Monday, December 18, 2006

The Ugly Pt. 2

When we last left this tale of woe, I had just flown through the air and landed with a thud on the concrete below. The first thing Maura asked was if I was okay. I said a rather weak no and she then asked me what hurt. I think I may have said everything but it's kind of fuzzy. Maura didn't want me to move but the concrete was cold and I needed to evaluate the damage so I rolled over and, from there, managed to get up on a nearby bench. A passer-by, who must have witnessed my great aerial demonstration, went to get security and I sat in semi-shock trying to decide what hurt the most.

It only took a few seconds to realize that something was wrong with my knee. It was the first part of me to hit the concrete and it hit hard. I also saw blood on my left hand and the ring finger on my right didn't feel good either. I was lucky though, I didn't hit my head and all my Ethel M candy was intact.

Security arrives and it was decided that calling the paramedics would be the best option. In the meantime, they got a wheelchair and took me to the nearest employee break room. Imagine my surprise to see Dove and Ghirardelli chocolate on the table in the Ethel M factory. They said something about Ethel M being affiliated with them but I wasn't buying it.

Once the EMT's arrived things got really interesting. I've got to say, Las Vegas has some HOT paramedics. They asked if I wanted something for pain, which is like asking Al if he wants a SoCo, um....yeah, pain killers would be good. It became a competition between 2 paramedics to see you could start the IV first. Ryan may have won but he left me with one hell of a bruise. Anyway, the morphine hit me quick and I was soon on a stretcher and in an ambulance for the bumpiest, roughest ride of my entire life. I think the driver hit every bump between the chocolate factory and the nearest hospital, which was a good 10 minutes away.

Arriving at a hospital in an ambulance will not get you seen any quicker unless you are near death. At least not in Las Vegas. I was wheeled straight through the ER and into the waiting room where I was triaged and left to wait. Since I was on Morphine I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open but I vaguely recall Maura showing up and eventually being moved into the ER. Once there, I got to sit in a hallway with other patients who were waiting to be seen by the doctor. So much for patient privacy and this was supposed to be the quieter hospital. My business became the business of those around me and I was not too pleased. I work in a hospital and patient privacy is stressed ad naseum so, to me, this was very unprofessional. Of course I was so doped up on Morphine I didn't exactly object.

A doctor finally made her way by my part of the hallway, spent 20 seconds looking at my hand and knee, then ordered the x-rays. I saw her twice more after that for less then 10 seconds and I was released. All-in-all I was at the hospital for 4 or 5 hours to see a doctor for less than 5 minutes. They didn't even clean the blood off my hand.

The verdict was that nothing was broken but I should have an MRI on the knee and not walk on it. Thanks, like the shooting pain every time I tried to bend it didn't clue me in to that fact.

I see the knee doctor on Tuesday to find out the extent of the damage and how much longer I will be sitting at home on my ass. I'm hoping to be out at least through the holidays, and that is looking like a sure thing right now, but I don't want it to be too serious as I'm already getting bored.

Lastly, if it hadn't been for Maura, I wouldn't have gotten through this. She changed our plane reservations, took care of the car rental, made sure I had pain killers to take and waited on me as much as possible. She also called my dad and my work to fill them in on what was happening. I owe her a big thank you, as well as a few Vicodin.

Up next: The good and the bad parts of the trip.

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