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(More in next post about this post’s title.)

I know I’ve been away awhile,

Believe me when I tell you,

it has hurt me more than you

With more tears than I can number,

I am sorry for myself and lonely too.

Enough of that. .

Around about November 19th (time has lost its meaning. . .could be two years ago ), Ashley was away for the afternoon and Princess decided she HAD to go out. For some reason or other I could not simultaneously maneuver Princess, the two doors, and my wheelchair out the front doors to exit the house. So, contrary to house rules, I put on my shoes and decided to be VERY CAREFUL, and walk her VERY SLOWLY. No snow was left on the ground, that is until I turned the corner to the north side, where I found the ground was covered by about 3″ of snow. I didn’t panic. Just walked slowly, and Princess was behaving very well, doing her business and not pulling her leash. There is one small stacked stone step that leads around to the front door. It was about 3:30 p.m., still quite light, but a bit cold. I took the step down and the next thing I heard was as loud as a shotgun. The sound was my femur, left leg (same leg on which my knee had been replaced), breaking completely with a few bone pieces hanging around near by. I was stuck. It was cold.

One thing in my favor was I had put on Ashley’s lined coat instead of my light jacket. However, my cell phone which I had planned on taking with me for emergencies, I had set it down to put my coat on, then forgot to put it in my pocket.

After the fall, and I had calmed myself down a bit, I started considering my options. It turned out that I didn’t have any. Originally I thought that I could somehow roll over to my back from my side, sit up, and sort of skootch my way over to the front door and get inside. HA! HA! HA! It also turns out that any movement on my part, including breathing, was excruciating. So I just stayed in my original position in 3″ of snow, and grew increasingly cold as it got darker and darker outside. Princess lived up to her royal name. She would lick my face, then go up to the top of the yard where she could observe the street to see Ashley when he came by. Then she would trot over to where I was, give me a quick lick then go back to stand guard. Amazing, beautiful, loving, Princess. Ashley did get home at last: 6:00 p.m. Which means because of my own stupidity, I was lying for 2-1/2 hours in the snow, slowly freezing to death. When Ashley got home, I started to cry and blurted out, “I have never been so happy to see anyone in my entire life.”

The ambulance arrived in about ten minutes. Our local hospital did not have the equipment to do the required repair, and so I was quickly transported to Mission Hospital in Asheville. It was a horrible night and more horrible nights and days that followed. While waiting for some of the swelling to decrease, a couple of DVT’s were discovered in the upper part of my injured leg (that’s a deep vein thrombosis, or a blood clot). I have been placed on blood thinners. Should one of the clots break lose, it can be deadly. Two days after the fall, I had surgery to repair my leg which included some screws and a long titanium rod that extends from my knee almost to my hip.

I begged to be able to go home after about three days, and was reluctantly allowed. While at home I fell three or four times, and although I sustained no further injury, I did relent and allow myself to be transported back to the hospital, where I waited until a proper rehab facility could be found. I was fortunate to have found a place in a beautiful facility where I receive necessary medications, physical, and occupational therapy. Everyone is being very kind. It has been a bitter pill to swallow, but one that would be much harder to take if I were in a different place.

So I’m lying here trying to not feel sorry for myself, working like a trojan so I can get out of the rehab facility and home for Christmas. Please send your prayers. I am determined to “be home for Christmas. You can plan on me. Please have snow and mistletoe and presents on the tree. Christmas Eve will find me where the lovelight gleams. I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams. . .”* If it must be, I will be happy, and those dreams will be enough. . .

*(Song by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent, 1943)