After falling and retrieving Bella from her lark through the neighbor’s yard, I staggered into the house. The sweet college boys that were doing odd jobs for me were eating the pizza I had ordered for them. One of them looked at me and said “Did you know you were bleeding?” No one can accuse his parents of wasting their tuition money.
I advised him I indeed was aware that I was bleeding and, additionally, I had broken my arm. They all clamored to drive me to the hospital right away. But my daughter Mary Kate had just run to the bank and, unreasonably, I wanted to wait for her. So, I assured them, I would be ok for the few minutes it would take her to get home. And I went to sit in the den. As usual, I was completely wrong. I was definitely NOT ok waiting.
I sat at my desk with everything in my body throbbing in concert with my heart, which was galloping. The minutes seemed to be weeks long. I was getting shocky and nauseous, there was no sign of Mary Kate, so I gave in and two of the boys drove me to the ER.
I must have looked ghastly, because one of them kept up a cheerful, nervous patter all the way there. Every bump in the road reverberated through me and I focused on not throwing up, which would have been the final ignominy.
At the hospital, I was seen right away, one of the perks of my daughter working there. The boys stayed until Mary Kate arrived. That is when the dam broke and I, someone who NEVER cries, began to weep in horrible, hiccupping sobs.
I could barely answer the questions the doctor was asking me. When I went for x-rays, the tech was incredibly nice and gentle, but I involuntarily shrieked every time she moved my arm. This is just one sample:
Me: sob sob hiccup sob
Tech: Ok, Marie, I am just going to move your arm a little (gingerly moves the arm 1 centimeter).
Me: loud scream I’m sorry, sob, sob, I’m so sorry.
Tech: That’s ok, I just need to move it a little more (even more gingerly moves the arm ½ centimeter).
Me: loud scream Oh sorry, sob, sob, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
Tech: Ok, just let me see how this one came out.
Me: sob Is it broken? sob
Tech (grimacing): It looks like it…
Me: BOOOOO HOOOO HOOOOO
Before this, back in the exam room, I had told the nurse the pain was nine out of ten. Hey, I didn’t want to be greedy. When I returned from the x-ray I said, sobbing all the while, “I have to change it. Can I change it? I need to change it. It’s a ten. It’s a ten. I was wrong about the nine, it’s a ten, not a nine. The nine was completely wrong, it’s a ten. Can I change it? Is it ok to change it? Because I have to change it to a ten…” And I kept going. I NEEDED PAIN MEDICINE.
The doctor eventually came in and mildly confirmed it was broken. So be sure to follow up with your orthopedist on Monday. Like I had a bunion or something. And I meekly said ok, they gave me a sling, a single Percocet and sent me on my way with my smashed arm and mangled body.
Much, much later I started to process the ER visit. The Percocet, predictably, did nothing to touch the pain. I was in agony. Every movement hurt. And, I thought, “my” orthopedist? Like I keep one on retainer? I couldn’t have even told you the name of an orthopedist in my county. But there was nothing I could do until Monday morning. They had sent me home and I had acquiesced. This was Saturday night. I suffered through another day, just waiting for Monday morning, and, I thought, some relief. Silly me.
The next hilarious, fun-filled chapter in The Plucky Adventures of Marie, Casualty Girl:
Marie Tries to Find Adequate Medical Care
Ha ha ha ha