Who knew that a fairly minor injury coud turn out to be such a pain in the ass?
Last weekend, on a particularly hot day we decided that we desperately needed to get out of our house and head to somewhere with air conditioning. My wife, Toni gathered up a few odds and ends (diaper bag, cold drink cups for Starbucks Frappuccinos) while I loaded the kids into our overly hot car.
As I was about to put our son into the car I spotted a lady walking the cutest brindle French Bulldog. We talked to her and my wife was walking down the path. Suddenly things went flying.
"I think I broke my ankle." She said, without uttering as much as a single "F"-word (colour me impressed). She laid on the ground half sobbing and rocking. She was almost as panic stricken as our poor neighbour with the dog who asked a few times if we needed her to call 911.
I did what I always do in these kinds of situations which was think it isn't as bad as it looks and just remain calm and figure out what to do (and generally taking too long to set a plan in motion).
I got the kids loaded into the car then drove as close as I could to Toni, without running her over (which would have made the situation far worse, although if done right would have alleviated much pain) and very carefully loaded her into our small car and drove to the hospital.
Luckily her brother was at a baseball game close to the hospital so he was able to get a ride there with his girlfriend and stay with Toni while I looked after the kids. His girlfriend also was able to come back with me and grab a car so Toni and George could get home.
I was still hopeful that it wasn't as serious as we thought, a twisted ankle, perhaps a sprain.
I got the call. It was broken. Okay, no big deal.
Later: May need surgery, oh crap
Still later: No surgery, oh thank God.
After a supper of hotdogs and then putting both kids to bed (not an easy task with a five month old and a toddler that insists having three books read to him, three songs sung and various other things that usually make for a 45 minute - 1 hour bedtime routine on a good day) she returned.
I have seen a number of people with casts lately. They have these airboot things, it looks like a giant shoe and they hobble around a bit but still pretty mobile. Toni had told me on the phone that the doctor told her of all the bones to break that the lateral malleolus (the end of the fibula) is one of the best.
I was expecting to see Toni gingerly walking up the steps on our deck, looking forlorn but all in all not so worse for wear, I didn't think they even did crutches anymore. Guess what, they do, and guess what, she had them.
"Aw shit!" I said to myself, realizing immediately what this meant, our children's primary care-giver was out of commission not even light duties. About the only thing she was going to be able to look after was feeding our five month old and even then only if she felt up to it. She had to keep her leg elevated, she couldn't put any weight on it at all. They couldn't even tell her how long it would take to heal, a progress exam in two weeks was what she was left with.
I still had four days of holidays left so I called my boss and booked the week off.
I hate to toot my own horn but as a guy I am pretty capable around the house, I can cook, don't mind changing diapers, know where the cleaning supplies are and can take orders fairly well (had this been my father…)
Throughout the week I actually got on a pretty good flow, the kids were angels (as they usually are), I managed to get them out of the house for at least an hour everyday, I prepped meals in the morning and tried to have lots of left overs stockpiled and didn't let things get out of control. All-in-all I think the week was a great success (I do one day soon hope to be a full time stay at home Dad and this week told me I could probably handle it).
Yesterday I dropped Toni and the kids off with my parents about an hour and a half away for the week so two weeks down. So far so good but what is going to happen now?
A week is about all my parents can handle with both kids, they may keep our three year old for a bit longer but he's actually pretty independent. I see a future of hell, the next two months are going to be beyond anything I think I will be able to imagine and I can't afford to take anymore time off work.
To say I am concerned about what will happen is an understatement.
First of all my wife is not a home body. She needs to get out of the house occasionally. She broke the ankle on her driving foot, she won't be able to drive for quite sometime (doesn't help that our car is a standard). To make matters worse she was just getting going with a personal trainer and going to the gym a lot and loving it, this just set that back as well as her mood, poor thing. At least she got a pedicure just before she broke her ankle.
It's summertime, sitting inside on a cold winter day is bad enough, when it's nice outside and you can't walk it's like dying of thirst on a sandy beach. You can see water, it just can't help you. This goes for Toni and the kids, at least we have a good sized backyard, but at three Malcolm still needs a lot of supervision outside and someone to be able to jump at a moments notice. I can't even pick up all the slack because there will be a million neglected things.
So, I made a decision. I decided that on top of feeling sorry for Toni, and the kids, that for once it is okay to feel sorry for myself a little bit too in this situation, which is why I wrote this.
I'm done now.
Also to my friends on G+/Twitter/Goodreads/Threadless/Outside World, my apologies if I am too busy to interact with you much in the coming months. I'm sure you will understand, if not, try breaking your wife's ankle when you have two kids under 3 :-D
Thanks for Reading
D. Ryan Leask