health, life, memoir

A Tale about Feet

On April 15, 2014, my dog, Max, had a quarter-sized lump removed from his side. We had to wait for test results to come back and have his stitches removed in ten days (this is relevant for later).

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On April 17, 2014, my husband called me from work just to say hi and let me know he was thinking of me.

Ten minutes after we hung up, around 2:30pm, my phone rang and I saw his number on caller ID again. Hmm. I wonder what he could’ve forgotten to tell me.

“Hello?”

A woman’s voice I didn’t recognize said, “Hi. Is this Lori, Gary’s wife?”

“Yes.” My voice shook.

“Gary just had an accident at work. We called an ambulance for him.”

“Wha… Wha… What?” Fear shot through my veins and straight into my brain, causing logical thoughts to scamper and hide.

“He fell from the mezzanine.”

I managed to squeak out, “Is he unconscious?”

“No. He’s alert. The ambulance just arrived. You can meet him at the hospital closest to here.”

She gave me the name of he hospital and hung up. He was conscious, but must not have felt well-enough to call me himself.

In a daze, I remained still for a moment. Thoughts bounced off each other like lotto balls, and I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do. In a brief moment of clarity, I searched for my purse and car keys. Unable to think of where to look, I scampered aimlessly around the house, when the phone rang again. It was Gary’s cell number.

“Hi, it’s me.” His voice was just as calm and reassuring as always. “I’m fine. I told the ambulance to leave. I’m sure it’s just a sprain. The guys here are going to take me to the ER to get an x-ray just in case.”

My body relaxed hearing his voice. My mind finally formed cohesive thoughts. “Are you able to walk?”

“No. But, I’ll be fine. Take your time getting to the hospital. It’ll probably be a while before they even get me in for an x-ray.”

I exhaled relief. When we hung up, I put the address of the hospital into maps online. Very easy to get to, but it was about 20 miles away. I finished up (whatever it was) I was doing when I first got the call. Then, I needed to make sure the dog couldn’t get at his stitches while I was gone, so I put a t-shirt on him. I grabbed some electronics to take with me for waiting around in an ER and left.

The hospital was small and very easy to find. I got to the ER and asked for my husband. They directed me to a room where I found him sitting up, his legs outstretched and both of his feet wrapped in ice.

This is where my memory gets blurry. I don’t know what happened in chronological order from there. The next scenes that flash in my brain are of my husband vomiting and the ER doctor taking me out of the room to show me the x-rays. He told me my husband wasn’t going home. His feet were shattered. He needed surgery. Several surgeries. Gary would be admitted and we’d have to wait for the surgeon on-call to do surgery on him in a few hours.

My mind was in panic mode again. I couldn’t think straight and the tears spilled. I made a couple calls, but most everyone we knew lived 100’s of miles away.

One call I made was to my pet sitter. She had to drive 20 miles to come get keys to the house to feed and walk Max. She graciously did that for me. I’m forever grateful she took that worry off my mind. She also had to make sure Max hadn’t ripped off the t-shirt or his stitches. I was so worried he would make his wound worse without someone there to keep an eye on him.

It was after ten o’clock pm, andย the surgeon still hadn’t shown up. The pet sitter only stayed with Max for about an hour. I had to get home.

Click here to find out what happened next.

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39 thoughts on “A Tale about Feet”

    1. It’s important to let people see that everyone faces adversity, and somehow we get through it. I think we should all be more open and compassionate with one another’s journeys in life. I see you commented some more. I’m off to check there.

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    1. It certainly was a challenging time, but we made it through. I didn’t think so at the time though. It sure goes to show we have more strength than we realize.

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  1. Lori, that was so powerful. I didn’t register the date at first and was thinking, oh no, he’s just been getting better! So, I’m glad to know this isn’t a new accident, but you really drew me in with trepidation and empathy to how you were feeling at the time.

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    1. Hi Andrea. Thank GOD, it’s not a new accident. I wrote updates last year, but we went through so much, I thought I’d write the details and share the happy ending. Thanks so much for your kind comment.

