MRS. CRANKY’s FALL
This last week we were visiting my sister-in-law and her kids at a lovely house only a few yards off of Boothbay Harbor in Maine.
While I was on the porch watching boats, ducks and eagles do their thing on the bay I heard a loud crash followed by several panicky “Are you ok’s?” from inside.
Mrs. Cranky had been moving a chair from one room to another and she slipped on the small stepdown between rooms. She was afraid to move, was experiencing nausea, and was on the verge of fainting.
It was a pretty hard fall.
When we could finally get her up and seated, and the nausea and near fainting passed, her ankle blew up like a tick in two places and was changing colors like a neon sign.
It was not good.
There was no way that she could walk on this swollen miscolored ankle.
I called the closest urgent medical care center. Their protocol, since they had no ex-ray machine, was to not even see her if she could not put weight on her ankle.
They said to call the emergency room.
I called the emergency room and they said to go to the urgent medical care center. Told that we did that, they informed me they could not even suggest she come to the ER over the phone without a referral.
“Well, hypothetically if someone was carried in with a swollen discolored ankle, would you look at it?”
“I am not allowed to say, but hypothetically…probably.”
This was not an encouraging conversation, and as the pain was apparently a notch below excruciating, it was decided we could wait until the next day.
The ankle was iced and I purchased a pair of crutches and an ankle wrap at the local Walgreen’s.
Interestingly the sales person at Walgreen’s thought that the crutches might be on sale, so it took a bit of research while I was chomping at the bit to just get back to the injured Mrs. C.
“I’m kind of in a hurry, I don’t mind paying full price.”
“It will only take a minute sir, I don’t want you to miss out on a sale.”
Why any store would offer a sale on crutches is beyond me, but this was Maine, and you do not rush Mainiacs.
The crutches were not on sale.
Anyway, back at the house, the ankle was even more swollen and discolored, and Mrs. C had to use the facilities.
We wrapped her iced ankle and she was off on the crutches to take care of business. She damn near fell on her butt once again.
“Don’t you know how to use crutches?”
“I’ve never had to.”
“You never messed with the crutches of some friend who needed them as a kid.”
Mrs. C would move her good foot up to the level of the crutches and stop leaving her with no forward point of balance.
“Move the good foot forward past the crutches and then swing the crutches ahead always leaving a three point stance, like a stool.”
For the rest of the day it was hop-teeter-hop to any destination with me behind to stop her from falling. She did get better at it, but not much.
The next day the swelling was down a bit and there was no pain if the ankle was kept immobile. We iced it all day and I was an on-call errand boy.
By dinner she could actually limp around without the crutches, which was a relief because her trying to move on the crutches was potentially as dangerous as trying to navigate that between-rooms step the day before.
We were back in New Jersey on the third day after the fall.
Mrs. C insisted on driving, (she claims I drive too slow) and she did not have any issues with the ankle. The following day, our NJ urgent center does have an ex-ray machine, and we it was confirmed that nothing was broken.
Still limping, Mrs. C should be fine in a few days.
Good thing, because she is not a good patient, and I am an even worse errand boy.