Have you ever had one of those moments where you think, “Everything’s going so well… Something’s gonna go wrong any minute…” Maybe it’s just my inner cynic, but for as long as I can remember, when things have seemed too perfect, I’ve started waiting for something to go off track. Maybe it’s a bit of ‘cosmic balance’ I assume must exist. Whatever it is, it’s pretty deeply ingrained in my psyche, and, unfortunately, my pessimistic expectations were met this past week.
Since we drove off from Virginia, things had been going according to plan. Other than some minor to-be-expected, part-of-the-adventure hiccups, the pieces had been falling into place. We were knocking things off our to-do list, spending quality time with our friends and family, having fun sightseeing, and looking forward to the next leg of our trip. That’s when disaster struck and derailed all of our plans.
We had just arrived at our newest campground in Massachusetts when we decided to take Dixie for a walk. Another dog owner had her two big dogs on a connected leash on the opposite side of the road. Suddenly, her dogs broke away from her and bolted toward us at full speed. In the blink of an eye, the dogs barreled into me, knocking me backward and into the ground. Almost immediately, I knew something was very wrong.
Kevin took me to the emergency room where an X-Ray and CT Scan confirmed just how bad the damage was. The orthopedic surgeon later said my tibia had been “pulverized.” Basically, when my leg hit the ground, my femur smashed into my tibia, completely destroying a whole section of the tibia’s surface.
Thursday, I’ll be having surgery to fix the mess. The surgeon will put the pieces back together again and secure it all with plates and screws. I’ll then be in a brace and on crutches for 8-12 weeks to let the bones heal. Eventually, I’ll start physical therapy to redevelop my range of motion.
Where are we?
This all happened in Massachusetts and that’s where we’ll be staying as I rehab my leg. This is good for several reasons. First, my brother and sister-in-law, Jeremy and Jen, live about 25 minutes from our campground.
They have been helping take care of me and have already provided all manner of assistance. From offering us a place to stay, shower, and do laundry if we get sick of Barney, to making and bringing us dinner, to giving us references for local shops and services, to giving us an address to ship our Amazon stuff to, to helping us come up with a list of things to see and do while we’re here, they have gone out of their way to help us navigate our situation. It probably goes without saying, but it is incredibly comforting to have close family nearby – especially considering they are the type of folks who would, quite literally, hand you the shirt off their back.
Similarly, my brother Andrew and sister-in-law Debbie, and my parents, are only about ninety minutes away and have been in regular contact, offering to help out with anything we need. Additionally, Kevin’s cousin Jill, who lives with her family in Massachusetts, also reached out to us as soon as she heard what happened. Having all these awesome people so close by has provided us with another layer of much appreciated support which allows us to focus on what we need to focus on.
Beyond our proximity to family, we’re also fortunate to be in this location because we have access to good medical care, we are close to many of the random conveniences we’ll need, and it’s just a decent place to set up shop for a couple months.
The only real problem is all the damn Patriots fans… 🙂
What about our travel plans?
I had sketched out our travel plans all the way through the beginning of February. Our general plan was to spend the next three weeks in Maine, then come back to Massachusetts for about a week before heading to Vermont for a week. We were then going to head south through New York and Pennsylvania on our way back to Virginia. Our calendar had us spending a couple weeks in Virginia and then making our way south to Florida where we would spend Christmas with Kevin’s family. In January we would move west across the Florida panhandle and spend early February in New Orleans.
At this point, everything up to and including our visit to Virginia in mid November has been canceled, since we’ll be sticking around here. I am hopeful we’ll be able to head out of here by late November / early December and just head straight to Florida for Christmas. We would then pick up the itinerary from there.
How much does all of this suck?
On a scale of 1 to 10, this is a solid 9.4 on the suck-o-meter. The reasons are obvious. However, we can’t dwell on the negative because it will accomplish nothing and the reality is, we have much to be thankful for. So, for the time being, I will focus on getting through the surgery and doing whatever my doctor tells me to do. My goal is to rehab this sucker as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. In order to do that, I know I need to take things one day at a time and not worry about anything I can’t control. I have a wonderful husband who is taking great care of me and who will be by my side every step of this process; we’ve got an awesome support system ready to assist whenever we call upon it; and, most helpfully, I’ve got a 75 pound fluff bucket dog who loves to veg out and snuggle on the sofa. What better therapy could there be?
More later, when I have become fully “bionic.”