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Please be kind 2017

Today is January 1, 2017 and I’ve already had two very good crying spells. Not the way to start a new year, in my opinion. Almost exactly two weeks ago I slipped on our stairs and broke my ankle. Now, when I say ‘broke’ I’m not referring to a fracture.  I mean broken. Shattered. I’ll never forget looking down and seeing my foot dangling off 90 degrees to the side of my leg and grotesquely deformed from displaced bones and swelling. I can’t get the image out of my head. Neither can my family, they all watched it happen.  My 15 year old called 911. This was 6 days before Christmas. 

I guess I’m pretty lucky that it took 42 years before I suffered a traumatic injury. Oh I’ve felt pain before. I’ve birthed two children and had two hip surgeries. Let me say none of those remotely compared to the pain of this injury.  It was a struggle to remain conscious through the pain. Even the maximum dose of morphine would only buy me a groggy hour before I’d wake crying again.  

Even splinted, any time I had to be moved I could feel the bones shifting inside of me and the searing pain made me scream involuntarily. I feel so bad for my poor family and one dear friend who had to witness any of it. 

I try to be a stoic person.  I’ve experienced some very difficult things in my life and I try to face situations with as much grace as I can.  But there I was, crying out in agony with three people trying to lift/position me every time I had to use the commode. It’s a level of vulnerability I’d never imagined. 

I’d suffered what is called a trimalleolar ankle fracture with dislocation. It’s basically the worst case scenario of ankle injuries. Three of the supporting ankle bones were snapped and my foot was left dangling like a tennis ball in a tube sock.  To save my foot, the ER doctor reduced the dislocation (under sedation) almost immediately.  Unfortunately there were snafus and setbacks that meant surgery wouldn’t happen for another three days. 

I was released from the hospital on Christmas Day and came home a house full of family and merriment, very little of which I actually remember.  The week after Christmas was a blur of charting medications, sleep, and visits from friends. 

How do I launch into the excitement of a new year when I can hardly leave my bed? My blood pressure still drops when I try to stand, so a wheelchair is necessary. I can’t cook, clean, drive, or care for my family and dogs. 

Now I learn the hardest lesson yet: helplessness and accepting help.  Now I learn to let my family take care of me for a change. I learn to let my house be in disarray. I learn to say ‘yes’ when someone offers assistance, because if I say no it might mean I lay in bed hungry and holding my pee until the next offer comes along. 

I’m learning that everyday brings healing and progress, no matter how slow. 

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7 responses »

  1. Oh Delaney! I am so sorry. Prayers and good thoughts being sent your way.

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  2. Delaney, this injury sounds so horrendous. I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through. If I can be helpful to you, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I live practically across the street from you. I can run errands, etc. I sure hope that your foot will heal. To feel this helpless has to be one of your worst nightmares. Keep the faith – and, incidentally, you are a really good writer. 🤔👏🏼🌈🌞🎗

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  3. Delaney, I have been where you are right now. I missed an entire Christmas and New Year’s in 2009 due to a gall bladder attack that led to Pancreatitis. The pain was off the charts…morphine wouldn’t touch it. I was in the ICU for three days over Christmas. I was so sick the first night they asked Brian if I had a living will and power of attorney, they needed the paperwork. I had to wait for surgery in the hospital until a week later. I didn’t see Beckett for 9 days. I have very few memories of that time because of the drugs. I had so many holes in my arms and hands from the IV’s, the bruising looked like someone took a baseball bat to me. It took me a couple months to fully recover. But, I did! You will, too. The drugs made me VERY emotional, among other side effects. My family and friends stepped up and I let them. I had no choice, really, truly. It was humbling and beyond frustrating…but, it also opened my eyes to many things I’d never experienced before and provided me a new-found empathy. You will find a strength you never knew you had and a faith through physical healing that is indescribable. And, your family will be fine. They will learn a few things, too…good things! You got this and God has you! Let me know if you need anything…I have quite the library of books if you like to read and we have tons of puzzles. I’d be happy to drop some things off to keep you occupied 🙂

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  4. Delaney, as always you have such a gift with words. Please know that we are here for you. Clearly, we will take over Wednesdays with Confirmation for Erika. I will call you to see what else I caNcaN do for you so please think about what that can be. I can run errands, grocery shop, whatever you need please let me know. Reach out for the help. You dpo so much for others, I know many of us will love the opportunity to return the favor. Love you my friend!

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