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Not-So-Fun Friday: OUCH!

Friday, November 5, 2010

And that was my favorite pair of jeans, too!

Short version of the story:
I fell and dislocated and fractured my right ankle, and I have to call an orthopedist’s office Friday morning to talk to them about scheduling surgery. I’m going to ask for a referral to see a doctor in Hot Springs, AR, so that I can stay with my parents at their home instead of one of them having to come stay here for the surgery and then take me back with them afterward.

Long version of the story:
I went out to Trevecca (the university where I finished my Bachelor’s degree six years ago) to work in the library—somewhere I can’t connect to the internet—this afternoon. Around 6ish, after finishing a chapter and writing summaries for the next couple of chapters, enough to be going on with tonight, I decided to head home. As I neared the bottom of the hill from the library to the parking lot, the sidewalk ends, and I stepped into the grass to keep from stepping out into the street because I heard a car coming from behind me. My left foot landed on an uneven piece of ground, and when I tried to compensate with my right foot, it hit an even more uneven piece of ground and I went down—foot going one way, ankle going another. It was pretty gnarly. (The ER nurse told me I lacked only broken skin for it to be a massive compound fracture.)

And of course tonight was the night I left the house without my cell phone in my hand! (I’m usually so anal about making sure I have it with me.)

An angel of a student came over and called 911 for me and stayed with me until the fire truck arrived (Trevecca has an assisted-living facility, so they respond pretty quickly to emergency calls out there). They kept saying how amazed they were at how upbeat and chipper I was for someone with an ankle that looked like mine. (Of course, none of them happened to notice I was trembling like I was sitting on the San Andreas fault line during a 9.0 earthquake and offered me a blanket, but they sure did notice I was chipper!)

The ambulance arrived and they splinted my ankle as best they could and took me to Baptist Hospital (which is great—because that’s the hospital where I had my back surgery several years ago and my GP doctor is affiliated with Baptist, so they already had all my info on file). I had a very cute male nurse (Zach) who’s from Louisiana and, even though he didn’t attend there, is a huge LSU football fan, so we chatted about that off and on. I told them I can’t take any narcotic pain killers (morphine, oxy, anything that ends with -cet, codeine, Demerol, etc.) because they make me very, very sick, so they didn’t give me anything. My pain level was about an 8/10, but localized in the ankle (nothing compares to the pain I was in from the ruptured disk before back surgery in 2003), so I survived with nothing. They brought the portable X-ray in and got several images from different angles, then, after the doctor looked at those, they knocked me out for a couple of minutes so they could reduce the ankle (do the Old West yank and tug and get it to pop back in place). I didn’t feel a thing until they were already in the process of splinting it.

By this time, it’s after 10 p.m. And I had no cell phone—but fortunately I did have my laptop with me, and my family phone/address list is on it. So I was able to call my cousin and his wife, who live in East Nashville, and get the family grapevine started (they charge $3.75/minute for long distance calls at Baptist!). Every time my mom tried to call, a nurse or doctor walked into the room with some info or something for me to sign. I was finally released a little before 11 p.m. My cousin, Randy, came and picked me up, and when we got back to my house, I immediately ensconced myself in my office chair, because it rolls and I have hard surface floors (mostly wood) throughout my house, so rolling is much easier than trying to use crutches.

I finally got to talk to my parents after I got home. I’m going to call the orthopedist’s office tomorrow morning and see if they can refer me to someone in Hot Springs, then try to talk to someone out there and see if I can have my surgery there instead of here. My dad is going to drive over on Saturday, either to take me back on Sunday or to stay with me through the surgery and then take me back to Arkansas. Either way, I’ll probably be in Hot Springs through New Year’s.

At this point, I don’t need anything. My cousin and his wife are going to go get my car for me tomorrow (it’s still at Trevecca, obviously, since this is my right foot and I wasn’t supposed to drive tonight anyway, due to going under anesthesia briefly tonight).

There’s never a good time for something like this to happen, but I don’t know that there could be a worse time for this to happen—what with The Art of Romance three weeks overdue and an editing project, which I haven’t started yet, due back to Guideposts on Monday.

So, that’s the long version of the story. It’s now midnight, and I still haven’t taken any pain killers. The ankle is painful, but only about a 3/10 (again, I do have a much higher pain point of reference than most people). I haven’t eaten since lunch, so I’m going to fix a bowl of soup, take some Excedrin PM, and go to bed…because my day will start pretty early on Friday with calling doctor’s offices, etc.

Prayers are greatly appreciated!

