Two days ago, my luck ran out on a path around a lake created from a dammed river near Castle Rock, when I slipped on some ball bearing-like gravel on a small hill. What would otherwise have been a slow slide to my butt and a laugh about gracefulness became much much more serious when my left foot slipped to the side and my weight landed on it.
At first there was no pain, but when I looked at my ankle it was with a feeling of surreality -- the foot was no longer pointing forward, but was turned to the side at a right angle. Obviously not a good thing! I was about 40 feet down the hill, and it was way too steep for rescuers to easy get me out, but fortunately I was not alone. I had been hiking with Jerry and Mary, and they instantly got on the cell phone for help. Two fishermen were passing by, and they came down to help. We decided that it would be a good idea to get me part of the way up the hill, if possible, at least to the point where the ground flattened out and the EMTs could get a stretcher to me. It became quickly obvious that it was way to steep for me to hobble out on one leg, even with the fishermen's support. So one of them let me use his foot as a brace for my good leg, and I pushed myself up the hill on my butt a few feet at a time, keeping the bad leg elevated. The other fisherman helped me up the steeper places by pulling from under my arms. I had to stop frequently to rest, and could feel myself going into shock, but we finally made it far enough up.
The ambulance got there quickly, and I got a nice ride to the hospital accompanied by EMTs Tom and Matt, with Mary going along in the front seat. Oddly, the pain was not bad until the EMTs put an inflatable splint on it, and then it got bad, fast -- but they started an IV line and got pain meds in me quickly. Once I got the ER, the staff took X-Rays, an EKG, and who knows what else, and I was given sedation drugs while the dislocation was corrected. At least now my foot was now pointing in the right direction and I could no longer feel bones rubbing in my ankle, but I still had a fracture and three breaks left to go, and that surgery was scheduled for 8 PM that evening. I had to wait because I had eaten 2 handfuls of peanuts at noon. Note to self: postpone eating if unexpected surgery is expected!
So I am now in a cast, with screws and pins and who knows what other airport security alarm-inducing hardware holding my foot together, and I cannot put any weight on it for 6 weeks. I am staying with Mary and Jerry for the time being, and they are taking very good care of me. My friend John is on his way to help, too. The inactivity is already frustrating, but I'm trying to look at this as an opportunity to catch up on reading and all those little tasks I've put off. I won't be traveling around much for a while, but I will keep posting on this blog -- I'll tell you about my condition and how life changes when you must hobble around with a walker, plus I have a lot of past adventures that never made it into the blog, but will now.
My extreme thanks go out to Mary and Jerry, John and Sue, the EMT and medical staff, and the two good Samaritan fishermen whose names I unfortunately didn't get. You are all wonderful.