Saturday, April 14, 2007

More Evidence That I Am A Total Dork

You know, yesterday was not a good day. Oh, it started off just fine -- I had planned to take Offspring to the doctor to get her updated on her vaccinations for the next school year. Plus, she had never had her 11-year-old well-check, so we were going to knock both of those out and do an errand or two, and then both of us were going to go to school.

It's amazing how things don't work out like we plan for them to.

I was walking on the sidewalk, minding my own business, and I found myself going ass over teakettle. I think my right foot slipped off the side of the sidewalk, turning my whole right ankle in towards my left foot. I fell onto my left knee, which immediately went numb, and I then rolled around in the dirt. I'm in awful pain, and terribly embarrassed. There was a large rock a few feet away, and I managed to haul myself up onto it. My right foot is already swelling, and hurts like the very devil. I lean heavily onto Offspring (who is frightened out of her mind to hear her mother howling in pain) to make it to the car. I drive myself to the emergency care clinic, but by the time we get there, I can put no pressure on the ankle at all.

I ask Offspring to go into the clinic and ask for a wheelchair. No one helps the poor child -- she has to try and open the glass door to the clinic AND manipulate the unwieldy chair all by herself. The staff just sat and watched. Finally, another patient helps and holds the door for her so she can get the wheelchair out. I wedge my bulk into the chair, tears pouring down my face from the pain. The same nice patient holds the door for us, and helps get me into the clinic. At the front desk, the receptionist asks me why I'm there, and I tell her that I fell and I think I've broken my ankle. She hands me all the paperwork to fill out, which I do.

There is no good place for me to sit in the waiting room, so I park the wheelchair near the door in towards the treatment rooms. NOT a good place to sit, because I flinch every time the door swings wide, afraid it will hit my already-throbbing foot. After about an hour, they call me back into treatment, and send me immediately for x-rays. They do three of my ankle and three of my left knee. The left knee is abraded, but other than that surface sting, it's numb. What really hurts is the ankle, which is now purple and looks like there is a halved grapefruit shoved under the mottled skin.

The doctor says she can't see any fractures; I have probably just strained or sprained the ankle. She says they'll fit me with an air cast, and they want to refer me to an orthopedist. The nurse comes back in and tells me that they don't HAVE any air casts, and gives me a prescription for Naproxen, which will help the swelling, and 10 Lortab for the pain. They don't end up giving me anything for pain while in the office, and they actually do nothing to my foot.

I check out at the payment desk, and the nurse gives me the directions to the orthopedist's office, and says that they open after five. I call my husband to come get me, as it is painfully obvious that I will not be able to drive anywhere. The nurse tells me that I can sit in the waiting room until JF gets there, but that she needs the wheelchair back. I don't really mind giving up the wheelchair at this point because I'm very uncomfortable in it. I am too fat for a "regular" wheelchair -- apparently, I need a double-wide.

I sit on a settee in the waiting room with my foot propped up, and read the library book I have stashed in my purse. After a while, JF arrives, and I ask him to get a wheelchair so I can get out to the car. He asks the nurse at the desk, and she tells him that they have no wheelchair or crutches. After a heated conversation with JF which proves that all of our nerves are frayed greatly, we realize that I have no choice other than to walk on the injured foot out to the car. I lean heavily on JF and Offspring, and literally scream with pain. Again, no one helps. None of the staff even move, they just stare at me while I scream and sob with each step. No one even bothers to open the door for us.

We make our way to a drugstore near our house where JF buys me some crutches and puts my prescriptions in. At home, I hobble awkwardly into the bedroom to lie down while JF waits to pick up my medications. After he picks up the prescriptions, he makes sure I have taken a pain pill and do not plan to move in the slightest while he walks four miles to pick up his car. I am not on board with the plan for him to walk four miles on busy city streets to pick up his car, but he is stubborn beyond belief, and I have no energy to argue further with him. I sleep while he walks to get the car. Offspring remains at home to keep an eye out for me, still worried and anxious to see her mother in such pain.

When JF returns, we get me loaded up in the car for the trip to the ortho's office. JF inquires as to whether I will be carsick. (I usually drive everywhere we go, due to my propensity for being HIGHLY motion-sick.) I think the pain in my foot will distract me enough that I will not be sick, and this turns out to be the case. When we get to the ortho's office, JF and Offspring go in to ask whether they have a wheelchair that we can borrow, as I can now put no pressure at all on the foot. Thankfully, they do, and it's a large size. I get into the facility with little problem, and explain my situation to the receptionist.

