Sunday, December 27, 2009

Snow Fall (literally: A Fall in the Snow)

It was a snow for the record books. Measurable snow is rare enough in Maryland, but especially so in December. My daughter measured 23" as the last flakes fell. We were all thrilled and eagerly looked forward to a rare white Christmas.

The morning after the storm, I rose early to walk the dog. She had missed her walk the day before, because the roads were impassible. Now in the early morning light, Sasha and I managed to get down to the end of the driveway due to a heroic shoveling effort on Steve's part. Several cars had already navigated the road and there was a trail of packed snow to walk on. Sasha and I picked our way carefully down the street.

It was not an easy walk, but the dog seemed very relieved to be out and about. My gaze barely left the ground at the beginning. I soon became more confident as we got further and further from home. The air crackled with cold and smelled of snow. Everything in sight wore a covering of white. It was a beautiful morning.

As we neared the end of the park, suddenly my front foot began to slide. I struggled to remain upright to no avail. Down I went, in a less than ladylike manner, one leg straight out front, the other bent beneath me. As I slid toward the ground, I heard a *pop*pop*pop*pop* coming from my bent knee. I knew I had done some serious damage if the roaring pain was any indication. There I lay in the middle of the snowy road, immobilized. The dog, being the sensitive soul that she is (ha!) ran in circles around me, urging me to get up so that we could continue our walk.

This was not the first time I had injured my knee. After a series of injuries in my high school and college days, I had corrective surgery in 1983 to tighten ligaments and repair the damage to my kneecap. The therapy was excruciatingly difficult, especially working to get the bend back after being straight-legged in a cast for six weeks. Then we learned I was expecting Daniel. As the weeks wore on and Daniel's impending arrival became more and more evident, I ended up giving up on therapy a bit earlier than advisable. I never did get full bend back in the knee, although I was walking normally once more.

So the same knee bent under me in the fall had not actually been fully bent since 1983. Now as I lay in the snow, I was unsure that I could walk. Yet the prospect of continuing to lay in the freezing cold on the deserted road held little allure. It took some effort, but I managed to get myself into a standing position. Gingerly, I shifted my weight onto the bad leg. It held. I began the long hobble home.

After a laborious trip including two other-doggie sightings (at which Sasha demonstrated her usual frenzied reaction), we rounded the corner and sighted our house. Home never looked so good. Steve was still shoveling, so I called to him for assistance. He rushed to help me up the hill and into the house.

I made it to the couch and did not move for the rest of the day.

By Monday night, my lack of progress and continuing pain convinced me to see a doctor. He had me try to lift my leg. I could not make it move at all. It appears the tendon which attaches the quadriceps muscle to the kneecap is ruptured. He sent me for an MRI, and we have a second appointment on Tuesday to discuss surgery options. It is looking to be a long January.

So we had an unusual Christmas this year. I sat in the recliner, barking out orders in queenly fashion. My boys manned the kitchen and provided an excellent breakfast brunch for all of us. The whole family gathered around the tree and exchanged laughter, fun, and wonderful gifts.

I am learning how to accept being served. Harder than it sounds for this mom! My best friend Beth came over on Christmas Eve to vacuum and dust while the rest of the household was at church. Steve has faithfully made meal after meal and has served me without complaint. Each of my kids has run little errands for me, becoming my feet, traveling up and down the stairs and even out to the grocery store. I am eternally grateful for the sacrificial love they have all shown me over the past week. Even though I get frustrated with my lack of ability to do ANYTHING, my cup runneth over.

If you have made it this far on this lengthy and overly detailed account, thank you for your patience!! I'll update this blog when I meet with the doctor on Tuesday.


Cynthia Lott Vogel said...

I'm so sorry about your fall in the snow. Sounds like your winter plans have taken a turn. But God has plans for you in this...and they are plans for your good; to prosper and help you. His ways are mysterious...aren't they?
Keep us posted on your progress.
Love you, friend,

Sydney McFearless said...

You're an amazing hostess and servant to others even from the armchair! It must be soo frustrating to be in your position. :( I'll be praying for good, lasting healing and the patience you'll need to get through this time. Thanks for welcoming all of us into your home!