I can honestly say when I woke up the morning of October 25, I had zero intentions of being called to the emergency room of a large hospital about 50 minutes from home.
In fact, according to my goals list I was supposed to order the 2019 Power Sheets, a 2019 calendar, finish painting the cabinet doors for the One Room Challenge, make sure all the requirements of the sponsored post, How to Stencil Textured Walls Like A Pro, had been met and answer about 50 emails.
All of that changed as soon as I heard my bestie’s boss on the phone though.
“S fell and sprained both ankles. She’s in the ambulance now and they’re headed to the emergency room. I think you should come,” Jay said. Here’s the thing, he sounded like a Dad that was trying to stay calm but there was clearly a worried undercurrent in his voice.
“What do you mean sprained her ankles? She needs an ambulance for that?” I said. “I have a really long drive and a lot to wrap my head around, don’t sugar coat this, ok?”
“I’m not sugar coating it, I think they’re both broke,” he replied.
I quickly changed out of my paint clothes, showered, took my hair out of a three-day old messy bun and headed to the hospital. I was in such a rush, I forgot to make sure the dogs had water or to pick their food bowls up. I never thought to leave a light on either. I just left. You’ll see why this is significant later.
I left my home littered with cabinet doors on every surface, half used paint cans and tools from the garage scattered on the dining room table. I left ladders up all over the kitchen, dust and wads of dog hair in every corner and dying mums in the flower beds hoping it would rain while I was gone.
I never thought to clear a path at all.
What I didn’t know until I got to the emergency room was that love had already shown up before I even got there. It was Jay who held S’s hand and talked her through the pain as the paramedics stabilized her severely damaged left foot. The pain was too intense for them to even try the right.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I got to the emergency room, but I knew something was not right the minute I saw S. Her face was gray and clammy. I don’t want to be graphic but her left foot was clearly disjointed as her ankle and toes were flat and faced the wall despite the fact she was sitting up. Her right foot was not much better as it was swollen and purple and bruised.
Thankfully, S has a fabulous group of ultra-close friends. Sabrina and Patty where already in the room by her side. They’re both extremely detailed and quickly got me up to speed recounting everything from the fall to the doctor’s early diagnosis.
The only way I can describe the following hours is in short words and sentences because I was in a total fog… she needs surgery…we’re going to have to rebuild her left foot and leg with rods, plates, screws, pins…we need a CAT scan, somebody get the mobile x-ray cart…she has multiple fractures and breaks on multiple bones… there’s bilateral extensive ligament and tendon damage… and “we’re going to have to put her foot back in the socket…” before finally hearing, “this is going to be a long recovery.”
Everyone we spoke to in the emergency room was preparing to admit S to the hospital until the CAT scan results showed swelling so severe on both feet, they could not operate.
She would have to go home and wait for the swelling to go down.
The only thing I’ll say about her discharge was that it was clearly an unsafe discharge. S was completely immobile and non-weight bearing from the knees down with both legs and ankles in casts. Despite having health insurance, we were basically sent home with a wheelchair and a “will call you with a surgery date.”
There is NO WAY she could have made it out of the house safely had there been a fire or some sort of emergency.
You can believe there will be calls made. And lots of them. I’m still beside myself with anger just thinking about it some 5 days later.
Had it not been for Sabrina’s quick thinking we would not have made it home because by this time, it was dark and raining. Sabrina called her kids, Austin and Julieann to help haul the wheelchair home and to help get S out of the car. It took 5 medical staff members to get her in the car and 4 of us in the rain, late at night to get her out.
Needless to say, after having kept it together for over 12 hours, I was totally overwhelmed. I literally sobbed for hours.
It was truly mortifying to have them inside my usually tidy house knowing my senior dogs had been left inside all day, knowing there was 4 weeks’ worth of One Room Challenge tools in the dining room, knowing there were cabinet doors strewn about and that every surface was covered with something that should not be there.
Honestly, there was not one room in the entire house that had a big enough path for a wheelchair or basically even a real plan.
But that’s precisely the time when love showed up and said, “I got you.”
Love says, “I don’t care what your house looks like, don’t be embarrassed, we’re not even looking.” Love helps you move furniture to clear a path and looks past the dust and dog hair. It tells you the kitchen looks good and that the shiplap makes a huge difference even though there are so many tears falling out of your eyes, you can’t even really see the shiplap.
Love shows up as your incredibly generous parents with bags and bags of groceries – at least a month’s worth or more. Love even brings junk food and magazines and items you didn’t even know you needed.
Love shows up with not one but 4 wheelchair ramps and a platform, so you don’t have to struggle to get in and out of the bed so much. Love takes the time to measure a standard toilet height and to research extender seats.
Even after giving up a day to build the ramps, love spends an entire weekend to help you finish the kitchen and cross things off your One Room Challenge list.
And before leaving, love holds you tight and lets you fall apart even though you’re ugly crying and reassuringly says, “You will get through this. You are going to be alright. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
Love shows up in text messages and emails and phones calls. It shows up in “I can cut your grass,” and “How does pizza on Tuesday sound,” and “I’ll be by to pick up your laundry at 9.” It shows up in, “We’ll take care of your pecan grove” and “I put you guys on our prayer list at church,” and “I’ll bring snickerdoodles to the hospital” and “What can I do to help you finish the One Room Challenge?”
It says, “I’m here to help, put me to work,” and “What supplies do you need?” and “How are you really doing?”
And I know love will continue to show up every time we need it because love always shows up at exactly the right time.
To say this accident is going to drastically alter the blog, my work and all things Team Crowned Goat is an understatement. S is our website administrator, our techie expert, one of my favorite DIY buddies and a huge reason our business is growing at the pace we’re growing.
Honestly, I haven’t really been able to wrap my head around it all yet. Right now, we’re just taking it one day at a time.
We’ve had to cancel our trip to the cabin for Thanksgiving and will miss our family’s ski trip this Christmas as well. While our hearts ache for what we will miss, we both know Thanksgiving and Christmas came early for us this year wrapped in so many acts of tender love and kindness.
We understand this road through rehab and recovery is going to be a long one, but I am confident we will make it through. We truly understand this accident could have been so much worse.
I’ll try to keep you guys posted in the days, weeks and months to come. Thank you in advance for your understanding as we navigate all these changes during the busiest time of the year. You are the reason I was able to move through the intense grief of my grandparents’ death and the reason I was able to pick myself back up after the loss of my beloved, Talladega, not three months later.
I know you’ll give me the strength to carry on this time too.
With love and appreciation for each of you,