Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Dumb Thing

So two weeks ago today, I was walking fancy free down the sidewalk and stepped in some kind of shallow depression in the sidewalk, twisted my ankle, and fell. This was not a huge gaping hole, just a small little divot that should not have sent somebody to the hospital in an ambulance. Oh yes. An ambulance.

I don't think I wrote about the last time a dumb injury of mine was blown all out of proportion. Involved at that time were the following: hot turkey stock and several men of various uniformed professions milling around my apartment gazing upon my delicious burned thigh and surely wondering why on earth I had summoned them there. Which I of course had not meant to do. It was a 311 call gone bad.

At any rate, this most recent dumb experience had me stepping in a shallow hole, hearing a snap or crack or something and just knowing I could not get up. I sat in a daze, able to think only that my ankle must be broken and that I needed to let my boyfriend know I wouldn't be able to meet him in Silver Spring to buy socks for my walking half marathon two days hence and of course that I needed to tell my marathon-mate I was not going to be walking from Kentucky to West Virginia anytime soon. My mind was so taken up with letting these folks know what was going on that I just couldn't quite deal with the fact that the folks on the street around me were really and truly calling an ambulance for me. And then the fire truck came. Oh yes. A fire truck. Those firemen, they splinted me and iced me and then the ambulance guys came and put me on a stretcher and hoisted me up into a real live ambulance. I had never been in one before, so I was sort of excited. But mostly I was just wondering how much of this my insurance was going to cover.

Here is what happens when you go to the ER in an ambulance: you get seen really fast. You don't have to wait in the waiting room for 38 years. So I found out rather quickly that my ankle was not broken but rather sprained. And I couldn't help but wonder if I had had enough presence of mind to tell the people on the street NOT to call an ambulance, could I have just taken myself home and iced the thing? Could I have gotten up and walked on my ankle if I'd tried? And would that have been better?

The truth of the matter is, I don't think I could have gotten up and walked right then. My ankle really was all swoll up. But I don't think I got the best care at the ER (shocking). I ended up in a half cast and walking on crutches. The crutches caused me the most excruciating pain I've ever had to endure in my life. That's sounds totally wimpy, but it was just plain excruciating. My arms, my "good" leg, they were miserable. Miserable. I seriously broke down crying on the bus the next day when I for some loony reason decided it was a good idea for me to go to work.

And then a week later... I went to this orthopedist and he put me in the most miraculous air brace that has enabled me to just walk around and be a person again. That week of being on crutches was not me being a person. I just wish I'd been able to go to the orthopedist in the first place. I think I could have been walking in an air brace long ago (indeed the air brace instructions say it should be used as the first treatment). And all of that ambulance and crutches beeswax would never have happened. But hey, it's a good story. And my arms are exceeding buff now.

I guess we'll know if the story and the arms are worth it when I get my insurance statement. Yikes!


At June 27, 2008 9:09 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

I have only been in an ambulance once myself and I was really rather excited about it. The circumstances weren't all that fantastic, but rather the opposite (as it is with most ambulance rides). But, they put on the siren and everything... I felt VERY privileged. Even if the ride was only for 4 blocks. (they took me from my clinic to the hospital). Anyway, now you can be a part of the riding in an ambulance club! Welcome! Oh, and I'm sorry to hear about your ankle. I guess you need to be more careful with divots in the sidewalk. ;)


Post a Comment

<< Home