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The Kindness of Strangers, Friends, Loved Ones, Professionals, Animals, Coworkers and the Sun

Clay C. big ugly leg castI broke my ankle three weeks ago today.  Actually, “broke” is a nice comfy way to put it.  A much more realistic way to define what happened to me would be “I slaughtered my ankle three weeks ago today.” 

You see, I engaged in a one second battle with black ice and gravity and I lost.  I lost big time.  When it was all said and done, I was on the pavement on my back and my right foot was twisted 90 degrees to the right. 

It was just like a movie except there were no cameras or stunt men on the set.  Just me, the black ice, and the pavement.  My dogs were there also (I was walking them around the block before I left for work that morning), but they were bit players in the whole blockbuster of an event. 

What was supposed to be a 10 minute walk around the block turned into a journey that would take me on an ambulance ride, doctor visits, and so far (knock on wood) one operation.   To make a long story short I broke three bones in my ankle, dislocated my foot, and tore a tendon or two.  Who’s counting anyway, huh?

But as I look back, I realize how I could never have gotten where I am today (lying on a couch with a brand new laptop with wireless access) without the help of others. 

The first to come to my rescue was a guy who heard his and my dogs barking and looked out his window and saw me lying in his neighbor’s driveway.  He came out, Marlboro Light dangling from his mouth, and said, “hey man, are you alright?”  He then saw my foot and yelled “DUDE, YOUR FOOT.  OH MY GOD.  DO YOU NEED AN AMBULANCE? DUDE.  GOD.  YOUR FOOT.  DUDE.”   

“Yes,” I replied.  “An ambulance would be a good thing for me right now.” 

He then asked if he could take my dogs, which was nice, seeing as they were trying to continue the walk they were on and had already dragged me a few inches from where I originally fell.  His wife and daughter also came out and gave me blankets until the ambulance came.  Very nice people to say the least.

While this was all going on I managed to call my wife on my celly to tell her the good news and told her she needed to come pick up the dogs.  I will never leave home without my cell phone again, by the way.  NEVER.  Luck would have it that she showed up just as the ambulance arrived, so the dogs and I were ushered off to safety and warmth at the same time.  Then the fun began.

I was taken to a hospital where I was given much needed painkillers and x-rayed and all that stuff.  A slew of kind and courteous staff straightened out my foot and put me in a splint and sent me home with happy medicine.  They really were nice people.  We talked about what I do and what they do.  One of the nurses even had a niece that worked at Quicken Loans.   It really is a small world.

Two days later I was back in the hospital for an operation.  They put nuts, bolts, plates and all kinds of cool gizmos in me and told me I “probably” will be good as new for cider season.  Once again, all kinds of specialists and doctors and nurses and aides catered to my every need as I discovered all kinds of new pain I didn’t know I had in me.  I truly sensed the empathy in their eyes as I looked up at them and begged “is it time for another dose of happy medicine?”  No, they kindly told me.  “You’ll have to wait another six hours……”

Ok, I’m dragging on here so let me wrap it up.  My wife has been amazing through this whole thing as she has found herself in the new role of caregiver.  She did tell my friend she wished I had broken my mouth also, but that was the love talking.  And my family and friends have dropped by and called so much I’m sure the phone company is concerned I’m running a telemarketing scam out of my home and my neighbors probably think I’m running a house of ill repute.  I’ve had more visitors in the past three weeks than the entire eight years I’ve lived here.

And my coworkers arranged for me to work from home and even hand delivered, and picked up, and hand delivered, and picked up, and hand delivered one last time my shiny new laptop (it took a few tries to get everything right on it).  Thanks to Brian and Jen for risking their lives to bring me the laptop.

And finally, I never knew how much I loved the sun until I finally made it outside last weekend. I basked in the glorious ultra-violet rays that burned down upon me with the vigor of Teutonic Knights in a battle for King and Country.  It was magnificent.

Then my foot started hurting and I went back to the couch.

So here I am.  Back online. Back on the DIFF.  It’s good to be back.

Oh, and my dogs. They’ve been next to me the whole time, giving me comfort as I heal.  They really are my best friends.  They even talk me to me.  In English!

Just kidding. 

Oh, sorry I have to go now.  Grover (my nice dog) just asked me if we could watch the Star Trek episode with the Tribbles.  That’s his favorite. 

I had no idea…. 

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  1. I’m glad everyone took such good care of you. But I must suggest a little less happy medicine! I know your wife has wanted to kill you at least multiple times. You just don’t remember.
    Welcome back! By the way, you forgot to call me.

    Posted by: Christy | March 13, 2007
  2. You are weak and whiny. I was already driving and back at work at this point in my recovery. Get off the couch and get back in the game.

    Posted by: ian | March 14, 2007
  3. Clayton, you are strong and nimble like Chuck Norris. Witty like Don Rickles. Well mannered, crisp and handsome like Andy Richter.

    Posted by: Christopher Kaufman | March 14, 2007
  4. Oh dude, that’s the saddest story I’ve heard in a long time, and yet you tell it so entertainingly! I really enjoyed your post and I’m THRILLED that you’re back online and back in the DIFF!!! We’ve SORELY been missing your charm and wacky wit around here!!!!

    Posted by: Amy | March 14, 2007
  5. You are welcome man. :) Glad to know you are up and running. Once you can sit up with out your foot turning red we can make arrangements for you to ride into the office with me.
    And you know me. I’m not afraid of no ghetto! (Especially because I grew up around the block.)

    Posted by: Jen | March 15, 2007
  6. So glad that you are feeling better, Clayton.Take your recovery slowly so you won’t have to recover more than once. Loved reading your story.

    Posted by: Marcia | March 15, 2007
  7. The best thing that could have ever happened to us!~

    Posted by: pp | March 19, 2007
  8. Clay-ton! Just like when you told it, you made me laugh with that DUDE stuff! Wow, now you have a brand new shiny laptop, wireless?, and lots of people to send you messages – which I read every one of and found them quite amusing also!!! and of course, 2 lap dogs to guard you. So are you up and moving and almost ready to get yourself beat in a game of pool! call when your ready! HUGS, aunt d

    Posted by: aunt d | March 19, 2007
  9. Your poor wife. You better be good to her or I will send your friend from Grosse Pointe Farms over to your house to stay with you for a few days. That should get you up and out!
    Heal Fast!

    Posted by: Tracy | March 20, 2007
  10. Good as new by cider season… nice… wouldn’t want to miss cider time

    Posted by: Billy Leopard | March 21, 2007
  11. Hey Clayton, when I had my thumb shot off by an insurgent sniper I took the pain. I refused the morphine but hey, that’s just me. Glad that you are doing okay. I will visit you when I get back this summer.

    Posted by: Katie | March 22, 2007
  12. I’m with Ian… “Oh, my leg hurts… oooo oooo get me some chewing tobacco… ouch… ahhhh… help me get to the bathroom… rub my back…” Oh, maybe that was someone else.

    Posted by: Billy Leopardskinhousen | August 17, 2007

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Sunday, March 18, 2018