You know what sucks? Feeling bone rub up against bone in your leg. It’s freaky and creepy and weird and uncomfortable. I, for one, do not like it.
This post is really long, but even if you don’t read it all (which I totally wouldn’t blame you for), read the last paragraph under the cut, please. Also, WOW! I got over 200 pageviews yesterday, and over 60 today before this post even goes up. This isn’t going to be my usual way to get ratings, but it’s nice to know it’s good for something! 😉
I mentioned the issues I had sleeping yesterday already. I got the okay from my primary care physician office’s on call doctor to take 3 percocet at bedtime, in hopes that the 3 doses of oxycodone would knock me out enough to sleep through any twitching (because once I descend to the next level of sleep, I stop twitching, so if I can sleep through the twitches long enough, then I’ll be able to sleep for a while.) I took my 3 pills at 11 pm. At midnight, I not only wasn’t experiencing any pain relief, I was actually feeling more pain. That, combined with the fact that my toes were blue when I got up to go to the bathroom, made me call 911. (The discharge papers say to return to the ER if those or some other issues occur.)
The building I live in requires a special keyfob to get into the front door, or for guests to be buzzed in through the callbox. I told the dispatcher the code to call my phone, but the EMTs didn’t use it. I’m not sure what they were doing, but I heard them drive up and they were outside for 4 or 5 minutes before my phone rang. The dispatcher from the fire house was calling to ask how they could get in, so I relayed to him again the code for the callbox. They still never called through the callbox, but someone must have been coming in or going out and let them in, because they did arrive at my apartment door. They were very nice, but unfortunately, not very helpful.
They asked me why I had called 911 and I explained the situation. They looked at me kinda funny and told me they could take me to the hospital “but they’d just put you in the waiting room.” Undeterred, I said that was fine, because at some point they would treat me. Then they asked me which hospital I wanted to go to. I am not terribly familiar with the hospitals in the area. I know there is MedStar out toward Lanham, and there is one on Michigan Avenue near CUA where I go to school, and that there is Prince George’s, but I don’t know if one is better than the other or anything like that, so I asked them to take me to the closest one. I don’t know why they didn’t choose on their own-every other time, I’ve had to ask the EMTs where they were taking me (or someone else) rather than telling them where to take me.
They also couldn’t get the stretcher upstairs, and asked me if I could walk down with them. If I felt like I could have, I would have just asked Ding or Comma to drive me to the ER, but rather than say “hey moron, why would I call for a $1000+ taxi if I thought I could get downstairs on my own?” I said I didn’t think I could, but that when I had fainted on Saturday the EMTs had a collapsible chair in their ambo that fit in the elevator, and asked if they had something similar in their ambulance. Once they got me downstairs and onto the stretcher, I had to ask them for something to elevate my foot, because they didn’t think to get anything. On the ride to the ER they didn’t do any tests or take my vitals or anything, which seemed weird to me. When we got to PG, there was no triage nurse by the ambo bay, so one of the EMTs got me started on BP and pulse, and then the triage nurse arrived. I waited in the hall for 30 or 40 minutes before they moved me to a hospital bed in the hallway and the EMTs took their stretcher and wished me well and went off to their next job.
The hospital I went to Saturday didn’t give me x-rays or a CD or anything, so PG had to do them again (with the splint on, thank goodness, so they were less uncomfortable than the first ones!) and that happened right after the resident asked me a ton of stuff that is normally asked by the triage nurse (medical history stuff) before listening to my heart and lungs and taking my pulse again. When I got back from the x ray room, CrissCrassAppleSASS who had volunteered to take me home, was allowed to come back and sit with me. I thought we would be there only a fairly short time, so I feel extra bad that I made her hang out in an ER for an entire night. The doctor overseeing the resident I had spoken to came by and introduced himself and they ordered me meds (dilaudid and an anti-nausea med to go with it) and got my splint off after the IV went in (no saline–I dunno what the deal is with MD ERs but I didn’t get a saline bag at any time, though I was tubed up for IVs the whole time both times. The first time, they wouldn’t let me have water either, so I figured it had something to do with the pain levels, but I dunno, maybe it’s something else. Every VA ER I’ve been to did a saline drip before anything else. Whatever.)
