Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How Life on the Ledge Works

Courtsey of khunaspix at
When I say my life is on the ledge, I'm not joking.

I had to stop work on my novel last week due to computer problems. I intended to reset it on Saturday since on weekends I don't generally work on writing. That was the plan.

On Friday I went to lunch with a writer friend, Robin. I really enjoyed it. We were at the "sit back and chat" phase when I got a call from a stranger saying my son, Mike, was injured in an accident. Mike drives a scooter and so, my mind immediately went into overdrive on what may have transpired.

The caller, another motorist, assured me that no cars were involved but that he'd "dumped" his scooter. The location was just down the road a couple of miles from where I was and not far from his home.

I saw the light first and it freaked me out. EMT vehicle, techs, 2 police cars and police and I think a couple of motorist who had stopped. As they said no cars involved but he had to be taken to the hospital to have his leg checked.

Mike says he thought he hit his brake too hard and the wheel wobbled. I suspect he over compensated. He had not driven the thing in a couple of months due to weather and Friday he was just returning movies to the library and going for a pizza.

In the ER they informed us he had broken the tibia about 4 inches above his ankle and the fibulia just below his knee. He required surgery to fix them. They scheduled it for the next day. He had a rough night. On Saturday they put a rod in the leg from just above his ankle, screwed it into the tibia just below his knee. This would hold the tibia in place and the fibulia would be pulled into alignment and heal normally on its own. Saturday night was even rougher than Friday. They had him on a pain pump with Dilaudid. That's the good stuff. It took hours to get his pain stabilized and even then sleep was difficult. I came home around nine since I was no help.

Saturday night I started the computer reset and with all the back and forth to the hospital Saturday, I was able to do the updates and get it running again. Still no writing, despite my best intentions but at least the problem I'd been having seemed to be solved.

They kept him Sunday and Monday to keep a check on the leg. Sunday I worried because the swelling was terrible and his leg was red. Swelling had to be monitored to watch for compartment syndrome. This is where swelling cuts off the circulation and can cause the muscle to die, thus crippling him. Also, they had to watch for blisters. I think this is to prevent infection. They lanced one that had formed and drained it.

On Tuesday, they cut him loose and we brought him home. For the most part things are settled down. He is having to use a walker to get around and he can't put that foot on the floor at all. So, he isn't getting up except to go from the bed to the recliner. The boot they have him in is very heavy. I can hardly lift the thing. And getting clothes over it is nearly impossible.

I spent the afternoon trying to scrape up money to get his pain meds. I was astounded at the cost for Percocets. Walgreen's was $200. CVS was $184 but they were out. Walmart was $186. We opted for Walmart because I thought they might have a discount for people who had no money. However, when we got the meds they told us he actually had a prescription discount card on file and we ended up paying $86! It knocked off $100. I'm so thankful for that. I had to use my charge card but still it was a lot less than I would have paid. The prescription drug card is one that came in the mail to me a few years ago and it was free. At the time I didn't need it so I gave one to him and one to David. I never figured it was much use anyway but apparently I was wrong.

Last night I was able to rig things up for him to get a shower yesterday but he won't do that often. It is too difficult to secure the leg and insure he won't fall in the shower. We used a kitchen stool I have that has a back and is the height of a bar stool. Bad leg was propped securely outside the shower and shower curtain draped around him to prevent water from getting down the leg. It worked great but the set up is tedious and difficult. I was really nervous that the leg would fall off the support.

Last night was an up and down night. I was up every 4 hours to change his ice pack, readjust the leg on pillows, give him pain meds, and help him with bathroom breaks. Still, I'm not as tired as I would have been, thanks to my taking one of my meds. I take Doxepin here and there for pain and to help me sleep. I didn't intend to take it last night but forgot and did anyway. It was a good accident. When I was asleep, I slept better. So, today I'm not as bad as I could have been.

Today, for the first time in a week, I'm able to sit at the computer to work. I stopped long enough to do this post and now, time for real work.

And that is  how Life on the Ledge works....

I so need chocolate.


  1. Here's some virtual chocolate. He's lucky to have you to help him. When I was sick a couple of weeks ago, I had nobody. Thankfully a friend came by with supplies. Makes me worry sometimes being all alone. Hope he gets better soon so you can get back to what you do best - writing.

  2. Thanks Wanda. I know what you mean. I have my sister and Mike here and an ex daughter-in-law and am very fortunate they try and lend a hand when things are bad. I've also been blessed with some wonderful writer friends in the last year who show up with soup or company. But even I have days when no one is available and those are the worst days.

  3. Oh, those are the very worst days! Doesn't happen often here, but we've had some startling moments. Just Monday an elderly gentleman from our church lost his home in a fire. His son, in his 60's lost all of his medication. Getting refills almost took an act of congress and I hate to think of the cost. Every once in a while a piece of the ledge crumbles.

  4. Oh wow Cindy! I'm so sorry you are going through so much! I truly feel for Mike. I know pain is miserable. I'm glad he's doing better. I've seen three prescription cards in the mail before and I never dreamed they actually worked either. I hope life is better now. Thankful you've had help.