I Broke My Ankle
by Trish Hubschman
November 22, 2016
It was getting late. Kevin would be home from work in an hour. I decided to settle myself in my favorite recliner in the den. The dogs were lying side by side on the loveseat beneath the window. For the first time in weeks, I was actually feeling relaxed. I was tired, depressed, and worn out from crying. My nephew, Michael, had died from a drug overdose two weeks ago. I hadn’t been sleeping or eating much. But now, with our dogs, Hope and Charlie, quiet, the TV set on, and daylight fading outside, I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
I was startled awake by hysterical barking. My first thought was that Kevin must have pulled into the driveway. I glanced at the window. It was pitch-dark out there. I felt spooked out and guilty. Kevin had worked a long grueling day and here I was snoozing comfortably. I lowered the footrest and jumped to my feet, hopping up the two steps into the living room. I stopped. My ankles were wobbling. I have a walking/balance problem. I grabbed for the support cane propped against the wall, but I couldn’t get it steady. I felt my left foot turn in my shoe. I heard a crack and the cane, and I fell to the carpet.
I stared at the ceiling, tears dripping down my cheeks. My dog, Charlie, came over and licked my face. I burst into laughter, then grabbed and hugged him. “I love you. I love you.” I said, then released him. I sat up and swiped the back of my hand across my wet cheeks. “Daddy will be home soon,” I said to the dog. “I’ve got to get my shoes off and wait for him.” I pulled myself over to the den doorway and slowly removed my shoes and plastic leg braces. The left one was a challenge, but I did it.
Kevin walked in ten minutes later. “What are you doing sitting on the floor?” he asked.
“I fell,” I replied.
“Well, let’s go into the kitchen and have dinner,” he said.
I agreed. I dragged myself to the washing machine and pulling myself up. I was walking, pretty much. My left foot was sliding behind me. It hurt at the ankle, but I figured I had twisted it. Kevin was working half a day on Wednesday, then came Thanksgiving. He had to work on Friday. He was retiring from his job at the end of December.
“I’m going to bed early. I don’t feel too great,” I said. The next day, while he was at work, I pretty much stayed in my computer chair and slid it around the house. Kevin got home at two-thirty. “I have to go to the bathroom,” I said. I waited the whole day. While I was in there, I fell again. My left foot bent upward. I lay on the tile floor screaming.
Kevin took me to an Urgent Care center. X-rays showed that I broke my ankle. No way! I never broke anything before. They put my foot in a splint and gave me the name of an orthopedist. The doctor would be out until Monday, so Monday it was. I was on my own Friday. Mom was in Florida with my sister for the holiday. Monday, me, Mom and Kevin went to the doctor. He put my foot in a cast. Tuesday and Wednesday, Mom hung out with me, so Kevin could finish the month of November off at work. He was going to take all of December off to be with me before his official retirement. Mom was having knee replacement surgery.
The doctor didn’t like the way my ankle was healing, so he sent me to a second orthopedist, who put me in a new knee-high cast. It was very tight. I was in it for another 4 weeks. Those seven weeks with casts on my leg were the most difficult ever, especially with mobility. I was in a wheelchair or hopping or dragging myself around. It was mid-January 2017 when it finally was taken off. I went to physical therapy for a few weeks to get the feeling back in my foot. I don’t know if my ankle ever healed properly. I use a walker now and am in a wheelchair some of the time. I definitely am more careful about jumping up too quickly after a nap.
About the Author
Trish Hubschman has published three books with America Star Books: a short story collection of time travel and romance stories called Through Time and the first two books in the Tracy Gayle/Danny Tide series: The Fire and Unlucky Break. Trish attended college at Long Island University’s Southampton campus, earning a BA degree in English with an emphasis in writing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two dogs. Her website is https://www.dldbooks.com/hubschman/.