Update, 11:15 a.m. Friday
I had a relatively good night last night. I did have to get up once and take some more aspirin (after two PM painkillers before going to bed), but I was able to find a position that was comfortable enough to sleep for a solid six or seven hours. The right ankle is aching when still and pretty painful when being moved around. My left ankle was also twisted in the fall and mildly sprained, so that has made getting around just that much harder. My upper body (arms and shoulders especially) is sore from having to push myself up/take my weight for balance whenever I move. I’m hoping that this won’t make my back pain flare up. If it does, then I might consider getting the prescription that they gave me at the ER last night filled.

We’re in the process of trying to find an orthopedic specialist in Hot Springs who can get me in on Monday (and get the files transferred over from the hospital here, etc.). My dad is driving over on Saturday to help me pack up and then we’ll head to Hot Springs on Sunday, most likely. I’m ready for a little bit of parent pampering.

  1. Friday, November 5, 2010 2:30 am

    I am sooo sorry to hear about your accident. You know I will be praying for you and the surgeon. xo


  2. Friday, November 5, 2010 4:31 am

    Oh my. You were in shock and the EMTs should have given you a blanket without a thought! I’m so sorry to hear about this mishap, Kaye, and pray over all the circumstances – your pain, the right doctor and procedure, the surgery, healing and rehab. Sounds like you’ll have a bionic ankle – “they can rebuild it”. And you’ll have an excuse when the metal detector goes off at the airport now!

    Kudos for the use of your rolling chair and I’m sending some increased stamina for your other leg and arms that will take over the responsibility for getting you around the house.

    Chipper, huh? Good for you!


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 10:55 am

      I think it was a combination of a little bit of shock and a lot bit of the fact it was around 50 degrees outside and I was on the ground with just a lightweight jacket on.

      The increased stamina is definitely needed—my left ankle is pretty sore this morning, too, from being twisted in the fall, so getting around, even in the wheeled chair, isn’t really comfortable. But it does give me an excuse to sit in bed with my laptop all day (thank goodness for wireless internet in my house!).


  3. Patty permalink
    Friday, November 5, 2010 5:33 am

    Those guys just didn’t know that you’re always chipper! I hope you get to feeling better soon.


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 10:57 am

      Always chipper? Nah . . . mostly just in public. I don’t know if the reality of this hasn’t yet sunk in or what, but I am probably in a much better mood than I should be for someone in this situation (with no insurance and facing surgery and rehab costs).


  4. Friday, November 5, 2010 6:05 am

    Oh no!!! I’m so sorry Kaye! That sounds terrible and I know the timing is just the worst! I’ll definitely be praying for you! (((hugs)))


  5. Pattie permalink
    Friday, November 5, 2010 6:08 am

    Oh Kaye! I’m so sorry. I sure hope you can feel better soon!


  6. The Damsels permalink
    Friday, November 5, 2010 6:08 am

    Oh I hope you feel better soon! *hugs*


  7. Friday, November 5, 2010 6:16 am

    Oh my goodness, Kaye! You certainly have my prayers.


  8. Audry permalink
    Friday, November 5, 2010 6:17 am

    oh how awful! I’m so sorry to hear that this happened and I’ll definitely pray for your surgery to go well and you to be back on your feet soon.


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:00 am

      I’m hoping they’ll put me in a walking boot after surgery. That’s what happened when my grandmother did this almost twenty years ago. Five years ago, when my mom did the same thing, she had to stay off the foot for weeks after surgery. So I’m praying really hard for the walking boot option!


  9. Friday, November 5, 2010 6:55 am

    Oh my, how horrible. I will be praying for you. God has you pulled out of your normal writing element for a reason. Don’t miss what He has planned for you. I hate you are in pain. I do not do well with narcotics either. I can sympathize. Hang in there trooper. It will work out. It always does. 🙂

    Too blessed to be stressed. HA! Remind yourself of that if it gets overwhelming Miss successful author of a million books!


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:01 am

      The ironic thing is that two out of the last three books I’ve written were finished while I was at my parents’ house. Maybe this was God’s not-so-subtle way of getting me there so I can finish this book!


      • Saturday, November 6, 2010 8:15 am

        Ha! He’s funny like that isn’t He. Is there anything I can do to help you? I live in Hendersonville, but I can come Nashville sometimes. HA! Seriously, if you need me I can help you until you get this thing figured out.

        What is the latest on what you plan to do?

        Oh my! I just thought about the MTCW club! What will you do about that? I was planning on coming. Let me know if you plan to cancel or you plan to do something different.

