Or, the story of how I totally wrecked my ankle.
Friday we left for a quick camping vacation at Janes Island State Park, where we went last year and had such a good time. We knew they were calling for hot, humid weather as well as some afternoon storms, but having lived in the mid-atlantic for our whole lives we thought we knew what to expect. It's summer, afternoon storms are kinda typical for us.
If you live outside DC/in the Eastern Shore, you know what happened.
Friday night some seriously freaky storms came through the DC area and then passed through the Eastern Shore. My in-laws, who typically have nothing else to do but watch the weather channel and worry 24/7, called to say storms were headed our way. No sooner had we finished putting the tent up than the ranger stopped by to tell us that some severe weather was coming. We partially staked out the tent and most of us got in it, but BigDaddyFish and Trout went for a walk to the water to look at the thunderheads and see how much time we had before the storm hit.
Suddenly a HUGE gust of wind, which BDF estimates as between 85-100 mph, blew through and made the tent concave. Little Man and I jumped up and braced the tent as Sunny woke up, sat up, and said "Mom! You have to keep this tent from blowing in so I can sleep!" I explained that I was trying to keep us from going hang gliding in the tent and braced the poles, desperately hanging on and hoping BDF and Trout were okay and would be back soon to help. Which they did, what felt like an eternity later but was probably less than 5 minutes. Trout and BDF ran around to finish staking out the rain fly on the tent while dodging debris from the trees, mostly pinecones. One pinecone did hit BDF on the head. Somehow in the melee my glasses, which had been in one of the side pockets of the tent, got stepped on and broken.
At one point it was bad enough that BDF relocated the girls, Nemo, and me into the van to wait out the storm while he and Little Man stayed in the tent to brace it. We waited about an hour in the car, and then it seemed like the worst of it had passed and we went back to the tent. Everyone else fell asleep fairly quickly but I lay awake most of the night, listening to the rain and wind howl.
The following morning dawned bright and sunny with no sign of what had happened the night before. We found lots of sticks, branches, and debris throughout the campground, with one uncomfortably large branch uncomfortably near our campsite.
Early Monday morning, around 4am, the wind started to kick up just like it had before the big storm on Friday. It was ridiculously hot, and humid, and we hadn't been able to sleep and were sweating buckets. Since we were sweating buckets we were drinking a ton of water, with the associated trips to the bath house. Just before 5am I was returning from a trip to the bath house and I was hurrying, because we'd already had to brace the tent once that night due to the wind, and I had visions of branches falling on the tent and squashing the kids or giving BDF a head injury, or both. I was kind of half walking, half jogging, it was pitch black and I had only my narrow headlamp and the wind was wicked and BAM!
I think I stepped on a pinecone. My right ankle rolled out to the right and I went down on my left knee and slid a little on the ground and immediately started screaming. BDF came running and told me to stop screaming and crying because it would bother the other campers and it wasn't helping anything. Um, it was helping me because crap on a stick did that hurt! I pulled my pants leg up to look at the knee and saw it wasn't bad but I couldn't put any weight on the ankle at all. Not even to bend at the knee and rest it on the ground. BDF got Trout and together they picked me up and carried me to the front seat of the van. He pulled my shoe and sock off and blanched a bit, then said "We're going to need to go to the ER."
We then debated whether or not we'd go right away and abandon the tent to the weather, or hurry up and break camp and go home from the ER. It was starting to get light and the wind was dying down, and I wasn't in too much pain at that point (thank you, adrenalin), so we opted to break camp. I sat in the car and stuffed sleeping bags in stuff sacks and the kids and BDF did everything else, and an hour later we were at the smallest, dinkiest hospital ER that I have ever seen in my life.
They were very nice, though, and x-rayed and iced the ankle and a wonderfully nice nurse cleaned out my road rash on my left knee and put some antibiotic ointment and a bandaid on it. How many times had I done that for my kids and remarked that it would be nice to have someone take care of me sometimes? The doctor said that it wasn't broken but that it was...she paused and I said "Hosed?" and she said that it did look nasty indeed and she thought it would need an MRI and surgery to repair any tears to the ligaments. Unfortunately they didn't have an MRI machine in that town (!) and they'd pack me up well enough to get home, and that I had to be sure to see an orthopedist THAT DAY. Alrightythen.
We limped home to find that the damage to most of our county was so bad that businesses were just getting power back on and that the orthopedist was closed. I spent the rest of the day icing and elevating and resting and learning just how bad I am at using crutches and just how hard it is to go up and down stairs on crutches. I think BDF pulled a muscle in his back helping me.
This morning the orthopedist was back in business. Turns out the ankle actually IS broken, which is good news. They gave me a boot, I can wear it as long as it is useful, I can start trying to drive after this weekend, and no surgery. It'll heal itself, it'll just take time.
From here on out, I've learned my lesson. No running. Not even if there's a storm, or if I'm being chased by a bear. And watch out for those evil pinecones.