The saga of the second broken leg: A diary of Keith and Adria
Monday, January 7, 2002
Here I sit. The surgery waiting room at Medical Center of Southwest LA. I am told that they will bring me word on the surgery as it progresses. My surgery took several hours. I hope that Dr.Olivier sets a new record time, as I am already growing tired of the other people in the waiting room, who are busy discussing how to get a good hairdo in Mobile, Alabama. Or what size mint is appropriate for a person with false teeth. How did I get here? Well let me tell ya:
This morning was very routine. It was Ellie’s first day back to school from Christmas vacation, so I was trying to push the morning ahead as much as possible. Adria was also scheduled for a Chiropractic appointment at 7:15, so I knew I had to be on the ball. At around 6:10, I was putting on my shoes to take Kiko outside, who was still upstairs with Adria. I had one shoe on, and heard Adria coming out of the bedroom with Kiko. I noted to myself that Adria had her shoes on, clopping loudly on the upstairs floor, and I thought that she would take the dog out. Halfway down the stairs, everything changed. Adria slipped on the stairs and landed with a violent THUD THUD, “OH MY GOD!!!”. I rushed up to find Adria lying on the second stair, “My leg is broken” she said. I really hoped she was wrong. “Where on your leg?” I asked. The lower part, above the ankle. I hoped that it was maybe a bad ankle sprain, or a crack. But I know from experience that a break is a unique and unmistakable feeling, and if you think it’s broken, it probably is. I slid Adria down on the floor so she would be on the same level as her leg, unconsciously looking at her foot to see if it was facing the right direction. I thought that it was, but I still didn’t want it to touch the ground. I grabbed some clothes from a nearby basket to support her leg, and had Ellie give me a pillow for her head. I also had Ellie bring me the phone so I could call an ambulance. The poor kids, they just sat there, bewildered, wondering why Mommy was screaming. At one point, I asked Ellie to sit with her while I made phone calls. Ellie did not enjoy that very much at all. While the ambulance was en route, I called Roy and Hazel to get help with the kids. After a few minutes, Acadian ambulance showed up. Two paramedics and a supervisor in a suburban. They wasted no time. They had her up and out of there in 10 minutes tops. Meanwhile, I was scrambling to get the kids ready. I figured I’d get them dressed, bring them to the hospital, and figure out the rest later. Ellie only cared about getting to school. It was only 6:35, so I figured I still had time to catch Lisette. I packed up the kids and got on the way. I dropped off Ellie, and headed for the Hospital, knowing Roy was already there. Gabbie and I met Roy in the waiting room. Adria had just gone into radiology. After a while, Roy went to check on her. I got Gabbie some cookies and a coke. She sat down at a little table in the waiting area and watched “the magic school bus”. At one point, she made a point to get up and bring me a cookie. Gabbie has the ability to find her way through any weird situation and make it normal for her. Gabbie and Roy left, and I went to the ER to meet Adria. She had a foley in her left hand where they had given her some meds, and her leg was still wrapped in the cardboard splint the medics had fashioned. She was sedate but uncomfortable, and a little dopey. In time, Dr. Olivier arrived. He seemed to recognize me, but Olivier is so aloof you never know. He said her fracture was pretty bad. He took me around the corner to show me. They were up on the board. God how they looked like mine. A spiral fracture of her right Tib. Broken all the way through. Screws and a Plate, no doubt. Welcome to the club. I could not believe it. Adria has already been feeling crappy for the last month and now this. A life altering accident. 2002 will be a watershed year because of this single event that will lead to months of discomfort and years of walking funny when you first get up in the morning. Dr. Olivier ordered more xrays for her leg, as well as her pelvis and chest. They took her from xray to her room on the 5th floor. Meanwhile, I met Roy at the house and somehow managed to remember dance clothes for the kids. The yet unknown part of this story is young Kiko. Adria was holding her when she fell. At the time of the accident, I didn’t pay it any mind. But when I came back to the house, I found Kiko limping around, unwilling to put any weight on her left front leg. As I write this, Hazel is at the vet with her.
There was some delay in getting Adria into surgery. She went through a lot of pain during that time. They brought her down at about 2:15. I made some more phone calls and came here. So far, everyone has expressed the same message. “If there’s anything you need…”. One of the great strengths of this family is the way it responds to adversity. The kids will stay with Roy and Hazel tonight, and I will go with the flow. This year will be insane. Both Cormier’s and Audioscribe are moving into new buildings this spring, and Adria probably won’t be driving until June. Our anniversary trip will be a much needed break. It just goes to show you: the minute you think you’ve got life, it’s got you. I just got a call from surgery, they have her bone lined up well and are putting in the screws. They should be done within the hour. - KJ 1/7/02 4:30 pm