When Mom Broke Her Leg

Reader's Digest US|July - August 2020

When Mom Broke Her Leg
To her great surprise, everyone else stepped up
Allison Winn Scotch

IT WAS THE FIRST run of a family ski weekend in Colorado. It was a perfect spring morning, and the skies were cloudless and blue, the temperature warm. I was tired and considered opting out of the run. But the kids were whining about attending ski school, and I figured I should push through—that if I skipped out, then they’d think that they could too.

We dropped the kids at ski school, then charted our course on the mountain map. A little traverse to a bunny hill to a lift that would take us to the good stuff, where I would chase my brother, his wife, and my husband, Adam, who were already off and running, figuratively.

I pushed off and caught up with my sister-in-law. My legs felt heavy; I debated, again, calling it a day. Then, three minutes into the run, my left ski came off; then my right ski inverted and took my leg with it, twisting it like a Raggedy Ann doll’s. I remember seeing my ski careening toward me at an obscene angle, and then I heard the crack.

I lay splattered on the snow, screaming, my leg distorted at a right angle to my body. My sister-in-law heard my shrieks and doubled back. A kind volunteer EMT stopped and phoned ski patrol. I was strapped onto a toboggan and taken down the mountain to an ambulance.

Shaking on the X-ray table, unable to control my limbs as shock set in, I kept apologizing to the technician. “I’m sorry. I’m trying to hold still. I know I’m making your job harder.” I was embarrassed for needing the help, for inconveniencing these people whose job it was to heal me. A nurse smiled kindly and said, “Oh, sweetie, once you see your X-ray, you’ll understand.”

I woke up after surgery with my leg bandaged beyond recognition, with tubes coming out of various limbs, with my mouth sandpaper dry and my mind flighty and confused.

articleRead

You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD

Log in, if you are already a subscriber

GoldLogo

Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines

READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE

July - August 2020