Thursday, September 12, 2013

Update: Put a boot on it

I promised several people I would write an update about my foot boo boo. The good news is that it's not broken. You can stop reading here if you like.

The whole experience reminded my why I never go to the doctor. The last time I went (other than my gyn, who keeps me sane with hormones) was over 2 years ago when I wrecked my bike and concussed my brain. I hope it's another 2 years or longer before I have to go back again. I really don't like to go there; sick people are there.

But I had a conversation with a friend who's a doctor recently about how dangerous it can be to ignore warning signs. I didn't even have to send him a message and ask what I should do. I decided I'd be a good girl and get my foot checked out.

I tried to make an appointment with my assigned doctor, but the appointment clerk refused and sent me to the ER. I ate a hearty meal, and took my fully charged Kindle, a notebook, a Coleman stove, my tent ..... You never know how long the wait will be.

I was relieved when a handsome male nurse called me back within 15 minutes of my arrival. (Of course he was wearing a wedding ring. You assumed that, right?) He asked a few questions and walked me down to a radiology lab. I actually got a little optimistic and started planning a trip to the commissary after I got out of there. I figured it might take an hour ... hour and a half tops.

Silly me.

About 45 minutes later I met the doctor. I'll call him Dr. Diligent. He told me he was afraid I had a split ligament and said he'd be sending me back for standing x-rays. And a tetanus shot, which I was long overdue for. That all sounded fine.

And then he said somebody would wash and abrade my ouchies, because he wanted to make sure they were clean.

Abrade? Like ...... what you do with sandpaper? That kind of abrading? Did you see this photo from last night? He seriously wanted to abrade this? I told him I'd rather keep the dirt.

He said that was funny, but no. And that after I'd been washed and abraded, the wound -- yes, that's the word he used -- would be bandaged, and my foot wrapped with an Ace bandage, and he'd fit me with a boot. All for my own comfort, he said.

So a nice young tech came to take me back to x-ray. He had a wheelchair. I said no, I hiked several miles out of a canyon right after I did this and I wasn't riding in a wheelchair 3 days later.

From a room down the hall I heard the doctor say, "Tell her to get into the wheelchair." Yes, sir. Did I mention it's a military hospital? There's no arguing.

I rode in a fucking wheelchair. It was the strangest feeling for someone to be pushing me in front of him down a maze of hallways -- almost like riding on the hood of a car. I'm not a fan.

I'm too sexy for
my boot...too sexy
I got the x-rays .... waited ..... got the shot -- ouch, that's my deltoid muscle you stuck that needle into .... waited ..... had my boo boos washed and abraded with rolls of gauze (not nearly as bad as I feared, and he really did scrub) ... waited ..... counted the mosquito bites on my legs and quit after I reached 100 .... waited .... got my foot wrapped and the boot fitted .... waited ...... got the results of my second set of x-rays (yay! soft tissue damage) .... waited ..... signed some paperwork ....

And 4 hours after I walked in the door, I walked out with a bandaged, wrapped foot in a boot that was much more uncomfortable than the sandal I'd walked in wearing. My leg and foot were exfoliated, and my shoulder muscle felt like someone had punched it.

I will say this: Everybody I came into contact with was super nice. I was feeling kind of stupid for taking up time in the ER with my silly scraped-up swollen foot, but they took great care of me. I am fortunate to have access to excellent medical care. I don't mean to belittle that.

I'm riding in a 22-mile charity bike ride Saturday, so I asked Dr. Diligent if I could go ahead and do that. He said I could do it if I wore the boot. And that I shouldn't be surprised if I could only ride 3 or 4 miles before the pain forced me to stop. We'll see about that. Now that I know nothing's broken, I don't intend to baby my boo boos.

See you at the finish line.

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