What's the first thing you do when you get home from an absolutely stupendous Colorado vacation? We'd had such a great time at the North Pole amusement park. All of us had a favorite ride. Since my daddy was a railroader, at any kid's park, the small train is always my favorite. I told the engineer we were from Kansas. “Oh,” he exclaimed. “This here train was made in Kansas City.”
We walked around the Garden of the Gods. At the request of our 22-year-old grandson, we drove to the top of Pike's Peak. Suddenly he leaned toward Bob — “Grandpa! They forgot to put guard rails along here! It's straight down the mountain.” If you've ever driven that road, you know it truly is pretty freaky!
Now back to getting home!! Oh, OK, then the next thing you do right AFTER using the restroom? Yep, begin carrying in leftover food, towels, bedding, toys, maps and suitcases.
One moment I was laughing, the next I was suspended in air, yelling, “Bob!” It was more like a desperate command: “I'm falling. Can't you get over here and catch me before I hit the concrete porch and break my ankle or something equally as painful?”
I don't remember breathing. I mumbled something like “I'll be OK. In a few minutes, I'll try to move my left ankle and hobble into bed and then in a few days I'll crawl to the ER on my hands and knees.”
Our neighbor offered, “I'll help Bob get you inside to a comfortable chair” They whooshed me off my feet and into the air and deposited me gently into my recliner. Hayden, our ó-year-old great-grandson, wandered over to where I was sitting. Still not understanding the severity of my injury, I smiled at him.
“Grannaw has an owie?”
“Uh huh, but I'll be OK later.” I stood up and decided to put some weight on the foot and hop to the bathroom. I immediately began sobbing and crumpled to the floor again.
Hayden began crying so hard his tears were dripping off his chin. Before I'd agree to go to the Emergency Room, I asked everyone to please take suitcases and all vacation stuff out of the living room which looked like a scene out of the movie “Twister.”
It was 9 p.m. Hayden did very well during the visit to the ER. By midnight the X-rays were done. “Your break is severe enough (clear through the bone) that you need an orthopedic surgeon ASAP,” proclaimed the doctor. I didn't get an office visit until the following Tuesday, but by Wednesday at 5 p.m., I was headed to anesthesia under the watchful, compassionate care of pre-op and anesthesia staff.
The coolest thing about prepping for surgery was that I got to watch them — on screen — insert a nerve block in the bottom of my leg so I'd have about a 24 hour period with no feeling, i.e. NO SUFFERING! When the medicine hit the nerve, all five toes and my calf muscle twitched at once!
By the next morning all the equipment I needed was assembled in our tiny living room — walker, bedside commode and knee walker (see photo) — a great piece of technology. We were so very thankful to have had an ideal vacation before my fall. North Pole amusement park at Colorado Springs has something for everyone to enjoy.
Now, a couple weeks after surgery (no weight-bearing yet), I still have limited mobility, and as I write this, the refrigerator motor has just quit. The Baer family feels like beginning hibernation early this fall!
Cherri Baer writes an occasional column for the Cowley Courier-Traveler.