Breakin’ = Bad

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What we’ve got there is a tibial plateau fracture, nondisplaced in the left tibia. Yep, I did a big fat number on it. Essentially I was standing on the left leg and slipped flat-footed to the ground from about a 6 inch height, all my weight hitting that sucker in a jolt. When it happened I knew it was bad, that sudden feeling of nausea a sign of Not Good Things Happening. I hobbled a second and then sat down, doing that self-assessment. A few minutes later, I hobbled on it to the office and continued to assess. There came a sharp moment when I was thinking “ER, maybe…” but called Sarge.

I could hear the exasperation in his voice, it being a hellish time in his own office and having no time to play doctor but I figured he could give me a go/no-go assessment at least. Meanwhile, I called my doc to get an appointment – the accident was on Thursday and Monday was the soonest…the xray was less than helpful, not showing real injury but he nailed it with the cautionary mumble of “it could be a plateau fracture…maybe an MRI…”

So the MRI was yet another week later or – was it two? Sigh…regardless, I hobbled around on it, wearing a brace. FINALLY the MRI, which was an utter PITA because she had to reboot the system twice. Nothing like giving me confidence…and the image still sucks if you ask me. I should have demanded a CT of it and the thigh to ensure the damage didn’t escalate.

And then another weekend of hobbling only to have the ortho doctor’s helper tell me what was wrong and that I must put no weight on it. For a month.

*cough*

Ahem.

I’ve been walking on it for 3 fucking weeks, Sirrah. Seems the “nondisplaced” aspect (which merely means the broken bones are holding onto each other in a final grip of hope) can go to the “displaced” aspect (read nuts and bolts repair) without giving notice. The crutches are cheap and my ability to use them suboptimal. I am at greater risk of falling on them than just standing with care. The one thing that amazed us all was the meniscus appeared to take the blow without bursting or tearing. Lucky, lucky.

So…a lot of sitting around while still working from home and waiting until early Nov when the check-up comes and more xrays. I am cramming the dairy in my diet to feed the bones and the protein to help the muscles doing all the work to hold things up. And I admit to more than a little fear of using the damned thing in the future – will it ever knit together again to be safe? Will it be arthritic the rest of my days, predicting the weather? I credit my life-long feasting on dairy for the fact that the tibia didn’t shatter under me.

It is easy to fall into the “poor me” mentality – but I force myself to think of all the good men and women coming home with terrible injuries and coming back from them. But I’ve not been badly injured since I was young and never a broken bone…so it has been shocking to my system. I will have to do some research on recovery from this kind of injury – I can see where it would turn a person into a tub o’ lard…terrifying to think about using it…let alone running on it.

I have to note the aid of a few people…Sarge has taken up the slack like a mofo. It sucks to do it all but he has and I appreciate it. Then there is sweet Christina who slaved in the kitchen over her weekend to make gumbo, bolognaise sauce, and braised beef to load up my freezer. So kind, so generous, so delicious!! I cannot thank her enough for it…Sarge is spoiled with a hot meal each day so it has been a tremendous aid to me and a suitable reward for his work.

Now, just a lot of waiting, and hoping…and chowing down the cheese…and gumbo.

Dat REI Garage Sale Doh

Look at me – all hip with my smart-alecky hashtag-able subject line. We usually avoid the REI Garage Sale because we wind up with too much stuff – good stuff, handy stuff but sometimes…not urgently needed stuff. This time it was actually pretty profitable if expensive.

I acquired this long down skirt for under $15 – while I usually look the price up before buying, I just figured it was the perfect thing for walking the dogs in the winter – put this on, then come on and don whatever work attire I had planned. Or just pull it over my work pants. I stole this sucker at that price. Amazing.

