….shit. Saturday I was teaching a class with K. We had had the normal share of difficult students – one I had to dive out of the way before he hit the fence. When I picked it up and rolled it off the range and gave him another one he said, “This one feels better” Yeah, blame the bike why don’t you – it was the same damn bike.
I had been texting Charlie and she said she was taking Black Fury out. She wrote back that she had a great ride, it cornered well and that she took it through the neighborhood. Later, we were doing a split exercise, I was bringing people in on bikes and sending people out and she called. I knew it had to be an emergency for her to call while I was teaching as she knows I have my hands full. As I’m telling people to shut down I answered.
You know how people talk really calm when they’re not so calm? That was how the neighbor was talking on Charlie’s cell phone.
“Lanie, yes Deborah here. [she never calls herself her entire first name so I knew something was up] Yes, well Charlie has had a little accident. [I hear Charlie moaning in the background] and the paramedics are here.”
My stomach dropped to my feet. She’s wrecked Black Fury.
“She wrecked the bike.”
“No, no she fell off the ladder. There’s some blood and – [talking in the background more moaning from Charlie] let me call you back.”
Just in time for me to send out the people I just parked and bring more in. K is looking at me like he knows something’s up because I would never be on the phone while I’m trying to park people. Thankfully, this group was done with the exercise and after telling them to shut down, dismount and discuss I walked out and told him what was up. He asked if I needed to book and I said I was waiting for the neighbor to call me back.
Call back. “Lanie, Deborah again. Tom [her husband] is taking Charlie to the hospital. [more moaning in the background].”
“She fell off the ladder and hurt her ankle – we think it’s broken and there was a big cut on the side that we had a time stopping the bleeding. So, Tom is going to take her to DeKalb Medical.”
“Ok, let me talk to her.”
After talking to a moaning Charlie I said I would meet her there as soon as possible. By then K and I were running the next exercise and I gave him our shut off signal meaning I had to go. He had texted me that he would send them to the gate and once I parked them I could take off – which, I did. I merged onto 400 and was immediately stopped because there was a 3 car pileup and they were stopped to move the cars off the highway. So – an hour later I arrived at the hospital. Fortunately, when I found Charlie in the ER she was already plugged up to a morphine drip. Good thing about this hospital if you come in bleeding they see you right away. Her ankle was still bleeding. What appeared to be a broken ankle and cut turned out to be a crushed heel that was a compound fracture –causing the bleeding. So, it was a very serious break and one that couldn’t heal properly without surgery.
My ex Bird came by after she got off her shift. Then, Cindi showed up. We were all crowded into her curtained room. The woman next door to Charlie’s curtain was heaving ever minute or so and every time she did the conversation stopped. At one point I heard her mumble that she needed some alcohol up in here and I said under my breath, You know it, sister. They had to admit her that night and surgery was going to be the next day. I kept going in and out of the room to talk to Charlie’s family on the phone.
Much later, we got her to a room and settled down. Finally, at about midnight she fell asleep and Cindi and I slipped out of the room to go down to the parking deck to charge my phone and to drink the Fireball she brought me. We sat in the deck talking and me drinking when Ellen pulled up with phone charging cords and beer that I requested. She got into Cindi’s car and we talked until Cindi had to go home and go to bed. Ellen and I snuck up to Charlie’s room and I went in and checked on her and grabbed my phone cord. She woke a little and I told her to go back to sleep that I’d be back in three hours. They had given her Benedrill with her morphine and it had knocked her out. The neighbors had been letting the dogs out while I was at the hospital. When I got home they jumped into bed with me and we all crashed. This was 2 a.m. They were stressed I could tell. Deb had barely been able to get Bailey into the house after the accident. Sunday afternoon she had surgery – fortunately, they were able to put her heel back together with only six screws. She came out of it really well and was starving. Monday I was able to take her home. There have been so many friends helping out and bringing food over – all our friends have been really, really great -our families – not so much. They have added more stress to the situation in my opinion. At some point yesterday I took Charlie’s cell phone away from her and said, It’s time to relax, no more conversations, no more texting and FB. Finally, after feeding her the fettuccini that Steph brought over, watching The Walking Dead and giving her a bath I was able to get her to relax.
I’m sure I’ll write more later but this is a start….