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).
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.
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, and the surgeon still hadn’t shown up. The pet sitter only stayed with Max for about an hour. I had to get home.