It started out as a typical day. The counselor and I, along with our kids, headed out mid-morning to attend the baptism for our niece. Afterwards, we had lunch and spent the day hanging out at my sister’s house.
The kids rode every mechanical device possible and had hours of fun
while the counselor and I caught up with family and enjoyed the rural setting of my sister’s barnyard home.
At sunset we drove home, the counselor and I excited about our evening where we would leave the kids with a sitter and go on a date. I wanted to see the new Twilight movie because I am a nerd. The counselor agreed to see it with me because he’s in love with a nerd. I was getting dinner started for the kids when
“Dad just cut his foot with an ax!”
Wait, WHAT! Did we even own an ax? Where did ax and foot and cut fit into our perfect day, let alone with a date and dinner and a movie?
I ran outside and limping toward me was the counselor, hobbling with a very bloody foot.
“What happened?” I asked, shocked as I examined the mangled foot.
And the story from the counselor’s lips was just as I heard earlier from
Chandler. No better explanation, no easier ending and no
compromise. An ax and a foot don’t go
well together. The idea to chop some
wood for an evening fire had backfired into an ax in his foot.
A quick trip to Urgent Care and the expression on the doctor’s face said it all. “You need to get to a hospital with a trauma unit immediately.”
On the drive over, the counselor discussed every worse-case scenario. All the what-ifs. “What if I have to have surgery? What if I broke something? What if I have to go under?”
I’m not sure if it’s my usual positive outlook or wishful thinking, but everything he suggested this injury might be, I dismissed; insisting once we got there the doctor’s would just stitch him up and we’d be home.
How wrong was I!
Sometimes things just work out, sometimes they say “You were lucky,” or you slide under the radar without a scratch; well, not this time.
It was everything we hoped it wouldn’t be. It was cut nerves, a broken bone, loss of blood, possible bone infection and a three-day hospital stay. It was surgery with anesthesia, a bone plate and two screws. It was mushy hospital meals and I.V drips and constant monitoring of blood pressure and heart rate. It’s six to eight weeks in a cast, physical therapy and many more doctor’s visits to come.
But, you know what? With all that, we experienced many miracles. The doctor’s were A+. It was just over an hour from the time we arrived to the Emergency room to the time they wheeled him off for surgery. And even though there was no dinner (alright, we did share a protein bar) or Twilight movie (we had our own blood and action, but no vampires), there was still him and I, hand in hand and we shared many tender moments.
He comes home today. Life will be different for a while, but it will be good to have him home. We all missed him so much!
Through all this, the doctor’s and nurses sure found plenty of humor in an ax/foot story. The counselor was half humiliated/half in pain and such a good sport; making jokes about his lack of coordination too. When his sister arrived, she suggested he start wearing a lumberjack shirt! I told her next time I’m at Goodwill, I’ll be on a lookout for one. I guess when there's laughter before he's even discharged, it's going to work out.