An Unexpected Hospital Adventure: WTF Edition
This isn’t about my gallbladder surgery: I’m talking about a whole new hospital adventure!!!!
That’s right: Last night, I went to the ER for the second time in four months.
I realize there may be many people who do that even more often, either for their own health issues, or their kids’, and so on, and so they may be scoffing and going, “Is that all?” But this just doesn’t happen to me.
Last night, as I was preparing to go to bed and desperately hoping that I would get a decent night’s sleep for the first time in forever (cue Frozen music), I found an infestation of ants literally crawling out of the woodwork in my room, right next to my bed. In my efforts to squish them as they tried to crawl all over my lamp, my alarm clock, and my C.S. Lewis books, I bumped a glass of water off the nightstand. The next thing I know, the room is strewn with water, glass, and blood, and I am staggering to the bathroom, scattering red droplets along the way, to grab a towel to stanch the flow.
(I was wearing flip-flops at the time so I didn’t actually step in any glass–the glass hit my foot. This wasn’t Bruce Willis in Die Hard.)
I’m not one of those “I must Instagram every moment of my life” types, especially when it involves painful or embarrassing situations, but now I kind of wish I’d taken a picture of my bedroom, because it looked like a crime scene. Alas, Sherlock never did show up. Not even Lestrade. I would have been happy with Lestrade…
I called Bethany and said “Um…I just cut myself on broken glass and I may have to go to the ER…” She picked me up and took me to the nearest one, by which time the bleeding stopped and I was wondering whether I should even bother going in. We decided that it would probably be best to make sure I wouldn’t die of gangrene before I went on the Oregon Trail, so we went in. Then we played the waiting game. I waited to register, waited to get into a room, waiting for the initial evaluation, waited to be taken to Xray, waited for the Xray results, waited to have my foot sutured (four of them–sutures, not feet), and waited to be discharged. And now I get to wait for even more medical bills. Huzzah!
You can get spoiled by good hospital care. I learned that last night, when going to a hospital that, despite it’s good reputation, was nowhere near the stellar experience I had in a hospital where my stepdad had been on the board of directors and my mom had been employed. Makes a slight difference. Still, everyone was nice enough, though now I’m thinking they might have been a bit more proactive. At least they asked me multiple times if I’d had a recent tetanus shot (yes!!!!!!! LAST YEAR. LIKE I TOLD THE FIVE PEOPLE BEFORE YOU WHO ASKED), and if I felt safe in my home from domestic violence. I was tempted to say, “Well, the only person in my home is me, and I am here because I am an idiot and I hurt myself, so no, I guess I don’t feel safe in my home.” Although my mom busted a gut laughing when I told her what I’d wanted to say, she said it might have gotten me pink-slipped into the psych hospital. No, thanks.
It was kind of funny that the physician’s assistant who stitched me up kept apologizing for causing me pain when she was irrigating the wound, though it’s also sad because I’m sure she’s been yelled at for such things. I just said, “It’s find, do what you need to do.” Then she apologized for the wait (as did the ER doc) and I said “Hey, my mom is a nurse practitioner and my dad is a physician. I know how it goes.”
At one point I was literally lying back and thinking of England: I was thinking how glad I was to be in a 21st-century hospital having this done instead of on an 18th-century naval ship. Or, you know, the real Oregon Trail.
Anyway, four stitches later, I’m at home in a lot of pain, with a foot I can’t really walk on. Yay.
In all my rage of “NOW?? When I’m preparing to move and I need to carry shit down stairs to my car and I’m trying to pack things up and I need to run errands and I’m out of shape so I can’t skip exercise, now this happens to me?” I am thinking of what I recently read in C.S. Lewis about dealing with illness.
I finished reading Yours, Jack, and I plan to blog about it soon…ish. The last few years of letters are brilliant and bittersweet (I cried over the letters he wrote to friends about Joy’s death) and chock-full of wisdom, but also a lot of humor. A lot of the later letters in this book include notes to his friend Mary Willis Shelburne, in which they commiserated over aging and illness, and talked about their cats. On 31 July, 1962, he wrote the following:
I have a notion that, apart from actual pain, men and women are quite diversely affected by illness. To a woman one of the great evils about it is that she can’t do things. To a man (or anyway a man like me) the great consolation is the reflection ‘Well, anyway, no one can now demand that I should do anything.’ I have often had the fancy that one stage in Purgatory might be a great big kitchen in which things are always going wrong–milk boiling over, crockery getting smashed, toast burning, animals stealing. The women have to learn to sit still and mind their own business: the men have to learn to jump up and do something about it. When both sexes have mastered this exercise, they go on to the next.
I do get annoyed at Lewis’ sexism at times, and I know people for whom those gender tendencies are reversed, but I think he’s on to something here. The biggest struggle with my recovery from gallbladder surgery, and now with letting my foot heal, is that I can’t do everything I want to do. I can barely stand for five minutes at a time, and I have to have other people do things for me, and I hate that. I suppose this is forcing me to practice for something later in life.
So that’s what’s up with me. I was going to write a post about my travel plans and how excited I am about that, but … soon, I hope.