BROKEN LEG – February 2023

By Mary Sue Lindley Geiger

Hi Book People of Andes,

On Saturday, December 17, Brit and I were getting ready to go to Brooklyn to celebrate Christmas with our son, daughter-in-law, and especially with our toddler granddaughter.  Overnight, a beautiful snowfall had blanketed our mountain.

We had spent the previous week trying to get some plumbing work and hot tub work done.  But the hot tub guy couldn’t fix the problem because of the zero-degree weather and the plumber couldn’t even come because too many households had heating crises.

In an attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, I went around the inside of the house taking pictures of the snow.  Then (with unbelievable stupidity), I went out on our decks for better pictures.  In my nightgown and slippers.  In the snow.  And ice. No problem on the big deck.  BUT, I slipped on the little deck and broke my left femur.  Snapped it a few inches above my total knee replacement.

Brit helped me scoot into the house on my bottom, dragging my left leg (which was now a couple of inches shorter than the right leg).  Brit called for help from our wonderful Andes volunteer ambulance squad.  They arrived almost instantly – and it was so comforting to see five familiar faces hovering above me, figuring out how to move me.  They transferred me to Margaretville, where my leg was x-rayed and stabilized.  (And, I’m suspecting that they gave me a drug or two.)

My total knee replacements had both been done at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, so I wanted to return to that surgeon and that hospital to fix this new mess.  After the Margaretville Hospital confirmed that the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan would admit me, another ambulance took me down to the city (in only four hours).   Starting on Monday at 6:30 pm and finishing on Tuesday morning at 1:30 am, my handsome, 34-year old trauma surgeon fixed my leg.  He inserted a rod and plates secured them with screws — and left me with a brace that goes from my ankle to my crotch.  (The total knee replacement surgeon had handed me off to this trauma surgeon.)

On Christmas Eve, I was transferred to a rehab facility – where all of the staff was decked out in Merry Christmas outfits.  My husband Brit, our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter FaceTimed me while they ate takeout sushi and opened a few presents.  Then I watched a Christmas Eve service on TV.  I was discharged on Tuesday, January 3 – and now I’m figuring out how to manage the brace, walker, and all of the rest of the challenges of a broken leg.  The next hurdle:  Brit’s gonna give me a shower tomorrow, with a plastic sleeve over the brace.

Now, I will have several months of PT.  I intend to recover completely, and the surgeon confirms that I can.  I hope to recover in time to accompany Brit and his alumni Glee Club to Prague this summer.

Our son-in-law, his fiancée, and their combined four children are visiting us for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday weekend.  It’s the closest, brightest star on my horizon.

I’m looking forward to the Andes Memorial Day Parade, where I will be cheering loudly for our terrific ambulance crew – and I plan to follow the parade to the cemetery – walking under my own steam.

Happy New Year to you all.  Stay safe (and watch out for ice).~