Family history repeats itself

By Karl Terry: FNM columnist

She said she heard it crack when she went down. All I heard was a shriek of pain as she grabbed for my arm on her way down.

With a day off recently, I had been catching up on yard work and my better half followed me out to the back yard to offer her input into the chores I had been toiling over.

I knew it was coming, finally she said it. “Will you get the chaise lounger out for me?” She asks me every spring, I get it out and she lays on it once and it sits there on the patio the rest of the summer.

I got it out like an obedient spouse (I learned years ago not to complain about it) and she followed me across the yard toward the patio. I stepped over the hole in the lawn the dog had dug earlier in the spring, she stepped right in it.

My wife is tough. She’s come back from a stroke, a chronic auto immune disease, a bad car accident and an arthritic toe that had to be surgically fused and most recently gall bladder surgery.

God has tested her physically and mentally over and over. Along the way she lost what little sense of balance she started with and we’ve found over the years she doesn’t bounce back onto her feet when she falls down. She just goes boom.

I tossed the lounger aside and somehow we got her to her feet and into the house. I put her in the recliner and took her shoe and sock off. But by the time I got back with a bag of ice, her right ankle had grown a softball. I told her we were going to the emergency room.

We’re no strangers to emergency rooms. The strange part about this trip was that the folks in the next cubicle were a different branch of the same local family that had been in that cubicle the last time we were there.

X-rays were enlightening to the medical staff as they got a good look at the surgical repair work that was done to that same ankle in 2004.

They cautiously pronounced a new break on the outside and gave us a splint and pain medication with orders to get to an orthopedist.

The love of my life is now sporting a pretty pink cast and is getting around in a wheelchair. That lack of balance thing has ruled out crutches.

I’ve pretty much been treating her like we treat our canines during the day. I leave food and water within reach of her bedside, go off to work and hope she doesn’t get out while I’m gone.

So far my cooking hasn’t had any adverse effects on either of us but the chores are falling further behind. I still need to fill in those holes the dog dug.