I had to call the dreaded 911 last night. It was a hard decision. I think I must have spent a good hour debating, holding my phone in my hand. I went on the internet, which I believe is useful up to a point, and saw pics of broken ankles. Mine looked just like the pic I saw. Still does.
No way could I sleep. I tried everything, including hanging my leg off the edge of the bed so nothing would contact it. I got up. From my desk chair here, it took me a good ten minutes to hobble to the bathroom. I was going to make a decision. Stay up all night and then, go to a doc? How could I get there, if I managed to make an appointment? I could not walk to a cab or Uber. What was I going to do?
After my very long debate, I finally took the plunge. I remembered my favorite naturopath’s statement, that doctors are only good for setting bones and removing bullets. I think this is one of those times.
I called. 911. “What is your emergency?” As usual. I told the person on the phone, who, from the sound of it, was quite surprised I am 61. I told her I would do my best to unlock the door so they wouldn’t have to break in. I am not sure if the landlord would bill me for the repairs. I kinda think my deadbolt is inconvenient to break into.
It took a long time, or, what seemed like forever, frozen in total suspense. Had I made a mistake? Would this be the last time I see freedom?
To make things easier for the EMT folks, I held Puzzle in my lap. I’m sure she would have felt threatened by the two invaders who showed up. The woman told me how many dogs she owns and we joked around some.
When I saw that ole familiar stretcher I was so scared….Thank goodness they did not use sirens. Thank you! Maybe because it was the wee hours. No flashing lights, either.
I have to realize this is not Massachusetts anymore. This is gun-lover country. This explains why the EMTs knocked so many times in attempt to get in. I was not able to get to the door. And thank goodness, when I arrived home from grocery shopping, I’d forgotten to lock the door.
There’s one trivial matter that suddenly mattered.
They explained that they don’t generally barge in, for obvious reasons. Every time they do a home invasion they are seriously putting themselves at risk.
It hurt like hell, even with the two EMTs helping me and also with the aid of my cane (Amazon purchase), to get over to that stretcher. Meanwhile, Puzzle was barking and in a total panic, even though she’d already nuzzled up to the female EMT.
Every bump on the road hurt me. I tried not to show it. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. Still, I’m not in Massachusetts anymore!
The ER was totally empty as far as I knew. What do they do all night? I saw three cops, white males, all schmoozing together and with the nurses and EMTs at the desk. Of course they need cops. In case any of the inmates acts up. Yep, at least one was armed. I hate the way they act toward their guns, but that’s beside the point. One nurse was just sitting there and didn’t seem to be working at all. (Bet she’s high up in the hierarchy.) The other nurses were rearranging the stretchers and cleaning up the waiting room, which was empty. And gossiping at the desk. Lotsa lingo here that I couldn’t understand. It wasn’t medical talk. It was ER slang. Those code words they use. Talking about a previous patient. I had no clue what they were talking about. Lingo is useful in case someone like me shows up.
They wheeled me into a room. I was so scared they would put me in a designated MP room. Nope. I’m not an MP anymore! NO SECURITY GUARD!
They were nice as can be. Looks like they hadn’t even accessed any records that said I have kidney disease. I found my old creatinine level for May, 2017, later online. 2.4. The next time I had it tested in 2018 it had dropped to just under 2. Later, it dropped another 21 points. I’m due for another lab test.
Hey, who says I can’t do it?
They took xrays, three of them, of my foot and ankle, and a CAT scan of my head to check for a head injury. I knew the CAT scan was negative before they even did it. My teeth are slightly more chipped than before. I do not have tooth pain. There’s no real injury to the outside of my mouth but it’s swollen. The inside had a hole in it for a while which has now healed. Sorta. I never hit my skull. My face got in the way. Maybe my baseball cap did, too.
They asked many times about the details of the fall. I told them that unfortunately I barely have much recollection of the actual going down, but I do remember the pavement striking my mouth and nose very hard. I was wearing shorts and I remembered my knees hurting, but that was only a skin scrape. Unfortunately, if there was a pop, either I did not hear it, or I pushed it out of my memory very fast.
I suppose they had to do the CAT scan to cover their butts. I wonder why they didn’t x-ray my other foot, and my two scraped knees…. I have to wash the blood out of my shirt. I am not sure it will come out. Yeah, it added to the drama of the moment.
They were amazed that I carted 45 pounds of groceries home from the bus stop on a broken ankle and managed to get home…at all. I’m not so surprised. Am I superwoman? That next.
They never had to admit me. It did take a while to read the x-rays, but they returned fairly quickly and told me what I had broken. They said this was
Cortical avulsion fracture at the tip of lateral malleolus.
I had to paste that one in. This is not a big deal. Not only that, they said that the injury is likely to heal faster than the usual fracture healing time, which is 6 to 8 weeks. They gave me lightweight crutches and I have what is called an “air cast.” They referred me to an ortho way off the bus line, or far away enough that I will need either a cab or the curbside service that our transit does. They handed me painkillers and gave me a prescription for more. I didn’t even bother taking them, and have not filled the prescription, though I am sure a local pharmacy delivers. Instead, natural medicine all the way!
Apparently, they do not realize I have canceled Medicare Part B. I am not sure my welfare card still works. Maybe I should give those folks a call so I can find out.
I will likely go to the podiatrist I saw before. Tried, tested, and trusted! I will need to call the office and ask if they can fit me with a walking cast (if it’s possible).
I even got to sleep when I got home. The cast provides just enough protection so that it doesn’t hurt to lie down anymore.
Today I managed to take a shower and get dressed. What a major project! I was laughing at the challenges I faced. I got that done! I also figured out how to fill my water filter. I can’t carry it to the sink. I managed to carry boiling water and made coffee. A thermos with a handle works just fine!
Now, I need to fill a knapsack with all the dirty dishes on my table so I can quickly and efficiently carry them to the sink. Unfortunately, my rolling crate, which would come in handy right now, is down the basement. I could tie it to my waist and cart stuff around the house. I can’t even begin to think about those stairs. I would have to do them on my butt, up and down both. Not now!