After a fabulous two days (History in a Day), our Spain family vacation went sideways. We’d driven through the Alicante region following mountains along a scenic road reminiscent of those in the high desert in Arizona and California to La Manga. We carried all our bags and goodies into the condo, sorted out room preferences for the week, and began to unpack.
In the kitchen I’d finished emptying one of those big reusable grocery bags and wandered up the one stair to check out the view from the breakfast table. Ah, the yacht club and a restaurant I thought might make a convenient spot for a romantic getaway when neither of us is willing to leave our four kids on their own in a foreign country for long.
Smiling I turned from the view and was wrestling to fold the bag and walking at the same time. Apparently I can’t do these two things at once. I didn’t even see that one pesky step as my foot rolled sideways taking my entire body on a plunge from top of foot to ankle, ankle to knee, knee to hip, hip to arm and shoulder. There was this terrific sound effect as well. I lay on the cold tile trying to convince myself and my love, who had come running (Did I scream?), that perhaps I’d only twisted my ankle…again. Maybe the rapid bubble wrap crackling I’d heard was only toe knuckles bending further than usual. My eldest pops his knuckles all the time. Could be? Right? Wishful thinking.
My second son walked in, stood towering over me and said, “I heard it crack from the living room, Mom. It’s definitely broken.” He should know. He’s had more broken bones than anyone else in our household.
I refused to go to the emergency room on our first day poolside. The boys had already been cooped up in the car for the three hours, and the huge pool, soccer pitch, and basketball goals awaited, enticing them to rush their unpacking jobs. Soon the boys were playing, Dad was headed off to do all the shopping, and Mom was practicing R.I.C.E. which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. It’s standard operating procedure for twisted ankles and worked well for a couple of days of a broken foot. Except I skipped the compression part since the lightest touch sent a paroxysm of pain up my foot and out my mouth.
Improvising, I used a hunter green plastic deck chair as my assistance device, walking with my knee in the chair dragging the thing everywhere for the next two days. I dragged it to the deck for our family meals. I dragged it to the elevator and then plopped down to sit in it for the ride down nine floors. I dragged it to the pool. When my knee got sore, I added a pillow and towel to the seat. I probably sound stubborn, but the bruising wasn’t that bad. I thought with a few days rest I would be hobbling around fine.
All it took was a trial effort to walk three steps. The pain smacked me upside the head and said, “It’s time to go to the E.R. Woman.” The boys were having a blast and playing with each other like they never did at home. Reluctantly we announced to the children that our next day’s adventure would be to a foreign hospital. They took the news with good grace.
That particular family outing requires a post all its own.
NEXT UP – Foreign Emergency Room – The Spain Edition
Kristin King is an author, publisher and US expat living in The Netherlands. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven.” To peruse her novels and author information visit this link.