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  2. I found it very comforting to read the comments. SO this happened last year and everything turned out okay. Whew! Life can throw some real curve balls at you, can’t it? You told the story in a very compelling way, my friend!

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    1. Yes, I gave updates on my husband’s condition last year, but I didn’t write the details of all the mess he/we went through. It’s a bit hard to relive it, but it’s also cathartic to write it out. Not to mention, it has a happy ending to give people hope. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for your kind comment, Lorna.

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    1. Aside from my dog having some health issues this year, and my husband throwing his back out, I’m still banking on 2015 being the year of success. Thanks for the good wishes, JM. I wish you good things in 2015 as well.

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  3. Oh my! Lori, so glad this happened last year. As I was reading, I forgot the story wasn’t current then my eyes stole the title and I saw the first paragraph again… I’m really glad it’s over now. Life is certainly unpredictable, that’s what makes it life. I would be back to read the rest of the story when you post it.. My warm regards to your hubby and Max!
    Blessings. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Seyi. Yes, I thought I’d never make it through that time, but thank God we both did. Blessings to you, too.

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  4. 2014 was a big year for you. I really hope 2015 delivers the good stuff. I can imagine your reactions after the phone calls… and then the reality. The G.O. does similar, downplays & delays any not so good news… I guess that way there’s some breathing space. And, your pet sitter even if she was doing her job went out of her way to do it and help you out. It’s nice when people care.

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    1. Hi EllaDee. You know, as I wrote this post and relived what happened, I realized that when Gary downplayed his situation, it actually helped me to focus. I heard his calm voice and figured everything was all right. I was able to settle down and gather my thoughts. So, your G.O. is onto something there about breathing space. And, yes, my pet sitter had other clients and was nice enough to put Max first. I still get teary thinking about it, because we literally only had her to help out. God Bless her. Thanks for reading.

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    1. Well, that was Gary’s injury from last year, 2014. We’re both settled on success this year for 2015. I plan to get published and he plans on a promotion. So, yes, we are due for good luck and I feel it coming our way. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading, Anneli.

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  5. What a frightening call to get. It’s as if one’s entire world suddenly falls off kilter when we get phone calls like that. It’s an unfamiliar and terrifying feeling. As you mention with your pet sitter, that’s when the support of others means so much. They help get us through these times, and later we realize how difficult it would’ve been without them.

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    1. So true, Carrie. The news was earth-shattering. As I said, I really could not think straight. My mind couldn’t comprehend the scope of things. I know my readers know about what happened, but I thought it might be interesting to read the details. Others might see they aren’t alone, and that adversity can be overcome.

      My pet sitter, although we had to pay, was a Godsend. We had no one else to help out with anything, and thankfully, she dropped everything to run and help us out every time we needed it during that time. I know we aren’t her only client, so that was really so good of her.

      Thanks for reading, Carrie.

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    1. I know! Can you believe he thought he just sprained his ankle? Personally, I think he was in denial, because the enormity of his injury was too scary. It started to hit him in the ER when he was throwing up. His body couldn’t handle the pain or the scale of what was happening. And, yeah, men are like this … go into denial. Do they ever see a doctor? Sigh. Thanks for reading, Angela.

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  6. Lori, why do these types of things always happen in clusters and at the worse time possible? Several years ago, we decided to have tile installed throughout our house. The inside of our home looked like a cave, the floors were cement, all the furniture was moved. We were sitting on lawn chairs and using 5 gallon paint buckets turned over as tables. And then my husband had a stroke. My boys were fairly young at the time and understandably completely freaked out. It was awful. But the tile was installed, my husband fully recovered and everything turned out well. I hope the same happens in your story. I will be back for next weeks installment.

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    1. Woe. That’s really scary what happened with your husband’s stroke. We had our home in the same condition that you describe when we were putting down wood floors. Now, I feel fortunate my husband didn’t have his accident during that time. I don’t have children to worry about either, just the dog, who happened to be dealing with his own health issue. I think adversity has a built-in “overcome” ramp, but we don’t always see it in the midst of things. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad everything worked out and that your husband fully recovered.

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