Calamity Jennye

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's like I'm a walking PSA (well, less walking and more PSA)

I have to say I really didn't expect to have much to say at the end of this Memorial Day weekend.
We went into the weekend with no plans, and I actually expected it to be pretty boring as our closest friends were planning to be away and it was supposed to be rainy all weekend.

Boy was I wrong. Our friends came back early and the group of families that we hang out with decided to go on a hike yesterday. There were four moms and seven kids and I can tell you honestly that hiking is one of those times where I realize that Esme truly is my child. Put that kid in a stroller in a city and she's happy as a clam for hours on end, no matter the weather. Force her to trudge up and down a trail in the woods and she's the biggest complainer you've ever met.
She hates keeping up with the bigger kids, she doesn't want to be carried in the backpack, she doesn't want to run, she doesn't want to hold hands, she doesn't want me to wait for her, she doesn't want me to get ahead of her. Are you seeing the picture of how fun this hike was?  Loads of excitement just piled upon pure joy.

We finally made it to the end of the hike and the big kids were all down playing in the little creek by the parking lot with two of the moms there watching them. We headed down that way. We stopped halfway down and sat on an old, weathered, fallen tree. Esme sat with me for a few minutes then headed to where one of her friends was sitting with her feet in the water. My friend Alyssa headed down the hill as well, lifted her daughter over the tree and then stepped over preparing to sit down herself. Just as she put her second foot on the rocks the tree began to roll.

It felt like all hell was breaking loose. This was no small tree it stretched over a spanse of probably 20 feet and still had it's root system fully intact on one end. All I could think of were the three small children standing in the path and, seeing nothing of what was happening around me my brain said "stop the log! stop the log! stop the log!"
As my legs were pulled underneath the rolling tree I suddenly remembered all those public service announcements from my beach-bound youth. (When you see driftwood logs on the beach stay away because you never know when a tide will come in and they will roll unpredictably, trapping you underneath.)

Boy, were they right! I was pushing with all my might against this log and it felt like I was being swallowed whole.
Unbelievably -- the log stopped. It turns out one of the moms whisked one of the little girls out from underneath it just in the nick of time and in the split second it took me to realize all of the kids were okay I also realized I was not.
I was screaming the words before I knew it, and I am definitely not a screamer, especially not in disastrous circumstances. I am the stay calm and hold it together person. But boy did my foot hurt like hell!

First one mom tried lifting the tree, no luck, the next joined in, nothing. Finally all three moms counted to three, lifted and there was just enough space for me to scrape my foot out. I sat there trying not to cry as the moms whisked all the kids up the bank and over to the cars.  While they were gone I pulled myself up the rocky bank and found a tree to use to help myself stand up. Of course I had to try putting some weight on the foot, which immediately felt like a bad idea.

The moms came back and helped me hop up hill to the road. As soon as we got there I said "I think I better sit down."
"Yes," said one of the moms, a physical therapist "You're as white as a's called shock."
"I don't know" I said as they lowered me to the ground while I was shaking, "I just can't stand anymore."
"It's okay" she said "It's called shock, it's okay."

Amazingly enough a couple who were just beginning the hike we had finished were an EMT and his wife who was a local doctor. They hung out while we got everything in order, took a look at me, ordered me to the ER for x-rays (and I do mean ordered, I triple checked to make sure we really had to go) and helped get me into the back of the van on a beach towel.

Well, it turns out I broke at least two of the bones in my foot, possibly more, but we won't know for sure till the x-rays come back from the radiologist in Duluth.

I can't drive, as it's my right foot, won't be moving into my new apartment this weekend and really sadly I had to cancel the meeting I had finally managed to schedule with my husband in order to begin the process of sorting our belongings and getting my things back. When I called to explain why I had to cancel his only response was to say "sorry about your foot." He didn't even ask how it happened or how bad it was...nothing. And I thought my foot hurt...but, look, there's my heart.

I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record on this front but I have to say again Thank God for our amazing friends Jon and Alyssa. I can't get up into the loft we've been sleeping in at the house where we've been staying so they've taken us in. I can't move off the couch for more than a few minutes at a time so they're helping me a huge amount with Esme and since I work at her office I'll also have transportation to work.

All I can say at the end of the day is Thank God the kids are all right, this could have been worse by such a long shot and I feel it's truly amazing that the tree didn't plunge everyone right into the creek. This was the stuff nightmares are made of. We're lucky to have gotten away with only a few broken bones but I can't help but wonder why the hell they had to be my bones.


  1. jennye! this is truly a calamity! I'm so glad your alright, and (ps) you are a good writer of suspenseful stories, I felt like everything was going in slow motion, as I'm sure you did. somehow, also, i finished just feeling sad about you not getting to claim your things sooner then later, I'm sure that was going to be a big milestone in this whole taking back your life thing.

  2. Glad you are okay!!! My gosh, scary.

  3. Oh Jennye! I have to agree with Sara and Kat that you are a most excellent story teller, I just wish that this wasn't the story you had to tell! I know how frustrating it is to be physically held back when mentally and emotionally you're ready to go, go, go! I'll be saying my prayers that the setback is short and healing comes quickly. ME