Did I intend to eat turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and every pie from pumpkin to pecan on Thanksgiving? I did. But did I eat any of those things? I did not. And that wasn't the only thing that was unintended about last Thursday.
Was watching Ohio State lose to its rival up north on Saturday a painful experience for my wife and me? Yes, but not even close to the most painful thing that happened to us over the Thanksgiving break.
Around noon on Thanksgiving, I paused from cooking for our family's 3:00 gathering, relaxing up on the third floor with some me time when the screaming started.
Now, with three girls between the ages of 5 and 11, screaming is not an uncommon sound. But there are subtle differences in screams, and these were neither fighting screams nor playful screams, and certainly not excited screams. These were oh-shit-something-serious-is-wrong screams.
I raced downstairs and out the back door to find my wife L writhing in pain on the rain-slicked stones, her right foot pointing in very much the wrong direction. Call 911, make her as comfortable as one can be with a broken ankle in the cold November rain, calm down the kids... it's a bit of a blur, but the paramedics arrived quickly. Neighbors arrived almost as quickly to check on us and offer any help they could, and my sister-in-law arrived soon after to take the girls while I went to meet L at the ER.
Long story shorter, she had a dislocation and trimalleolar fracture, which is relatively rare. I always knew my wife was an uncommon woman, but I didn't think that meant everything about her. After being released from the ER Thursday night, we ended up back again because of pain the next day (the unfortunate answer to which was basically "yes, this is a painful injury), about 7 hours each day, but in the days since we've gotten surgery scheduled and L has gotten better able to transition from the couch that she's taken over to the wheel chair that we got from someone on her Buy-Nothing group on FB, and she's largely able to take care of herself. After a few days with their grandparents, the girls are back home and mostly trying to be helpful--while occasionally succeeding.
It's a long road to recovery from here. After surgery it will be 6-8 weeks or 10-12 weeks until she can put any weight on it, depending on what they see during surgery. It will be several months until she can drive, and she'll have to miss the jury duty she was scheduled for next week. But we're fortunate to have family and friends who will help us, not to mention understanding employers, great doctors and reasonably good health insurance.
In short, we still have a lot to be thankful for, even if Thanksgving was fairly terrible and far from what we intended.