I sprawled on the floor, my dress twisted around my body.


Electrical pain impulses surged from my ankle to my stomach. I do not want to throw up. I’m not going to throw up. Please, God, don’t let me throw up. Gurgles and churns lurched in my stomach, threatening to turn the health shake I had for lunch into a liquid projectile.

Tears began to roll. “Please, God, don’t let it be broken,” I said out loud. “I don’t have time for a broken ankle. Come on, God. No broken ankles, OK? I’ve got enough on my plate right now.”

I saw my phone within arms reach — right there on the floor where I dropped it when my shoe caught on the carpet, twisting my foot into an angle meant only for contortionists and yogis.

I’m all alone. There is no one here. Sh*t. This must be what the little old ladies feel like when they fall and can’t get up. I’m going to be a little old lady with no one to take care of me. No one will care when I fall. I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. 

Tears grew into sobs which grew into embarrassment for laying on the floor, crying like a three-year old.

I knew I had to figure out if my ankle was broken, if I could stand, or if I needed to call someone to get me into an upright position and transport me to the emergency room.  I began running through my memory a list of people in town this weekend, who hadn’t left on exciting three-day-weekend adventures.

Before you panic and call in the calvary, see what’s going on with the foot.

First, the toes. I could move them. With thought and pain.

Rest. Breathe.

Then, the ankle. I could rotate it slightly. With thought and lip-biting pain.

Let’s try standing, I thought, hoping my stomach would keep a firm grasp on its contents.

I heard a snap. I know I heard a snap when I fell. Please, no hidden fractures.

I propped myself on my elbows and rolled to the uninjured side, pulling myself up with the support of a dining room chair.

Upright. Good. Now… weight on the foot. 

I pressed my toes against the floor, the foot tingled and throbbed. My stomach lurched again. The ankle could handle a little weight, enough to get me to my bedroom where I fell on to the bed, shaking. My leg twitched, sending my whole body into a sympathetic rhythm.

I sobbed, not so much from the pain, though it was intense, but from the fear: I was alone. What the f*** was I supposed to do if it was broken? Who would help me?

The Kids are with The Wizard this weekend. The custody insanity continues with Kid #2. Other than my cat, who watched with concern from the corner of the bed, wondering who would feed him and pet him if I was incapacitate, there were no other living creatures in my house.

“Come on, God,” I said into the air. “I don’t need anything else. Please.”

As my body shivered in pain and fear, I text my friends. “I twisted my ankle. How do I know if it is broken?”

I don’t know why I chose a text instead of a phone call. Maybe I didn’t trust my voice or the tears.

Immediately, the friends replied with what to check and what to do, along with offers to come help.

I’m on the couch now, my foot elevated and iced, on Day 2 of “Easy Does It.” In my non-medical opinion, it isn’t broken, just sprained in an awful way. A bruise has formed across the top of my foot and my left ankle is twice the size of my right.  Last night, Chef Man delivered dinner to me: a sandwich from his favorite deli. He waited on me, bringing me water and napkins and whatever I needed before he had to head to his restaurant to work.

“Let me know if you need anything else,” he said, as he let himself out. I felt myself bristle at his kindness. As much as I craved it, as much as I appreciated it, I was afraid to submit to it, to show weakness and need. I was afraid to show vulnerability.

It’s hard to hide vulnerability when my leg is perched on pillows with an ice pack dangling around my ankle.

God, I don’t want to stumble through life alone. Please grant me the willingness to set aside old hurts and old fears so I can be open to a new experience in a new relationship. By the way, God, if You don’t mind me asking, why? All those times I was sh*t-faced and stumbling, I never hurt myself like this. Why now?