Sticks and stones, and broken bones

Roy helped Richard out of the car, then walked around to my side to open my door.  I reached inside for my cane, and was turning to join them.  

Roy was Richard’s caregiver, and came weekdays to our home.  

“Wait Richard,” Roy said.  

I turned suddenly to see Richard running away from the house, toward the street. Roy was chasing him.  

“Richard! Richard!” I called out.  And then I lost my balance, and went crashing down onto the concrete.  

“Roy! Roy!” I yelled, “I’ve fallen!” 

Roy had finally caught up to Richard, and the two of them rushed over to find me on my back.

“Oh my gosh, Ann . . . are you alright?” Roy said. 

“I think I’ve killed myself, this time,” I said, “I can’t move. I’ve hurt myself badly.”

I was taken by ambulance to the hospital emergency room.  Roy called Janet, and she left work to meet us there.

“What happened, Mom?” Janet said.

I told her the whole story, and then began to realize that my leg was starting to hurt.

“My leg really hurts,” I said.

Janet looked at it.  There was no bruising or swelling.  It looked just like my other leg.  But the pain was becoming worse by the minute.

About that time a doctor entered my room.

“Looks like you had a nasty fall, Mrs. Snow.  I’ve ordered X-rays for your back,” he said.

“My back doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as my leg,” I said.

“Hmm . . . “ he said.  He pressed on my leg ever so slightly.

“Oww!” I said. 

“It’s probably just bruised.  It looks okay,” he said.

“Mom doesn’t complain of pain unless she’s really hurting.  I know it looks alright, but could you have a look at it, too?” Janet said.

“Of course.  I’ll change the order to include pictures of her leg,” he said.

Following the X-ray, Janet asked the technician if there was any problem with my leg.

“It’s not really my place to tell you, but there’s definitely a problem,” he said.

He walked into the adjoining room, and then returned with the X-ray.  He held up the X-ray and pointed to the bone. 

“Her femur is literally snapped in half,” he said.


“No wonder it hurts,” I said.

I was in surgery the next day, where a long metal rod was screwed from my knee all the way up to my hip to hold the bone together.

Why am I telling you this? Because apparently broken bones do not always cause bruising or swelling.  I had just broken the largest bone in my body.  A bone that is rarely ever broken.  And there were no outward signs whatsoever – except my complaint of pain.  

Had no one listened to me, I could’ve eventually died from that break due to  infection that can occur from a break of that particular bone.  If you or a loved one has a fall, and there is a lot of pain in a specific area – even with no swelling or bruising, get it x-rayed.  It may very well be broken.

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