        Still praying for you! Keep us posted from where ever you will be. 🙂


        • Saturday, November 6, 2010 9:24 am

          God had already taken care of MTCW—someone else came forward a couple of weeks ago and volunteered to teach the November meeting (11/13) and the board is already working on the December meeting (which is the members-only Christmas brunch, so be sure to make it to the November meeting so you’re eligible to attend that). And I plan to be home before the January meeting on 1/8.


  10. Friday, November 5, 2010 7:04 am

    Oh, no!! I will definitely keep you in prayer!!


  11. Friday, November 5, 2010 7:55 am

    Dear Kaye, so sorry this has happened (and a little weak in the knees… injuries involving bones can still make me pass out). Adding my prayers for you to all the others. Hugs!


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:02 am

      The whole time I was lying there, both waiting for the ambulance and waiting in the ER for something to happen, I kept thinking that if I had my phone with me, I could take pictures of what it looked like and post those. But now, in hindsight, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t have a way to take pictures, because it was pretty gross, even with no broken skin/blood.


  12. Friday, November 5, 2010 8:13 am

    Oh Kaye! Bless your heart! I’m so sorry about your fall and your ankle, but so glad someone came to your rescue to assist you. My prayers are with you as you go through this ordeal. (If I lived closer I’d happily bring a meal to you….). Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo
    ( 1 Peter 5:7 ) – My very favorite verse, which has seen me through many trials over the years!)


  13. Friday, November 5, 2010 9:17 am

    Oh my gosh!! This is terrible!!! I’m so sorry to hear this!!! Since it sounds like there’s a good chance you’ll be in Hot Springs this weekend (boo!) call me any time you need to talk…now if your departure for Hot Springs gets delayed till after surgery, let me know if I can do anything for you!


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:05 am

      Can you believe I didn’t have your phone number on my computer anywhere? And since I couldn’t connect to the internet, I had no way to get in touch with you! But all things considered, it probably worked out for the best since it was after 10 p.m. before I was released.

      It looks like I’ll be heading to Hot Springs tomorrow or Sunday (depending on if my dad feels up to driving over and back in the same day, but considering how long of a drive it is, I’m going to suggest he stay overnight and be well rested for the trip back).


      • Friday, November 5, 2010 1:34 pm

        Well that is just craziness. Save my phone # everywhere now! LOL! Since the earliest you’ll be able to see anyone is Monday, staying overnight before heading back sounds like a good option. Maybe that will be easier and less stressful for you both! Keep in touch, k?


      • Friday, November 5, 2010 1:35 pm

        Oh…and I know this is really quite unimportant in the scheme of things, but I am quite bummed you’re going to be in Hot Springs when Harry Potter opens. Just sayin’. 😉


        • Friday, November 5, 2010 2:26 pm

          Actually, that was one of the first things that crossed my mind when I heard “surgery”—that I won’t be able to go see Harry Potter with you.


        • Friday, November 5, 2010 4:35 pm

          Oh dear, we’re channeling each other again. LOL! Seriously, when you are back in TN we’re going to have to plan some serious dinners/shopping excursions/movie experiences to make up for lost time!!!


  14. Friday, November 5, 2010 9:23 am

    Ok. You win! Here I’ve been whining all week. I had surgery to remove a skin cancer spot from my face and it ended up being much more extensive than I thought I’ve been swollen and sore and a bit, well, whiney. But, now, I’m feeling guilty. I’m so sorry for your pain and I’m praying for you!


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:06 am

      There’s always someone else out there to put our pain into perspective—someone e-mailed me that her sister had broken both arms and a leg in an accident several months ago. I’m feeling pretty lucky right about now!


  15. Friday, November 5, 2010 9:27 am

    Praying, praying, praying that you’ll feel better very soon.


  16. Jason permalink
    Friday, November 5, 2010 9:29 am

    Ok…I have to ask…did you at any point recently pray for God to do something to make you sit still and finish your book? 😉

    I’m stunned they didn’t put a blanket on you. I once twisted my ankle to the point I went into shock although in a miracle it didn’t break. But I was on the shelf for a while. I’ll be praying for you and if Amy & I can help let me know.


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 9:31 am

      I admit it. That was my first thought, too, Jason.


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:08 am

      I don’t know how much stiller I could get than sitting here alone in my house all day long every day. I had been praying for inspiration and renewed creativity. Don’t exactly know how the injury will help with that (since I’m not getting the prescriptions filled).


  17. Friday, November 5, 2010 9:30 am

    Ugh. Reading it the second time didn’t make it any easier. I’m so sorry you’ve been through this, Kaye. Wish I were closer and could help – but know that I could get there in 2 hours if you need me! In the meantime, you’re definitely in my prayers!

