My big break

Two months ago, I got my big break. But it wasn't the one I was hoping for. After climbing onto an empty laundry hamper and reaching to open the heater vent on the ceiling, I fell...HARD...onto something even HARDER. Crack! 

My broken leg -- collage
After a painful ride to the hospital and an even more painful CAT scan, I learned that my femur (thigh bone) had "crashed" into my tibia (shin bone), cracking it in two places. Any slight movement sent a spike of hot pain up my leg, even after a dose of morphine.

But they couldn't fix my leg at the hospital. Instead, I had to wait to meet with an ortho surgeon who specialized in such complex fractures. I spent a week in the downstairs room where I fell, while my husband ran up and down the stairs bringing me food, water and company.
My broken leg -- collage
Ten days after my fall, I had my surgery. The strangest part of preparing was seeing all the nurses trying to pull the rings off my swollen fingers. Two rings wouldn't budge, so I signed a release permitting the doctors to saw off the rings during surgery if necessary (it wasn't).
My broken leg -- collage
I remember nothing about the surgery. One moment I was in the prep area and the next, I was in recovery. Had a team of surgeons just spent 4 hours digging around inside my leg? That's what they told me. I couldn't feel my leg...the entire thing was wrapped in a huge Ace bandage. They let me go home the same day. Amazing!
My broken leg -- collage
Somehow, I made it from our car into the house, back to my spot downstairs. I stayed there for a week, but finally made my way upstairs, where my real bed (and snacks and natural light) waited. I "climbed" the stairs on my backside, crying and exhausted.

The very next day I got my wheelchair, which has made all the difference. I can do almost everything I could do on two feet. And wheels are fun! (Unless you roll over the cat's tail.) My husband wrapped plastic around all the doorways I was certain to destroy. And I got stronger. At first, my arms shook when I transferred in and out of the chair. Now it's almost easy.

I'm hoping to stand up in the next month or so. Hopefully, before our soggy Northwest spring turns into a sunny summer. And I promised my husband I will never, ever stand on top of an empty laundry basket again.