The first morning I got up before the crowd in the house to go shopping at the local A & P; – Yes, The Vineyard still has A & P;’s. As I was picking things out at a fruit and vegetable bin I slipped, one foot went under the bin as I twisted and fell. I knew I had hurt myself, but I was not aware of how much for several hours after I drove back to the house, and one of my friends sharing the house, an RN, said we have to get you to the hospital.
That was the beginning of the nightmare. I had shattered my right-leg – a “Spiral Fracture” they called it. They splinted and immobilized it as best they could, and I flew home shortly thereafter, I had surgery on it the next morning in the DC area. Two long rods were inserted on either side of the broken lower leg bones from my ankle to just below my knee – to realign all the broken pieces, lots of pins and plates were screwed into place, and I was sent home several days later.
I spent the next year in a wheelchair – requiring two more surgeries over that year on my knee that I had damaged in the same fall at the A & P.; This was all very new to me – having never broken a bone in my life, and I was 38 at the time. As my doctor said, “Well all I can say is if this was the first time that you broke a bone, You did it right the first time.” While in the wheelchair that year, I helped my ailing mother (who I took care of until her death in 2005), and various hospice nurses take care of my father at the end of his life, Took some Community College Computer Courses, and helped my parents sell the family business.
The combination of everything going on was difficult to deal with, but we were all going through all of it together – in a way perhaps closer than our family had ever been before. So that was a good thing, a silver lining in all this. But, It was still a very difficult year-long “Vacation”.