Well, apparently 2014 wasn't quite finished effing with this family. On Christmas Eve morning, Steph slipped and fell while running errands and ended up being taken by ambulance to the ER. She managed to break both bones in her ankle. The x-ray of her tibia and fibula looks like this:
Really. (There's also a third break, but it's so small we're not even going to worry about it!) They put her under to realign the bones and then wrapped her up in a splint/cast-type thing. They said she would definitely need surgery but because the bones in the ankle are right under the skin, they have to wait until there's no swelling at all. So we saw the surgeon yesterday, and he said she can have the surgery on Friday. He's going to install a metal plate and 6 screws on one of the bones and 2 screws on the other. He said that the hardware can stay in forever, but some people are bothered by it and have it removed in a year or two.
Worst of all, it's a very long recovery period: She has to stay completely off that foot for 6 whole weeks! The first 2 weeks she'll be in a cast. Then they'll remove the cast and the stitches and put her in a "boot"—but not the kind of boot you can put weight on—for another 4 weeks. She'll have to use crutches or a wheelchair that whole time. Andy (who has way more experience with crutches than anyone should have) has been working with her on crutching around, but it's very hard for her balance- and stability-wise, so I think she'll go back to school in a wheelchair whenever that time comes.
She really can't maneuever by herself at all, so she and I have been camped out in the living room all this time–she's on the couch and I'm on the air mattress. Andy and I managed to get her upstairs and into the shower over the weekend, which took approximately 50 hours (or so it seemed). We might try it again today....
Meanwhile, she is just such a trouper through all of this, it practically breaks my heart.