February 24th was just like any other Saturday for me until a patch of ice threw a wrench into my machine. I was babysitting dogs for the weekend and decided to take some of them for a short walk around the block before bed. I was almost home when my right shoe hit a patch of ice. The friction caused my foot to snap to the right and that was that. My ankle broke. I actually saw it happen and immediately said out loud, “Well….THAT’S broken”. It actually didn’t hurt…..at first. So, since I didn’t have my cell phone with me I decided I should probably lie down in the snow bank and yell for help.
I yelled help for oh…I don’t know….five minutes. Nobody came. A car came by; I tried to flag it down. It did not see me. So, I decided to yell a little louder. Still nobody came. So, I decided I should maybe scream for help. So I lay there screaming for help for at least another five minutes. Still no one came. Meanwhile, all three dogs are sitting by my side…or so I think. Finally, I see a car come across the road and pull up beside me. It was a policeman who said someone heard me screaming help and called 911.
(OK….so glad they came out to see if I was dying but that’s ok) The policeman saw my ankle and called an ambulance right away. I told the officer he could take my dogs back to my house. He asked me what their names were. I told him the one next to me was Truman, the brown one was Cooper and the little white one was Marley. He then said, “ummm, ma’am there’s no little white dog”. Oh, NO! Apparently my screaming for help freaked her out so much that she chewed through her leash and ran away. They said they saw her but she kept running away from them. I told the police who she belonged to so they could call the owners and maybe they would be able to catch her. They put me in the ambulance and took me to the hospital.
While I was in the hospital doped up on morphine I was on the phone trying to contact all the other dog owners to make arrangements to get their dogs….and I still didn’t have my phone. It was a wonderful coordination between the police department and the hospital to get my phone and look at my contact list to give me the numbers of the people I needed to call. What a mess. Meanwhile, the owner of the little white lost dog called the hospital and got through to me to tell me she was going to bring me my phone so she could keep me posted. When she finally got to the ER with my phone she told me that she found her dog, waiting on my porch steps at my house. Someone she recognized was across the street so she ran across the street to him when a truck came around the corner and…..yes. She was struck.
They thought she was dead but when they went to pick her up she started whimpering. They took her to the animal hospital where she only needed a stitch on her face. Apparently she ran into the truck tire instead of the truck tire running into her. Thank goodness! Needless to say I felt horrible. Just horrible. And I still needed to figure out how all the dogs I was babysitting were going to get home…or at least outside in the morning. It was finally 3:30am when they admitted me to a hospital room. I don’t think I slept at all.
The surgeon wasn’t available to do surgery on my ankle until Monday afternoon. Both bones broken so once again I need a plate and screws and pins and ugh. What an ordeal. Here are some lessons I learned to help YOU in case of emergency. Always carry your cell phone and your keys with you. Always. When someone offers you help when you need it, take it. Then when you’re able, repay the favor. If you must walk your dogs on icy sidewalks, wear traction grippers on your shoes. Finally, yelling fire in an emergency will probably get you help faster than just yelling help.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me so far: Rebecca, Marny, KB, Cheryl, Amy, Joanne, Tracy, Michelle and everyone else who have sent their prayers and letters and phone calls and texts. Thanks to everyone who has gone grocery shopping for me, cleaned my house, washed my clothes, taken care of Truman, given me rides to and from work and cooked for me. I am overwhelmed with such an outpouring of generosity and kindness. I cannot thank you enough. I’ll be back to normal in a few weeks. I will always remember to pay your kindness forward when I can.