Anyone who knows me, knows I am prone to
accidents stupidity that often results in physical pain.
I am not by any stretch of the imagination a ‘sporty’ or coordinated person. Put simply, the ongoing joke is that when God was handing out coordination and talent I was hiding behind the door.
That said, a few months back a friend whose husband plays pro football here in Australia, gave us a match game ball… we decided to throw it around the yard as family (something we haven’t done before) and my husband was apparently impressed enough to comment, ‘you have a pretty good arm on you!’ I can assure you, no one was more surprised than me. It just may have been my finest moment. Ever.
often sometimes occasionally during red moons, walk to pick up my son from school. I had walked so often over the past weeks along with my daily jalk that I felt I might possibly have graduated to being able to jog the whole way, without causing myself serious bodily harm.
On this particular afternoon I had dressed in my cute Lorna Jane outfit, tightened my sneakers, attached my ipod in its handy little silicone pouch, and found my sporty Oakley sunglasses…I was ready to go become a jogging machine!
I closed the door behind me as I took of at the speed of an Olympic athlete. On stride two I slightly misjudged where the garden bed actually met the driveway, and in a swift motion went down like a sack of (well-coordinated and fashionably attired) potatoes. Stride two, people, stride two!!
The pain was excruciating and I was sure I had broken my ankle. Unfortunately my elderly neighbor was outside at the time and saw me go down. He yelled out asking if I was OK. In my desperate need not to be humiliated further, I forced myself to my feet and plastered a smile on my face and yelled out “FINE!”as I gave what I hoped looked like a cheery wave. I suspect my ‘wave’ looked more like a drowning victim giving his last desperate signal for help before never being seen from again, but I did what I could.
I waited for him to walk indoors before I collapsed to the porch and bum-crawled my way into my home. I continued the bum-crawl until I got to the couch and called hubby in a fit of crying.
“You have to drop whatever you are doing RIGHT NOW and go pick up our son from school. School lets out in 10 minutes and there’s no way I can get off the couch, to the car and use my foot to drive.”
In typical fashion, he did what he usually does when there is work to be done in life he’s not too fond of doing – he delegated. Deciding he couldn’t possibly make it on time, he called a friends husband who was picking up their kids that day, and asked him to collect ours too.
Turned out this poor guy was already carpooling a zillion other kids and our kid would put him over the car-safety threshold. If only he had asked, my husband would have told him it would be no problem to strap our kid to the hood (he’s liberal like that).
After a while I heard the sounds of children’s voices from outside the house. It turned out this poor man (Thanks Ray, we still owe you for that one!) had to walk all 7 or 8 or whatever number it was, children to our house to drop our kid off, and then walk them all back to school where his car was parked, before driving them all home. To say he was gracious is an understatement. I suspect we aren’t his favorite people of the year.
My kiddo walked in the door and saw me and my ankle and realized things were not good. He (sweetly) asked me if he could get me anything. “Ice, towel and nail polish,” was my reply.
He didn’t question me, but my husband was incredulous when he arrived home and saw me stretching over in serious pain, in a valiant effort to paint my toenails.
“What are you doing?” he asked, “I know, I know, don’t answer that. You’re painting your toenails even though you are in obvious pain, because you don’t want to go to the hospital and have people looking at your foot un-manicured. I’m right aren’t I?”
My face was the only answer he needed. “You’re insane,” he responded, “completely insane. I can’t believe I married someone as crazy as you, frankly it speaks volumes about my mental health….” he sighed... “Let’s get you to the hospital.”
Having yet to visit an Australian hospital to test the system out, he was quite excited to see what ‘free’ healthcare looked like (especially given he wasn’t the guinea pig).
I think he quietly suspected there would be sick and dying people lying in the hallways, bright yellow warning tape across various rooms and a severe shortage of painkillers along with people screaming in agony and a mild infestation of roaches. With that expectation, he was destined to be pleasantly surprised.
Here’s how it went:
5:15pm. Hubby goes into emergency and is followed out by a nurse with a wheelchair. I am taken straight into a private room where they took all my details, level of pain, how it happened, given pain meds etc.
5:25pm. Sent to X-ray. Told they were waiting for me there and given directions for how to navigate our way around the hospital to find it.
5:30pm: Arrive at X-ray. Hubby left me to get a snack for our son since we figured I’d be waiting a while.
5:40pm: I call hubby to rush back, they are ready to take me in
5:45pm: X-ray completed. We are told to wait right where we are. The X-rays would be developed and digitals emailed through to the orthopedic surgeon.
5:52pm: Radiologist comes out with our X-rays, tells us to go back to the original check in area, and the orthopedic surgeon would call my name. We head back but are intercepted in the hallway by the surgeon who is waiting for us, and taken to a private room to talk.
5:55pm: Surgeon shows me the X-rays and talks about what happened. I have torn ligaments in my ankle, it would have been better if I had broken it he tells me. Ligaments take as long to heal – often longer…blah, blah, blah. (It’s all sucky news.)
6:05pm He goes to get crutches for me and fits me for them and wraps my foot. Gives me extra wraps and bandages and pain killers and tells me to rest, ice, elevate etc and come back if I have anymore trouble.
6:12pm: As we are leaving the doctor tells me if the pain is really bad, to ‘swig a couple of pain pills down with a scotch or something.’ (I think he was joking, but later in the evening, I briefly consider taking his advice.)
6:18pm: we walk out of the hospital with my husband actually asking the lady at the front desk where the billing department is. She looks at him like he’s a little slow in the head. “There is no billing department” she answers “There is no payment for these services.“
He’s giddy with joy, like a kid in a candy store. It was almost amusing.
6:25pm: We are in the car and on our way home with me having narrowly missed losing my life in front of an ambulance pulling in, due to my lack of co-ordination with the crutches. I suspect another accident in the near future if my crutch ability is anything to go by. (No one warns you just how much coordination is required to use those things!)
6:26pm: My husband excitedly announces that its “awesome” we got crutches for free and when I am done with them he’s selling them on eBay -declaring that this ‘accident’ of mine will end up being a profitable venture for our family.
6:27pm: I witheringly explain to him that no one in Australia will actually buy the crutches, because we can all get the for free from the medical community anytime we need them.
6:28pm: He seems visibly disappointed and wonders out loud about the shipping costs of sending crutches to the USA to sell to the poor sods there – where nothing in medicine is free.
Later that evening: “Do me a favor honey,” (he looked at me lovingly) “leave that jogging stuff to the professionals from now on…eh? Sometimes we just need to know our limitations in life, and this is clearly one of yours.”
I didn’t cook him dinner for a week.