Thursday, January 30, 2014

My wonderful "Buddy" saved me on January 10, 2014.

Our two year old dalmatian, Buddy, loves to go for walks around the neighborhood. But on january 10 it was a very cold and snowy morning. He was wearing his sweater and halter. I was wearing my down jacket. So off we go, down the driveway and around the corner. There was a light snow on the street. At the corner, I slipped and fell in a snow bank. No problem. I was up, brushed myself off, and we started off again. My neighbor across the street, the banker's wife, saw me fall and we laughed and I told her to be careful because the new snow fall is covering black ice. She was out shoveling her sidewalk. She wished me luck and off we went down the middle of the street.

Buddy likes to go to a particular light pole and we started towards it and before you could say, "watch out"; I was down in someone's driveway. My feet flew up and my back hit the street and my head hit the ice. I lay there for a minute or two and slowly got up. Buddy stood there with me. He was right by my side.

We started to walk towards our house when I realized my glasses were not on my face. We turned around to go back to find them. Buddy went right to them; I picked them up, put them on, well, tried to, because they wouldn't stay on my face.

When we got to our driveway, we turned in. Then I slipped on the ice and when I was falling, I heard my ankle crack. Like a twig. There was a little more snow on the ground, just enough to hide the black ice that had frozen over night. Again, Buddy was at my side. Our driveway is about 30 feet long, maybe a little longer. I looked at my foot and saw that it was dangling and everything went numb. No pain. Just numb. I looked around to see if anyone was walking on my street. No one! My neighbor Andy, who usually leaves the house to go to work around 10:00am was still at home. His car was in his driveway. I thought, wouldn't I be lucky if he came out now and called 911 for me. Burt was up on the third floor, on the other side of the house...I knew he wouldn't hear me calling for help. No Andy. No neighbors. No Burt. No one came to my rescue. After yelling for help for 10 minutes, I realized that I was getting cold and tired. 

I knew I was going to have to crawl up the driveway and get into the house. I looked at Buddy and said, "you are going to help me!" I grabbed hold of his halter and with each step he took towards the garage, I pulled myself along, on my stomach. It took 30 minutes. Once in the garage I could crawl the 10 feet and up into the mud room. I was again, on my stomach and calling for help hoping Burt would hear me. A few minutes later, he came downstairs and the first thing he saw was the back of my head whiich was full of blood. He called 911. The rescue firemen came first, almost immediately. I was still on the floor when they arrived. Big, Tall, Strong, and ready to take charge. One bent down and said, we're going to take care of you. Then they swooped me up and placed me on a kitchen chair. The ambulance arrived and in minutes I was in the back having my blood pressure taken. 190 over 130. They wrapped my head in gauze and off we went to the emergency room at Holyoke Medical Center. That morning they had over 24 fractures from people falling. It was chaos. The sweet young nurse who looked so cute at 11:00, by 4:30 she looked like she had been in a war. But she kept her sense of humor even though she was exhausted.  The Panitch Group, orthopedic surgeons, were in the ER that morning. But the doctor who really helped me was Dr. Harris. He put my foot back into place; turns out I had a dislocated foot and both tibia and fibula were fractured - straight line right above my foot. Once he set my foot, sent me for a ct scan of my head which revealed no fractures; and put 7 staples in the back of my head, I was sent home. In the parking lot I had to use the barf bag several times. The drugs made me sick.

So sick and woosie from the 30-minute dose of fentinol, once we drove into the  driveway, I realized I was going to have to go up two steps into the mud room on crutches. No one showed me how to use them and I wasn't feeling that great. I only made it to the dining room rug and that is where I went to sleep for the night. Next morning, I crawled over to our little red sofa, pulled myself up and stayed there most of the day. On Sunday, Jason and Paul arrived with a wheel chair which made everything easier. I still had to use the crutches to get into our powder room.

The first floor is where I slept for 6 weeks. On the couch. Very comfy.  On Monday Burt went to Walgreens and bought a commode for me. My husband is the one person I want to take care of me. He has always risen to the challenge and this wasn't easy for him. Now he has to take care of Buddy, take him out, take care of me and clean the commode, go food shopping, put away the groceries, cook and clean up the kitchen. And he never complains. 

Now is it March 2 and I'm wearing a walking boot. The cast was removed 2 weeks ago. And in 2 1/2 more weeks, I'll be ready for physical therapy.  This has been an eye-opener. This winter has been a tough one. Spring can't come soon enough. 

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