    I totally understand your being “chipper.”. When I was in a car accident with my girls, I went immediately into “we’re ok” mode with my youngest daughter, and it was pure adrenaline and shock. It wasn’t until I boarded the passenger side of the ambulance with her strapped to the gurney that I totally lost it.

    Take care!


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:09 am

      I figured I’d lose it as soon as I got home or as soon as I talked to my mom, but I still haven’t—not a single tear. I don’t know if it’s some kind of delayed shock and I’ll loose it as soon as I see my parents (Dad’s coming tomorrow), but I’m actually more concerned about my lack of emotional response to this than what I’m going to have to go through in the next week or so.


  18. Friday, November 5, 2010 9:47 am

    How awful!! I’ll be praying that everything will go smoothly for you as you transfer everything to stay with your parents for awhile, and that your surgery will happen without a single hitch.

    I’m with Jason and Regina…I think this may be God’s way of providing time for you to finish your book. 🙂


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:11 am

      You know, it’ll be nice to be able to go home for a couple of months and be taken care of. I’ve been on my own for so long and have a really hard time delegating or letting others do for me that this may be God’s way of teaching me to slow down, to let others get the blessing of serving me instead of me feeling like I constantly have to serve others.


      • Saturday, November 6, 2010 8:23 am

        I am expecting a couple of extra books now! HA! You will have the perfect set up, oh, ok, not so perfect.


  19. Friday, November 5, 2010 9:49 am

    Kaye- wow. Girl! I am soo sorry that this happened to you. I am here if you need anything! A pad of brightly colored stickie notes, a carryout order os soapapillas, a giant box of chocolate or even an ear to listen. I do think this isn’t a fun thing but it very well make you complete deadlines like never before. Love you and I am here for you. Seriously call me and I will be there in a heartbeat!
    Love and many prayers, Aj


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:12 am

      Thank you, AJ! I think I’m pretty well covered right now. My cousin’s wife is going to bring me a bottle of Advil (I didn’t realize until last night that I’m out), and other than that, I’m pretty well squared away with quick-fix meals and leftovers. But I’ll definitely keep your offer in mind.


  20. Jackie permalink
    Friday, November 5, 2010 9:51 am

    I am soooo sorry…….am adding my prayers to the others!!! I am a new reader and am loving your blog! Hang in there; God will provide!


  21. Friday, November 5, 2010 9:53 am

    I read this on twitter but feel I didn’t convey my sympathy and shock sufficiently in a mercilessly abbrevieated tweet… Wishing this hadn’t happened but so thankful you have a plan in place and will be recuperating with your folks. If I lived closer I’d be happy to do anything for you at all (except write your wonderful books!)…


  22. Friday, November 5, 2010 10:22 am

    Kaye, when you do something, you do it exceptionally well, don’t you? I’m so incredibly sorry about this. Bless that college student who stayed with you. I’ll be praying that you heal quickly and this doesn’t put too much of a damper on your busy life.


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 11:14 am

      Oh, I never go half-measures with anything! 🙂


  23. Friday, November 5, 2010 11:31 am

    Just read your update, Kaye. Definitely take it as easy as you can with the left one being sprained too. I’ve been there. My left ankle has been broken three times, and the last time I sprained the right one at the same time. I guess you can say we’re both talented in that way. At least that’s what I always say about my experiences. Very glad you were able to sleep! Have a safe trip to your parents, and enjoy the time being pampered.


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 2:28 pm

      I’ve sprained this ankle a few times, but the last time was more than twenty years ago. I’ve just gotten off the phone with an orthopedic clinic in Hot Springs, and they’re right now trying to get all my records from the ER here, so it’s looking like I will definitely be going to Arkansas this weekend.


  24. Clari permalink
    Friday, November 5, 2010 12:42 pm

    OOOOooooch! I definitely feel your pain. Had my left arm broken in two places back in May. I didn’t require surgery like I did the first time I broke it, but I couldn’t get into an orthopedic doctor to get it casted until over 24 hrs later. Then because one of the breaks was more like a smash with lots of little breaks in it, I was in that awful Knuckle-to-Shoulder cast for 8 weeks. Every nurse that saw it said they’d never seen such a tight cast (my hand was constantly going numb and turning purple) but the doctor said “that’s normal”. By the time I came out of it my wrist (which wasn’t broken) had no mobility, flexibility or strength, and I had decided to never use that particular doctor again (absolutely NO compassion or bedside manner)!

