The speed alone is terrifying, I can only compare it to what a roller-coaster crash must feel like. One minute you’re standing and without any warning, you spin and crash to the floor. Instinct tells you to get up but you can’t, you cannot even sit up.
I could at least turn my head to look at my leg that was off to the side. I stared at what looked like a tennis ball just under the skin. There was continuous pressure as though it wanted to escape my body. As I tried to move my leg, the ball seemed to edge right up against my pubic bone.
I tried to smile, but it felt more like a grimace. The pain was intense, I was in a ballet studio, and my poor students weren’t sure what to do. My hands became ice-cold, but I was sweating profusely. In minutes, my hair was drenched and I desperately tried to avoid chattering my teeth. Now, my clothes are wet and the floor beneath me feels warm.
Too many faces looking down at me, they want to help me get up. Please, get away. Don’t make me move or talk, I’m trying to escape somewhere deep into my mind until the fear and pain go away. The pain over-shadows the embarrassment I feel, and a sense of dread makes my heart pound. I think I’m still smiling, at least I’m trying to, because I notice that some of the students have become white-faced.
The ambulance has arrived and two EMT’s are hoping to lift me onto a long narrow board. Wait! Please, don’t move me. I beg them to fix the hip right there, but learn that I must go to the emergency room. Once in the ambulance, they give me some kind of shot for the pain. It doesn’t seem to help and I suggest a sleeping pill. They smile, thinking I’m being facetious.
It is my first time in an ambulance, and I am surprised to find that it looks and smells very much like the barns I used to play in as a child. It doesn’t seem to be a very sanitary place, perhaps it is more like a dog house, unpainted wooden walls, ceiling, and floor. It’s a bumpy ride and I hold my breath and try to brace my body. I’m not having any fun.
Once at the hospital, after x-rays and endless delays, I’m taken into an operating room to have the hip reduced. When I wake up, I’m sent home. The whole thing happens again in one month, at work, same studio, different students.
Revision surgery happens eight weeks later.