We each got a pair of these Marmot gloves – cheap due to sun damage on the stock. Someone obviously had them near a window. I replaced an aging pair of Merrell shoes for 1/3rd the retail price. You can get Vaque, Lowas (including Sarge’s favorite pair), Asolo’s and other great boots at great prices. I wish I’d had time to see if my fav pair were there – a great buy at any discount. Usually the shoes have been worn at least a few times and some obviously worn out but the owner abuses the old return policy, now changed. Before, they would essentially replace/refund anything you weren’t happy with – obviously, some people are assholes and returned things long-used. I think they now have it set to a one year limit which is still a VERY generous return policy. (This may be a good time for me to note that I have zero qualms about pre-worn items. I was raised in a very frugal lifestyle so I didn’t have the benefit of being choosy. Used gear and attire are fine with me.)

We found Sarge a nice Columbia shirt with venting and long enough to cover his carry in summer. He is reticent to spend much but when I find quality names at a good price, I get it. Some good wool socks will make a nice gift for my friend – she will recognize the X’d out mark on them but won’t care. She gets those bargains when she can, too.

I let a few things remain – a nice MSR cook stove for one. People often buy camping gear to take a single trip and then return it. There were many sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and a few nice backpacks. One has to be willing to deal with rude and pushy idiots at the event. But I don’t mind – I have a knack for finding the good stuff and judging it quickly. And my Yankee roots allow me to be comfy with the rudeness. Sarge has to stand in a corner and observe – he cannot stand people in his personal space which makes perfect sense. I did it while hobbling around and that was an added degree of difficulty. More on that in a bit…suffice to say – if there is an REI in your area, get on their mailing list and always check out the sales. You just never know what you might find.

Night Sights

Sarge has been working long hours of late, his secondary job full of High Holy schedules to fill. Alone, it is too easy to fall into the pace – one foolish bit of television into the next second-rate movie and the chores before bedtime. Hard it is, too, to throw away good coffee from the thermos he brings home half-empty. Just a cup, you think, while the clock warns you off.

It was 12a and then 1a and the green colon of the 1911’s unblinking stare echoed that of the clock dial…up, then. Never stay in the bed when you can’t sleep. Up and fold the laundry – quiet enough to keep from waking him while also allowing my fidgets their escape. It was a very cool evening and I touched the window to gauge it from within. It was tempting to find a wrap and settle into the swinging chair but I sighed, moving through the dark house and back to bed to try again.

It was perhaps an hour later that the dog woke me, wanting to judge that outside temperature for herself. I think she instinctively knows it and all winter long she will lay for a time on-guard and then wake me with low snuffly grunts to rise and let her out. Once again I padded through the dark, the gimpy knee giving pops and creaks of exasperation. Out, I gave her a moment to decide – out for good, is it? She lay in the cool grass with a deep sigh of agreement. A glance at the stars, Orion’s belt showing even him lying down in his celestial bed.

It wasn’t long before I felt him leave the bed, waking from a deep sleep, to hear what I’d missed – the soft hooty-hoot from outside with the follow on of a quiet short bark. Time to come in, she says, if you don’t mind. Glad I was that he fetched her, and I rolled back over to sleep. A few hours more and it was time to fill his cooler and make the breakfast sandwich he would take with him. Dark, still, I filled the thermos again, the napkin and foil holding the egg and bacon warm within it. Back to bed, then, with a reminder to warm up the truck before leaving, as she doesn’t like a cold take-off.

A glorious slow day has followed that industrious night. We all slept till 9a and some later still. Peace…peace in a morning which I rarely know. And then the whole thing begins anew – a lunch heated up, his brief hours off before leaving again, the thermos filled, the cooler loaded…

It is a quiet life and I like it. A half hour away every hipster and wannabe is roiling about in the human stew of ACL. You could not get me there for any price. And most especially not now with the rampant contagion about to – literally – go viral. I know that smarter people may dismiss it and declare it nothing to be too worried about. But I would rather be ready to be inside for some time than to be wandering among the sick, searching for the last bottle of bleach.

Slow, slow this day…and slow the night to come as the sun moves earlier still to its own bed. I am happy enough in this place. The yarn beckons, gifts to finish for those who might appreciate them for the love and effort they contain. Wishes stitched in for the quiet days to lengthen…to keep harm far away…to give a bit more time to be ready…to enjoy the comfort of these days before The Troubles. The needles click in an enchanting rhythm to ride like a wave to the deep night. And sleep…hopefully sleep.

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