The Silver Linings of Breaking Your Leg

A list in hindsight. (And a follow up to Lessons I Learned When Breaking My Leg: Lessons I Learned When I Broke My Leg)
  1. One year ago today, on the very first run on the very first day of vacation, my leg twisted in half and split in two
    I had been really tired that morning and had trouble with my binding. When I finally got it so-so in, I figured it was good enough. It was not good enough. My left ski came off while I was skiing over rough snow, then my right one swung around to overcompensate and took my leg with it.
  2. I was screaming on the slopes and a very, very kind volunteer EMT stayed with me until ski patrol arrived
  3. I was taken to the hospital where I kept apologizing to everyone for being hysterical until I nearly passed out on the X-ray table and then the nurse kindly explained "when you see your x-ray, you'll understand why you're so hysterical"
  4. I am not a hysterical person; I worried I was overexaggerating
  5. Anyhoo, I shattered my tibia plateau into tiny pieces, tore my meniscus and took a 3/4 inch depression out of my bone
    Nice!
  6. I needed surgery immediately. This is me after the drugs kicked in as I waited to be wheeled into the OR. I remember taking it primarily because I was bored. (And high?)
  7. This is me the next morning. They'd placed a plate, ten screws and required 2 bone grafts. The doctor said that if you're gonna break your leg, this is about as bad as it can be.
  8. I knew skiing was fucking stupid!
  9. I was on hella lots of drugs - I mean crazy stuff- but I still worried what this meant for me and my family
  10. I love my husband but let's be real, I do most of the shit around our house
  11. He told me we would figure it out
  12. I was dubious. (But the oxy certainly helped.)
  13. I spent the whole trip in the hospital
  14. I wouldn't walk for three months.
  15. I couldn't drive for three months.
  16. I would have to sit in a machine six hours a day that moved my leg to regain range of motion.
    (This is my medical staff there for my every need while I sat in the machine.)
  17. The enormity of this is pretty hard to grasp and i didn't really until we had managed to fly home (nightmare - I was in a wheelchair), carry me upstairs and deposit me in bed.
  18. Anyway, it was a pretty rough situation. But a lot of good came from it. Like all of this:
  19. Somewhere out there, two organ donors assisted my recovery.
    I have always been an organ donor but never considered that I would be the beneficiary. I will always be grateful to them for helping me walk correctly again, and if you are not one, please consider it. You never know when or how this can change someone's life.
  20. I have always been almost stoically-independent. I could no longer be. I had to ask for help, I had to be vulnerable. My husband had to carry me into the shower.
    It opened up something in me that showed me that leaning on others is a necessity.
  21. We arrived home and my friends mobilized an army.
    We had a dinner rotation with home-cooked or delivered food each night, and they picked up and drove my kids wherever they needed to be. I am getting teary right now thinking about them and my deep gratitude for their support, which again, I hadn't even realized I needed in the depths that I did.
  22. My kids became more autonomous.
    I couldn't really go down the steps and help them with anything, so they figured out crap they would normally ask me for on their own. They made themselves dinner, they packed their snacks and took out their uniforms for the next day. It was honestly a marvel.
  23. I fell back in love with reading.
    I couldn't read the first few weeks because I was so out of it, but once I downshifted my pain meds and had burned through everything on Netflix, I picked up all the novels I had meant to read but hadn't. The habit stuck, and I now read as much as I did when I was a kid. 📚
  24. It improved my dad's relationship with my kids.
    My parents were with us in CO when the accident occurred, so my dad (a doctor) flew home with us and moved in for a few weeks. Because we live in LA and they live in NYC, my kids don't get as much quality time with him. No longer! I think all of them appreciated those few weeks of bonding. Though everyone was also ready for him to head home. 😉
  25. My marriage got stronger.
    I think one thing a lot of working moms do is keep a mental checklist of all the ways they do MORE. I do more, and it bothered me. But when I couldn't do ANYTHING, my husband did everything. Left work to take me to PT, got the kids to the bus on time everyday, brought me all my meals. It shifted something in both of us.
  26. It made me so grateful for all the things my body can do.
    When I was first allowed to put a tiny bit of weight down, I crutched around the block and it took me 17 minutes. I did this every day until I got it down to 10. I limped for six months and my leg still feels like I have arthritis, but yesterday, I ran three miles which is less than I used to but felt more triumphant than a marathon, and I am back at normal life, and yes, I have a four inch scar but this is what the human body bears when it has lived. 💪🏻👊🏻🙏