BROKEN LEG IN BROOKLYNLast week Chuck and I flew to New York City for a week. He had a medical conference to attend and we had a whole bunch of sightseeing, shows and eating adventures on our itinerary. The first day we took the Circle Line ferry boat tour which circumnavigates the island of Manhattan. The three hour tour was very informative and we saw a lot of the city that way. It was hot and humid the whole week but never really rained except for that night. It poured rain while we made our way to dinner and back on the subway. Of course, New York is a walking city but the subways are safe and efficient so we took them whenever possible. But boy, it was sweltering on the subway!

Each day Chuck was at his conference from 7 am to 1 pm. Then we took off to see the city. The second day we went to the Museum of the City of New York and to the Vanderbilt Conservatory Gardens in Central Park. The gardens were so lovely and peaceful tucked away in the midst of noisy traffic and huge crowds. We also visited some stores on 5th Avenue, including FAO Schwarz, and then made our way to a unique Italian restaurant/market called Eataly. It was recently opened by Mario Battalli, one of the Food Channel’s Iron chefs. Crowded and loud, it was bedlam (New Yorkers don’t seem to mind) but the food was delicious and it was fun to walk around and see all the Italian ingredients for sale.

The third day we visited the oldest district of Manhattan, the South Street Seaport. From there we were going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to spend time in Brooklyn and have dinner at Grimaldi’s Pizza. We were about to ascend to the bridge when I tripped on uneven pavement and went down hard. I wrenched my left knee pretty good. We were in front of a little market so Chuck went in to get a plastic bag of ice to put on my knee. A lot of people stopped to offer assistance. We have been told for years that New Yorkers are an impatient, cold-hearted lot, but we found people were very friendly and helpful everywhere we went. Anyway, we parked ourselves on a nearby bench until the ice had numbed my knee pretty well. I was able to bear weight on the leg with minor pain if I held onto Chuck’s arm and walked with my leg hyperextended. Thinking that it would get better, we decided not to attempt the Emergency Room scene and after stopping at Grimaldis pizza for dinner, Chuck helped me hobble back to Times Square via subway. By the time I got back to our hotel, I knew it wasn’t going to get better soon. Chuck had 3 more days of meetings so we decided to buy some crutches and stick it out. Chuck had to go all the way to Greenwich Village to buy them. Our 40 story Times Square hotel owned only 1 wheelchair! In order to get to a taxi or get anywhere in the hotel, I had to use the wheelchair and it came with a security guard attached! I quickly shaved our extensive plans to eat at fun restaurants, go to several museums, wander Central Park, go to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller center) and attend 2 Broadway shows. Instead, we ate take out food, Chuck went to Cirque de Soleil at Radio City Music Hall by himself, we took a carriage ride through Central Park, and were able to see How to Succeed in Business because our seats were on the main floor (the theater was less than a block from our hotel so the security guard for that day decided to just push me in the wheelchair down the street to the theater and right to our seats!) Fortunately, we had already done some fun things before I fell, so the week was not a bust. The trip home on the airplane was tough but people were very accommodating. Then we had a 3 hour drive home from the airport in Milwaukee. I crawled up the stairs to our bedroom while Chuck unpacked and started the laundry. Home at last.

Yesterday I saw my orthopedic surgeon, expecting that he would tell me I had torn a ligament in my knee at worst. However, the X-rays showed that I have a tibial plateau fracture! There are two bones in your lower leg, the tibia and the fibula. The tibia is the larger of the two. Where it connects to the knee, it’s surface had 2 knobs. I fractured one of the knobs, thus displacing the cartilage at that juncture. It will require surgery to fix. They may have to do a bone graft and he said screws are involved (icky). He sent me to the hospital for a CT scan and we are to see him tomorrow to schedule surgery. He said they usually don’t do surgery for 5-7 days following the injury anyway, so I’m glad I didn’t try to get treated in New York. In the meantime I am taking pain pills and laying low. The new crutches have been killing my neck, wrists and arms. I’m so unstable using them that I’m scared to death of falling. Once more, I am so grateful we kept Chuck’s parents’ wheelchair as I will be living in it once again for quite awhile and it will save us some rental money. I’m also glad we made a downstairs bedroom out of my sewing room three years ago. Chuck moved furniture out of the way in that room, the library, and the family room. We also moved the kitchen table and the stuffed chair around so I have more room to negotiate the turns in the wheelchair.

Our oldest daughter, Andrea, will have fulfilled her obligations in Minneapolis by the end of next week and she has agreed to come home to help until school starts for her in late August. My goal is to be able to travel to Bayfield July 15 for our week-long family vacation. All of the kids and grandkids are coming and I have been looking forward to that week for a year! Chuck called the place where we are renting a big condo (on the third floor!) and was able to get the two of us a small condo on the ground floor of the same building. God is so good. I didn’t really know why, but I had decided not to sign up for any writers conferences this summer. Now I know why!
Keep us in your prayers. I am feeling pretty discouraged about becoming dependent and all the rehab ahead of me. Pray for Chuck. He has a lot on his plate with his ER down one doctor and now having to care for me (and the yard).
We’ll keep you posted.    Love, Cathy

p.s. For those who have been following my D-mails on this blog, I want to let you know that because of my accident, there may not be any D-mails for the foreseeable future until I feel up to writing again.  I hope to post photos on the blog though so check back from time to time!