The Day the Running Stopped, Part Three: And the Hits Just Keep On Coming
I sat there, shaking and sweating, in my car, realizing that something was terribly wrong with me. I couldn’t talk myself out of it any longer. I couldn’t will it away or rest it away, I needed help and I needed it now. My mind raced. I needed a plan. I called my husband and told him he’d need to take me to a doctor, or maybe the ER later that day. I called my friends so they could run my bag stuffing party without me. OK. Plan in place. I waited a few more minutes until my kids came out to the car and readied to drive home.
The kids got in the car, and I went to put the car in reverse. I felt a strong pull as I moved my leg first over to the brake. I gasped. Holy shit. I eased my leg up off of the break and screamed in pain. “OK guys, we’re not going to be able to drive.” I pulled back into the parking spot, shaking and sweating again. I was officially scared. I couldn’t even drive. I asked my daughter to call my husband to come get us while I made a few more phone calls to get my obligations taken care of for the evening.
The principal and guidance counselor saw me in the car as they finished getting students on the buses and came over to me. Did I need help? I of course said no, as is my way. I would be fine. I couldn’t drive, but no worries, my husband was coming to get me and the kids. They looked at me like I was crazy and summoned the nurse. But I still was thinking that somehow I had this. I would be OK. I would just get a boot or something on my leg and I’d be fine.
The nurse looked very concerned as I explained that I couldn’t walk, and couldn’t move my foot to operate the car. She opened the door and examined my leg and foot to be sure I was still able to move them and had circulation. I was mortified. These were my coworkers, and I was sitting in my car, with my children, unable to move. I felt weak and stupid. Why hadn’t I gone to the doctor sooner? What was wrong with me? Why was I in so much pain?
My husband arrived with crutches. OK. I would get out, get in the other car, and get on my way. The nurse put the crutches in front of me and the counselor crouched down to help me move my leg. I started to shift in the seat to leave the car and realized that now I couldn’t even move the leg. The counselor offered to help me.
When he moved my leg, I screamed. I had never felt pain like that, not even while giving birth. Tears streamed down my face.
OK they told me, the worst is over. I was standing now on the crutches. All I had to do was hop over to the other car and then I could sit again. I put my hands in place and readied myself. And tried.
Again I screamed. “I can’t do it,” I sobbed. The pain was so agonizing I could not move an inch. “I think I need an ambulance.”
Everyone was very calm. I don’t know who called the ambulance, I think maybe the nurse. The principal came out (my boss, also a friend). Two more coworkers came out. I wavered between crying and being absolutely embarrassed to have such a scene at my expense. They helped keep me calm, they eased me down a bit so I wasn’t resting on just one leg, and after several long minutes, I heard the sirens from far away approaching.
When the paramedics arrived, the school nurse took the lead with them and went through my symptoms, my story and the duration. They did a quick examination while I stood on the crutches before getting me onto the gurney (another scream from me, but at least no expletives). I said good bye to everyone as calmly as I could with tears streaming down my face, in between gulps of air. “I don’t think I’ll be at work tomorrow,” I tried to joke to my boss. My husband said he would take the kids home and meet me at the hospital.
I watched the concerned faces of everyone as the ambulance pulled away, listening carefully as the paramedic called in my vitals and situation to the hospital. He rattled off my respirations, blood pressure, dosage of the pain medication he’d just given me, and then his assessment of my problem.
“Possible fractured hip.” WTF?