    I’ve decided that having surgery and only being casted for a week (same arm a few years ago) was much better then being casted for 8 weeks! I’m praying your surgery will be easy, successful, and that you’ll get the walking boot and won’t have to have a cast or at least not long, because that would make bathing SOOOO much easier! Also praying for your finances! I know what no insurance and broken bones add up to! Been there done that!

    “Dear Heavenly Father,
    Thank you for providing someone to help Kaye when she needed them. Please give her strength through the pain, skilled doctors in the upcoming surgery and quick healing. Father, please provide the money that she’ll need to pay the bills that this accident will bring. Bless her with your grace, comfort and mercy, and let her see how you will use this in her life for Your Honor and Glory,


  25. Friday, November 5, 2010 12:47 pm

    Kaye, I did something very similar back in my teens. Had surgery and still have the screw in my foot to prove it. But people brought me books to read in the hospital and I wasn’t in much pain so I didn’t mind. 😀

    I hope the surgery goes well for you and your body heals quickly. I’m surprised they let you go home before the surgery. Once I went to the ER, I didn’t leave until a couple days after the surgery.


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 2:30 pm

      My mom did something very similar five years ago and they did it as outpatient surgery for her. I’m really hoping I don’t have to stay in the hospital overnight for this, but if I react as badly to the anesthesia afterward as I did after back surgery (very, very sick to my stomach), they may have to. But at least if that happens this time, getting sick with a bum ankle won’t hurt as badly as getting sick with a bad back!


  26. Friday, November 5, 2010 1:00 pm

    Oh, Kaye! I was hoping the story would have an HEA, like you had completed your manuscript, but of course, if you had, you probably wouldn’t have been at the library today.

    Lots of hugs. You have a really high pain tolerance if you could deal with a dislocation and break with no heavy-duty stuff. But if you hit a point, with the additional aches where you need it, don’t hesitate, even if only for a few days.

    More hugs. And prayers for a fast recovery.


    • Friday, November 5, 2010 2:32 pm

      I might, after surgery, depending on how the pain from that is. But even after back surgery, I came off the heavy prescription stuff after only a couple of days because I couldn’t stand the way it made me feel, and ibuprofen seemed to work better on the actual pain anyway.


  27. Friday, November 5, 2010 6:23 pm

    Ouch! But yay for dads coming to the rescue!

    It took me a couple weeks this past spring before I really started reacting to my situation. Totally different I know, but it is probably the shock of it and you still haven’t fully absorbed what’s happened.


  28. Sandy permalink
    Friday, November 5, 2010 9:51 pm

    Oh boy, sorry to hear about your mishap. I’m praying your recovery is swift and your creative juices are flowing so you do not get any more behind (and add even more stress). Also praying for a safe journey to Hot Springs for you and your father. Enjoy the time with your parents, though not necessarily the reason.


  29. kav permalink
    Saturday, November 6, 2010 10:43 am

    Oh Kaye!!!! Belated sympathy and prayers! Grateful that you will be getting lots of tender loving care. And I’m evil enough to be thinking that you could turn this scenario into material for a book. Not very nice I know but that’s just the way by mind works. 😦


  30. Saturday, November 6, 2010 12:04 pm

    Praying kaye!!!


  31. Saturday, November 6, 2010 8:32 pm

    So sorry, Kaye! Wish I could do something…


  32. Sunday, November 7, 2010 7:01 pm

    Oh you poor thing I hope your ankle feels better SOON! I kind of know what you’re going through my mom broke her ankle a few years back and was in a lot of pain. At least you got to have a nice chat with a cute nurse, my mom didn’t even get to do that. Hope you get pampered beyond belief by your fam! 🙂

    XOXO~ Renee

    p.s. Maybe you’ll be inspired to write a story featuring a hunky doctor or nurse 😉


  33. Sunday, November 7, 2010 8:27 pm

    We arrived safely in Hot Springs. Mom and Dad rented a wheelchair since I have so much trouble getting around on crutches (and since the left ankle is lightly sprained also), and that made traveling so much easier. I’m now semi-comfortably ensconced on the sofa/recliner in the living room trying to ignore all the irritating pressure points of the cast/splint on my calf and ankle and praying very hard that I can get in to see the orthopedist on Monday (if for nothing else than to get this splint off!) and that they’ll decide I don’t need surgery after all. That’s my biggest prayer request at the moment—that it’s a clean enough break/fracture that they’ll decide they don’t need to go in to correct anything surgically—that rest, immobilization, and staying off it (or a walking boot) will be all I’ll need.



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