!

WestTexasConservative said...

What a story! I'm glad you had folks you could count on to help you get the help you needed. Get well soon!

GateWay said...

Oh Sarah... those are "firsts" that we want no seconds! I'm so sorry! glad your sweet momma and dad were there! WE parents love to be there for ours! heal quickly sweet one!

The Myers said...

Oh my goodness Sarah! I'm so sorry to hear about your ankle. I had my wrist set once, so I feel your pain, but surgery too, Yuck! Well, way to hang in there. I'm glad the surgery went well and hope you heal quickly. Praying for you. Love ya.

The Skains Family said...

Holy cow Sarah. That story was a little hard for me to read! Yikes. I can't believe you didn't cry during all of that pain. I would have cried just knowing I couldn't get a hold of my husband.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

OH MY! How awful! I'm so sorry! I'm only on part 1...I'm off to read the rest!