The Broken Leg Story
March 6, 2012 § 7 Comments
Everyone knows the scene in Persuasion. It’s when that idiot, Louisa Musgrove, falls off the wall at Lyme. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, she’s being stupid and has a horrible fall where she hits her head and everyone freaks. Except for Anne. Every girl hopes they’ll be Anne when a crisis befalls. After all, her handling of the situation is what makes Wentworth get his head out of his butt and realize he’s still in love with her. She’s cool, she’s brilliant, and she saves the day.
Let me get this out there: I am not Anne.
The evening began with a girls’ viewing of One Day, a sad, confusing movie that none of us enjoyed much. (Although I think I would love the book. I always read the book; however, this time I was swayed by my massive crush on Jim Sturgess.) After the movie, we were getting ready for bed: my mother, my Meme, and I. But we smelled smoke.
We wandered the house sniffing but couldn’t find the source. I thought I was doomed to a restless night considering the only smoke alarm in the house had no batteries and was purchased in 1981. I called my dad for reassurance and was about to lay down in bed when I heard Meme.
“Oh! Oh!” I heard her yelling. My thoughts went instantly to fire, where they remained for quite some time. Even when I saw my poor mom sprawled at the bottom of the stairs to the outside deck. Even when I saw the unnatural angle of the bottom of her leg. My mind was looking for fire and I even asked Meme- upon walking out the back door and seeing no smoke and no fire- “Is she on fire?”
So my brain just stopped functioning. I forgot I was on the phone with my dad. Here’s what he heard: “Is she on fire? Should I call 911? I think we should call 911. *Click*”
My mom said “I think it might be broken.”
“Oh, it’s broken. For sure.” (Comforting, right?)
Then I dialed 911 and forgot where I was. My grandparents have lived at the same address my whole life and I had no idea what it was. Meme was having to feed me my lines, so to speak. Here’s what it sounded like.
“Where are you, ma’am?”- Operator
“I’m… uh…” (Meme had to tell me.)
“Do they need to come through the front door?”
“Uh…yes…” (Totally wrong. It’s easy to get to the back deck from either direction outside and again, Meme had to correct me.)
“So, you think she might have broken her leg?”- Op
“Oh, she definitely broke her leg. I’m no expert, but that is B-R-O-K-E-N. A leg should not look like that. Ever.” Sugar-coating isn’t my specialty. In retrospect, it might have made my mom feel better had I not been so insistent that I knew how broken it was.
To my IMMENSE relief, the operator told me all I needed to do was wait and try to make her comfortable, and was not to move or touch her leg. THANK YOU, SWEET BABY JESUS.
Fast forward. The two paramedics arrived and immediately said they were going to need to set the bone before they could splint it. At this point I wanted to cover my ears and sing “la la la.”
I didn’t though.
Then I got a little angry about it. I know it wasn’t their fault, but this seemed a little like a bad western at this point. I almost asked if I needed to grab a bottle of moonshine and a leather boot strap.
Here’s some of my mom’s banter while they were setting up:
“You know how to tell if you’re a redneck? You’ve got a refrigerator on your back porch.” (That’s why she was on the deck.)
“I think I deserve a pedicure after this.”
“I had three babies with no pain meds- but I’m not opposed in general. I’ll take whatever you got.”
“You’re welcome (to me). This will make a good blog post.”
They set the bone and I held her hand. My hand shook so bad the paramedics thought I was going into shock. I ran around the house gathering things for her hospital stay- contacts and medication. I was sure to grab her Kindle Fire. You know, for when she was incoherent between surgery and bone resetting.
So, here’s what I learned I’m good for in a crisis: hand-holding, shaking like a leaf, running in circles, blunt appraisals. Here’s where I need some work: brain function, comforting the victim, collecting useful items.