Oops: April 17th, 2020

I haven’t put up a public blog post in a long time. It’s the same problem I came across when I was LiveJournaling a million years ago… I want the narrative to be complete. A ton of stuff happens, but I don’t have or take the time to transcribe it for the audience, so I don’t make the update… But it’s still happening to me. I want my audience to know what happened, but it’s exhausting to recount, so the moments pile up and I just… Don’t post.
A friend suggested vlogging, God help us. (Autocorrect suggested clogging, which is similarly hilarious.) If I was beautiful or articulate on the first ‘take’, I’d consider the vlogging thing – Lord knows pretty people have paid their rent for less.
I’m a writer, not a performer, and I edit my work. I need mental and emotional space enough to think about my day, to be able to understand enough to articulate it for an audience.
I haven’t been given that for awhile. When I started this summary, I wanted to make it a one-shot entry, but I’m not sure I can summarize that succinctly, so I’m going to make it a serial blog entry for the only person still alive who might read these: Jerry.

Let me take you on a journey:

We all know about the early school shutdowns in March from the COVID hysteria. The kids had been home while I and my husband, as ‘essential’ workers, still had to work, but not essential enough to pay for daycare but we still had to go… Right about the time I was going to lose my damn mind between worrying about how to homeschool, pay for childcare, and keep my job… I was offered furlough at work. I accepted gratefully. (Thank God, for further timelines.)
A few days later, The kids were home with me. we had just finished “The Mandalorian”. Evie teased us all outside for a game of tag. I was “it” after a wrestle-tickle inside. I jogged outside into my own yard, chasing tickles. (For clarity’s sake, I was wearing this damn pair of experimental rocker plantar-fasciitis-relieving sandals that I want to love and came to hate and believe may have contributed but refuse to file suit because I am not a suit-filing asshole)… Anyway, I slipped on some wet leaves on a minor slope in my yard, and to put it mildly, “absolutely wrecked my shit”.

When I fell, I thought, “Heck, I sprained my knee, or something.” I shot my BFF a text, knowing he was near. He said 5 mins. I got myself into a nearby chair, and waited. It was 5:30ish in the afternoon. I was in a hell of a lot of pain, but I assumed I was being dramatic.

When Lance came, I asked him to bring the van around to the backyard and I would get in, coz hell if I would pay for an ambulance if I could walk, but I did need to have this seen. Probably sprained my knee. He parked as close as possible (10 feet?) and made a very do-able obstacle course with lawn chairs to the open van side door, but when I stood up and tried to use that leg again…

I know I asked him to call the ambulance because it hurt too much to get even one step… “I’d better…” And I was out. I remember the flashes of whatever temp PA in the Waukon VMH ER telling me my foot was cold and pulseless, and to get out of his ER. “Yahtahyah, whatever.” But the whole trip to LaCrosse was lights /and/ sirens. Waukon, you guys went for bear the whole way, and it was horrible, but it’s probably part of why I still have a leg and/or a life.

I didn’t lose consciousness through that ride, though I wish I had. There was a vacuum brace on my leg, and I braced with my hands at every brake and turn. Lansing and the bridge. DeSoto. Lynxville. Stoddard? Yeah, I felt that. Every mile of the route. In intense pain, and grateful that we’re hurrying… But why?

From what I understand: in slipping down a slight slope in my own backyard, I hyper-extended my knee beyond what any tendon, ligament, nerve, bone or artery could handle. My left leg broke at the tibial plateau, and sheared through my popliteal artery.
Short lesson: there are a number of truly bad things that could have happened at this point, and none of them are unlikely.
Breaking bones hurts, but breaking arteries is /bad/. They’re the blood vessels that pump blood out from the heart. I could have 1) bled out internally and died of hypovolemic shock in a matter of minutes without ever breaking the skin, 2) bled but it clotted by itself, but the limb died from lack of circulation, 3) the clot formed, but a piece broke off at any point and I had a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism – all of which are either horrible or fatal.

I had no pre-existing condition or genetic disposition. It was absolutely a terrible freak accident. It’s not the end of the story.

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