I had a nasty slip on the ice taking the garbage out before work at my day job ( as Entertainment Editor for “The Morning News with Dave Lee”, 5-9 am on WCCO Radio). I was walking back up the driveway my right leg slipped out from under me and my left foot, was dislocated, breaking both the tibia and the fibula right at the ankle. It felt like a compound fracture and when I looked at my foot after hitting the ground, it was dangling off to the side at a right angle.
Screaming ensued, at that point you think of all the things you wanted to do , clean the garage, move furniture for a sale, start the Nordic Track training again, things that you know are out the window for a while. I had my Cell with me so I called my wife, in bed sound asleep ( it was 4:45am), then I called 911. Some of my neighbors heard the screaming and they called 911 and came by to help. We had to salt the driveway so no one else would be hurt. I was there on the icy driveway for about 20 minutes waiting for the ambulance, it seemed like an hour. I like it when they say “which foot is it?”. That would be the one dangling off to the side, I believe! They loaded me up with morphine and took me to Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital. I cursed every one of those Minnesota potholes while calling the boys at WCCO to tell them I wasn’t going to be around for a while. My wife followed armed with a small Kodak Z16 HD pocket video camera to document the proceedings. The sight of my ankle in the ER is perfect for viewing at family gatherings at holidays… like HALLOWEEN! My first holding room was so small that the personnel kept bumping into my foot; it was a “Three Stooges” routine. After some X-Rays, they reset the dislocated foot. This is where in the old Western movies, they would say “Drink a swig of this and bite down on this leather” but today they have these things called drugs, I didn’t feel a thing. I couldn’t eat or drink before surgery, which finally happened at 8pm, it was 1 hour and 40 minutes long, took 8 screws and a plate and the orthopedic surgeon did a great job.
I stayed in the hospital until Thursday afternoon (2/12), resting; being poked and prodded, learning to handle the crutches and the bathroom.
I needed some grab bars installed at home, so my wife arranged the installation for Friday morning. I moved to a transitional care unit near our house Thursday to have an extra day for Judy to get the house ready.
Valentine’s day I went home to my new bed/office/media center. Judy cleared out the area rugs, had the bars installed, moved the furniture around and had everything just right. Luckily, I had a Valentine present sitting in the back seat of my car for a couple of weeks so I had some small way to thank Judy for all the hard work.
I need to stay in bed until Monday (2/23) when the surgeon will open up the splint and wrap to check and hopefully remove the staples and sutures. She would then put a removable cast on and I’m on a non-weight bearing situation for another 4 weeks. She says it will be another 6 months or so before the ankle will be somewhat normal.
The biggest loss in all of this is missing work for a couple of weeks. I so enjoy the camaraderie and good times on the morning show on WCCO, and the movie preview screenings 4 or 5 times a week. I hope to look into an ISDN installation for voice-overs and WCCO, but losing the chance to be on stage live with Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” is particularly rough.
Fortunately, PHC has a three-week break before a 3/21 show at the State Theater in Minneapolis and by that time I should be hobbling around with skill. I look forward to it.