This after-hours clinic is staffed by a small handful of people -- actually there are more patients in the building than there are staff -- and we can tell there's going to be a wait. We settle in for our turn. After an hour and forty-five minutes, it is now our turn. I'm put in an exam room, and "triaged" by a nice young lady. She sends me out for more x-rays. There is much contortion of the body to get this series of x-rays, and even one instance of hopping about on one foot like a maddened crow to satisfy the radiation gods. I get back into the exam room, and see the doctor, who pokes and prods, and then decides we need a FURTHER x-ray. Instead of sending me back down to the x-ray room, he has the nurse wheel in a lumbering "portable" x-ray machine. He manipulates my ankle (while I scream bloody murder) to try to determine whether or not I actually have a hairline fracture in the upper portion of the foot. He ends up saying that he does think there's a fracture in one of the upper bones, and that he wants me to be seen by a foot specialist. He tells me that the ligaments and the ankle itself are sprained, but that he's not sure about that one bone. He says the specialist may want to do a CT scan on Monday to be certain, and that they will air-cast me until then. The nice young nurse who triaged me wheels me down to the cast room, and puts the air cast on my leg.

After a return trip to the reception desk to pay and schedule Monday's appointment, I am told that I am not to return to work "until further notice" and pending the pronouncement of the specialist. Juggling Freak mentions that I have picked the correct day to injure myself -- after all, today IS Friday, the 13th.

Maybe thirteen *isn't* my lucky number after all. Perhaps I was too hasty in switching my allegiance to number 13. Just my luck. My bumbling, clumsy luck.


La Reina said...

KLee! You poor thing!

I hope your pain meds have kicked in by now. Only you can manage to make me laugh while reading about something so painful (the "maddened crow" line). I flashed back to when my dad slipped on a walnut and managed a spiral break to his ankle. (The description of your purple ankle that looked as if a grapefruit had been shoved under your skin is exactly what his ankle looked like. Only he was lucky that the immediate care place was actually helpful.) You *seriously* need to write a complaint letter to whatever company runs that place. Their utter lack of compassion or assitance is inexcusable - especially when seeing a girl trying desperately to help her injured mother!

Despite the wait, thank goodness there was an orthopedist open on a Friday evening! I'm glad to hear they think the ankle is "only" sprained (although I've heard people say sprained ankles hurt more than broken ones). I hope you get good news Monday on the questionable foot bone.

Keep that foot elevated! I'm sure Offspring and JF will take excellent care of you. I wish you a very speedy recovery!

Jenevieve said...

Oh, KLee! Get some rest and feel better! If it makes you feel any better, when I was working at the dairy this week, I swung a gate open to get through to the other side. The gate fell off the hinges and slammed to the ground, crushing my hand (it hurt, but no lasting damamge) and spooking the cows, three of whom decided to run out the now open gate and *into the road*. I felt, um, like a dork.

jo(e) said...

How painful! Those kind of injuries are just the worst.

Isn't it terrible how often injuries happen when we aren't doing anything exciting? Seven years ago, I broke my leg in two places while running down my own stairs. And this year, I hurt my knee badly just getting off the chair lift at the ski center.

I hope you heal quickly!

Miche said...

Oh, KLee, how awful! I have the deepest empathy for you and your poor ankle / foot (as I have a propensity for turning over on mine and know how painful it can be).

I hope you get a lot of richly deserved TLC!


Rev Dr Mom said...

Oh, owwww. Hope you feel better soon!

Yankee T said...

KLEE!!!AWWWWWW. I'm so sorry. Lots of virtual hugs from me!

ccw said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch! I am so very sorry.

The first clinic sounds like it was staffed by a bunch of asshats. Is it possible to lodge a complaint?

I hope you feel better soon and that you appt goes well.

Marni said...

Bless your heart -- and your ankle! I hope you feel better soon...

liz said...

I'm so sorry, KLee. That really, really sucks. I hope it feels better soon.

Songbird said...

I'm way behind. How are you doing now? Much better, I hope!

Bridget said...

ouch, but it sounds like you aren't a dork- or at least not the only dork. what is with those medical people taking "care" of you! feel better soon.

amy said...

oh lordy, KLee, i am soooo sorry. here's hoping you're feeling much better today.

Andrea said...

Oh Klee, I'm so sorry.

And I want to pound those staff persons. What were they thinking? It's too much to stand up and open the door? Unbelievable.

Karyn said...

Sweet merciful crap! Catch a flight up north - I'll share my percocets with you. Crap, woman.