They truly were wonderful. Had they not been there to tend to me this nightmarish episode might have been even worse. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to learn their names. But again, I have never been in that much pain in my entire life.
An EMS vehicle arrived to strap me to a gurney and load me into an ambulance. The paramedics did everything in their power to not hit any bumps as they lowered me down the steep tomato bowl steps.
After I had been placed inside the vehicle, my son, yelling, “DAD!” darted down the front steps of the tomato bowl, desperate to make sure I was okay. My mother, my sister and my two young nephews all were incredibly frightened on my behalf.
The paramedics iced me down because I was sweating like a fiend. They told me I was dehydrated. Their ambulance took me to a nearby hospital, where the on-duty emergency room personnel floated the theory that my pain stemmed from the fact I was dehydrated. They didn't X-ray my leg. They gave me pain meds and sent me home.
My sister, Anna Tinsley Williams, drove me and my son to the extended stay motel where we were staying at the time. Despite the medication, every move I made getting out of my sister's vehicle was sheer agony. My son and a hotel desk clerk tried to help me up the stairway to my room on the second floor, but any motion at all hurt too much. So my son used the graduation money my mom had given him to rent us a downstairs room where I could comfortably stay for the night.
But comfort was not on the agenda. Every single motion of mine — every jostle, every turn and twist — was incredibly scream-worthy and painful. I couldn't even climb fully onto the bed under my own steam.