“It had just started to rain, but the dog needed to be walked and that’s something you can’t put off, so we were out on the golf course. It was just after dark and I was coming down a small incline when my right foot flew out from under me. When I fell, my full weight came down on my left ankle. It happened so fast that at first, I really didn’t know what happened. It sounds funny now, but I thought I might have been struck by lightning.”
Glenn Crain said he knew right away his ankle was broken. “It was painful, but more than that, I could see that it was out of alignment, so I knew it was bad. I just sat there a few minutes in the dark and rain not knowing what to do. After a little struggle, I managed to get back up and tested some weight on the ankle,” Glenn said. Then he decided he would try walking back home. “Walking on it was probably not the smartest thing to do, but I didn’t want to make a big fuss and call someone. I don’t think I passed a single person on the way home. It was a little over a mile that I hobbled on that broken ankle.”
A little later, his nephew and brother-in-law drove him to the Jefferson Regional Emergency Department. “The Emergency Department staff got me back fairly quickly and took X-rays.” They consulted with Dr. J. Alan Pollard, who was on call that evening. “He told them to wrap me up and have me come to see him on Monday. They gave me pain and nausea medication, wrapped the ankle, and sent me home for the night. That visit went much faster than I thought, and when I saw Dr. Pollard two days later, he bragged on the way the ankle was wrapped. ‘They did a great job wrapping this,’ he said.”
Glenn explained that his fibula (the smaller leg bone) was broken in several places but Dr. Pollard said it was capable of healing itself. However, the larger bone, the tibia, was dislocated at the ankle and would not heal well without surgery. “Unfortunately, this is one of those that will do better with surgery,” Dr. Pollard told Glenn.
“Naturally, it was the worst possible time, the week of Christmas. But what are you going to do? You have to trust the advice of your physician and I trust Dr. Pollard 100 percent. If he tells me I need surgery, I know I need it.” Glenn’s surgery took place on Christmas Eve and with the COVID-19 visitor protocols, that meant he spent most of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day either asleep or by himself in his hospital room. “It really could have been a lot worse, so looking back I feel really blessed the way so many people stepped up and helped me. My sister was there to help me however she could, and the rest of my family. The staff at Jefferson Regional was kind and considerate. And even though there was just a minimal operating room crew on Christmas Eve, they were so reassuring and put my mind at ease. I’m a very anxious person anyway, but the Nurse Anesthetist, Clay Young, went out of his way to explain what was happening and that he was going to take care of me. He even came by that afternoon when it was all over and checked on me.”
Another Jefferson Regional staff member who stood out to Glenn was a particular RN working on the unit where he was staying. “I can’t remember her name, but when she found out I was diabetic she took it upon herself to go and get a glucometer a local business was offering to patients free of cost. She brought it to me and said take it home and use it. And when I was discharged on Christmas day, she made arrangements to order medication that I could take home with me, since the pharmacies were all closed, and even walked down and got the medicine herself,” Glenn said. “And I can’t explain how grateful I am that so many friends stepped up to help me while I was off my feet. That was truly my Christmas gift last year!”
“Being in the hospital is not fun, but being in the hospital on Christmas Eve in the middle of a pandemic with no visitors, is something I don’t want to experience again. But I believe we are fortunate to have exceptional physicians who are practicing in this community and I was certainly one who benefited from their service. I couldn’t imagine that I would find any better surgeon than Dr. Pollard anywhere else in the South. And even though it was sad being in the hospital on Christmas, I’m glad we have Jefferson Regional in our own community.”