They didn’t tell me why until hours later, but they left me unwrapped for a while. Apparently they were concerned that the swelling and the tight splint where crushing my capillaries, so they wanted to give ’em some room and see if anything changed in my pain levels. The dilaudid made me sleepy, but it wasn’t strong enough to keep me from jerking awake every time my leg twitched. Poor Sass looked terrified every time I jerked awake.
Around 5 am, the docs came back and explained why they had left my splint off, and told me (in more politic terms) that I could get admitted and live on morphine for a few days or I could put up and shut up. I chose option B, got my leg wrapped up and got all discharged, and we were outta there around 7am. (Poor sleepless Sass!! At least I got to nod off a few times!) She got me home and made sure I got settled in, and checked on the cats’ supply of food and water, and then I sent her home to get some shuteye.
You’d think that’d be the end of ordeals, right? But no, there’s more. It was 8 am by the time I got all settled and got Sass on her way home, so I decided to try calling the ortho. I was super-tired, but I knew I wanted to get this done as early as possible so I could hopefully see him or her today. I grabbed the discharge papers from the first ER visit (which I had taken to the ER last night, too, in case there was something in them that would help) and found the referral. There were 2 phone numbers, one labeled “after hours,” but it was unclear which was the after hours number (it went “XXX-XXX-XXXX after hours XXX-XXX-XXXX”) so I googled the name of the clinic and checked the number on the website with the ones on the sheet, and called it. Unfortunately, that clinic is a totally different one than the one the doctor I was being referred to works at. On the referral, the doc’s name was spelled wrong and so was the clinic name (Capitol Orthopeadics, rather than the place he actually works, Capital Orthopedics. Bah.) I called my mother, who works at a surgery center, and asked her if she could get any names from the staff at her job of doctors in this area, and then I called the physical therapists office I had gone to for my ankle sprain to see if they had a doctor they regularly worked with. They did, but he is out of town for a family emergency. At this point, I fell into a deep sleep and snoozed for about 4 hours (thank GOD!) but woke with a migraine. While I was out, Dad did some research into the doc the hospital had referred me to and got me the correct number, and I called and made an appointment for Wednesday with a different doc, because it was the earliest they had, but I told them I planned to try to get something earlier.
That was a mistake! Not the telling them, they were cool with it, but the trying! I ended up being on hold for 2 or 3 hours with 4 or 5 different places that kept telling me I was calling the wrong division or department or that they don’t have any openings until August, try this number instead, blah blah blah. Finally I got so frustrated I decided Wednesday was fine, and arranged a ride. (Helen Killah, who is also in the broken-leg club, is able to drive, and she had emailed me Saturday to tell me she’d take be if I needed a ride.) Then I got the okay from the pharmacy to take my migraine meds (thankfully, they don’t interfere with the percocet at all, and vice versa. The pharmacist told me to take one, then wait an hour or two before taking the other, just in case they piss off my stomach.) Comma came over and got me my meds, an ice pack, and lunch, because she is a saint, and then we chatted a bit until I felt better. She had plans for the evening, so I sent her on her way. Wing-a-Ding messaged me while Comma was here to let me know she was available if I needed anything, too.
Between twitter, facebook, here, emails, text messages, and phone calls, friends have all made me feel so special. Whether they’re my friends through roller derby, from school, or something else, everyone has been so kind and supportive (and hilarious in many cases, which helps SO MUCH.) I can’t begin to repay all the love an support, and though I hope I won’t have to do the same for all of them (don’t get hurt, guys!!) I absolutely will if it is needed. A lot of people now are against the idea of roller derby leagues as family-they say this is a sport, and if we treat leaguemates more as coworkers, there would be less drama. This might be true-I certainly don’t hear mean gossip about my officemates. But my officemates haven’t called or emailed or sent amazon gift certificates so I can grab some reading materials or volunteered to make me soup, and my friends and leaguemates have. I’m not a skater in the league, but they still welcomed me with open arms and took care of me in my time of need, because roller derby is family, and friends are family that you choose. I may not be best friends with every girl in the league, or every volunteer, but they have my back when I need them. So I am totally fine with the idea of roller derby as family. The Boy and I would both be extra stressed and miserable right now if the league wasn’t family. AS it is, we’re doing pretty well.
Swollen and a little bruised, but definitely not too bad.