Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Night of the Crips Part 3- Excuse me Lady, I Saw You Beatboxing for Lou Rawls... 12.11.02

So, I am on my way to the hospital at this point. Tired, having swum and changed only to have my knee lock up, I am on the way to the NYU ER.

I am in a wheelchair. It is dark, and cold, and I would rather be home, watching Smallville and drooling over Allison Mack-- I mean, the storytelling. Pico is in some pain, but it is not so bad when I do not actually try to stretch my leg.

Inside the ER, it doesn't look too busy. I talk to the triage nurse, take my spot. Chill out. I have no book and no music but I find a copy of the NY Post. Kids come in after me. A couple more NYU students-- basketball ankle injury, a girl who doesn't look to well, and her dandy ass Stern boyfriend.

A woman rolls in with her well-dressed, gray-suit husband. She is wearing pajamas and a fur coat. Dragging two large shopping bags. Hair dishevelled. Eyes crazy, red, teary. She's loud from the moment she walks in. She sits near me.

She tells me some things-- such as "I'm the town drunk of Freehold, NJ." And "There's a court case against me there." And "this coat? I got it for free. But the people I got it from won't let me come into the office anymore; they say I use their phone too much and disrupt their blah blah blah, bastards." And, "I know Fabio. You know he's to WalMart what Joan Collins is to K-Mart." (I didn't know Joan Collins was ANYTHING to K-Mart.) And, "I think I am having an asthmatic attack. Also, I just turned diabetic. That's why I have this bag full of cookies and sweets (drool) do you want one?" And "do you want anything? My husband is going out to get blah blah blah."

[--I declined--]

She goes in before me. As do some more critical cases. That's fine. What is not fine is that I came in at a little before nine, and I was whisked in during a compelling Blind Date episode in the 12.00 hour. I hate it when things get in the way of Blind Date.

But I hope to get my leg working again. I realized I had an urge to lighten my liquid load. Now, I never realized how damned difficult this is when you can't use a leg. There was gripping, and stretching, and ambling and all that. I felt like such an invalid. It was so much work I did consider giving my pants a stain Tide couldn't remove. Only for a moment.

Back in my wheelchair, a doctor tries to move my leg. That was blindingly unpleasant. I cursed like the posessed. But not like the woman from Freehold. She had been shouting loud enough for us to hear outside of the ER. About the service and how important she is. And something something something. Security had been going in and out to calm her down; I came out of the bathroom and I swear to God she was on the floor, talking on the phone and coloring in a book.

Theyprep me to go up for an X-ray-- offering me Tylenol + Codeine and a Percoset for my pain. I jump at this. Kids in high school would love this stuff in their cereal!

But it doesn't do a thing for my pain. I am disappointed. Maybe if I took three of each I'd be flying something fierce. I go upstairs. The X-ray is taken from one position because I can't open my leg. That's a worry. It's better than the next doc who is really into trying to get these muscles moving. He determines that it is a muscle problem, nothing ripped. And my hamstrings are basically pulled taut (which I can feel). But that does not mean I can move them by force of will. Pain.

Downstairs, another doctor is like, you were going to discharge him? And moves me to a bed, where the nicest man-nurse from Britain and I strike up a conversation. While he pastes heart-monitoring squares on my chest, sticks an IV in my arm, watches me grimace in pain as I try to find a position that does not put pressure on my leg. Good times! the doctor returns, works on my leg a little. Decides to hit me with the morphine drip and some jacked-up muscle relaxer. So I will be sedated "but awake," he tells me.

Three hours later, my leg could move, mostly. They worked on stretching the hammy and loosening the muscles and I was ASLEEP the whole time. A little trippy.

I was ready to go. So I left a few hours later, after realizing that walking was not going to work; that I really had no comfort with crutches; that I was freaked out since I had never been injured before; that my leg actually hurt; but I had a prescription for muscle relaxers and some high-grade pain relief.

As an afterword, once I got the prescription filled, I said "this muscle relaxer doesn't makle me sleepy like the warning say-zzzxzxzxxxx" then it was three hours later. I fell asleep on couches, I fell asleep eating, I fell asleep trying to stretch. I pulled a Cory! I slept for like two days.

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