My ER Experience

I was transported by ambulance from the WRTA station in downtown Youngstown to the ER at St. E’s yesterday afternoon because I blew out my knee trying to step off a bus.

The driver was kind enough to offer the ramp. It took all my might just to inch my way down and then I was stuck standing right there, clutching my cane and enduring the pain. I could not take another step. What’s a girl to do? I could not walk, so I dialed 911.

I was wheeled into the hospital on a gurney, then dumped (assisted) into a chair. They asked questions, took my vitals (pulse and blood pressure), had me sign registration papers, and gave me a “pain pill” that was white, oval, and imprinted “202” on the visible side. She said it was a Norco, but for all I know it was a placebo as it did not ease my pain.

Awhile later, a “transport” girl came to take me down to X-ray. She parked a wheelchair in front of me and left the room. Time passed… I was in tears, crying from both pain and frustration. How the hell was I supposed to walk over, pivot around, and sit down in that wheelchair when I couldn’t even stand up?

More time passed… then I overheard another patient ask whoever was attending her if they could please send someone in to assist me. Two men came in, lifted me up, and someone else moved the wheelchair behind me so I could sit down. Then the transport girl came in and wheeled me down to X-ray.

After the X-rays, I was wheeled into what looked like an empty waiting room outside the ER. Someone who noticed that I was in pain asked if I was okay, then brought me an ice pack.

Then the attending doctor came in to discharge me… she said I probably have torn ligaments, but they don’t “do” that, it’s “not an emergency” condition… so what if I cannot walk… my bones are not broken so go home and call my primary care doctor for a referral to an orthopedic specialist.

I was like what do you mean you don’t do that… what am I supposed to do? I came to the ER because I cannot walk, I’m in pain, I can’t even stand on this leg… she gets a little belligerent with me, tells me she’s not prescribing me pain pills (oh, so I’m faking to get pills?) and I need to listen while she explains this to me… they could treat me if I had broken bones, torn ligaments is an out-patient, not an emergency condition, yadda yadda. Go home, use my walker, call my doctor… she did prescribed muscle relaxers (same type and dose I already take for my back, so she can keep that script) and a steroid pack, but the bizarre thing… I was NOT examined… NO ONE EVEN LOOKED AT MY LEG. No one checked for range of motion or anything. The ONLY person who saw my knee or touched my leg in any way was the X-ray tech.

And so, I was discharged… IDK what to do. Guess it will have to mend on it’s own as until it mends enough to be able to walk on it, there is no way I can walk into a doctor’s office.

So much for that… and what’s wrong with our health system?

Before y’all scream Obamacare, this crap has been going on for years… back in the day, say 50 to 70 years ago, when you went to a doc or an ER, they treated you for whatever ails you… now it is all specialists, they only do this or only do that… come in with an ailment not on their list and oh well… can’t even call one in… go see your doc to get referred to another doc, and rack bills up along the way.



Water Cooler Blues

img_20160127_011855.jpgNew addition to the homestead relocation program: one slightly used water cooler. Three 5 gallon jugs of spring water will arrive later this afternoon. Yes, I signed up for home delivery service. It is well worth the $3 fee as a full jug weigh 42 pounds, which makes it a bit hard for a disabled woman to haul home via bus.

Someday, the jugs will be delivered to my workshop.

There has been a shift in the paragon. I am more focused now. The only difference between an illusive dream and an achievable goal is a well executed plan of action.

Why did I use that word? What is a paragon?

I had to stop and look it up.  Paragon is a noun that means “a model or pattern of excellence” so yes, I suppose it is the right word to use as there has definitely been a shift in my life patterns since I wrote Sixteen Changes.

The water cooler comes with two taps handled in primary colors: red hot and blue cold.

I don’t have taps inside me. I cannot turn my feelings on and off, cannot make myself stop caring about someone who axed our friendship just because they jumped to a raw conclusion.

Yes, he was hurt because I kept secrets, lied by omission, did not immediately tell him about everything that was going on with me… it was personal, about ME… had nothing to do with him.

Want to talk secrets? Lies by omission?

I lie every single time I say a variation of “okay” in response to “How are you?” Why? Because giving an honest answer feels like asking for pity and I won’t tolerate pity from anyone; refuse to pity my own self. What I deal with is no one else’s business, unless you happen to be my doctor or sleep in my bed, feel me jerk with every spasm. Besides, attitude is everything… how am I supposed to keep a positive attitude about living with disability when those around me look at me with sad puppy eyes or burst into tears because I can’t do what THEY like or want to do?

Everyone lies by omission. Meow. Yes, even that friend lied by omission… hid the fact his kitten survived. Oh well… unfriending me was his choice.

I miss my friend, but harbor no hope for redemption.

I’m thinking this shift in the paragon might be good for both of us. That maybe being each other’s long distant muse was no longer beneficial to him… like texting me was a diversion, a way to pass time, a means to think about doing without actually doing anything… like the man is an excellent poet with performance art experience, but is too paralyzed by depression to go to a poetry reading.

As for me? I will survive.

It feels odd to slam out a chapter on a new story and be really psyched about it and NOT discuss it or toss a printed copy into the mail. But, I read it out loud to my sister in Michigan and I will take it to my local Writer’s Workshop on Thursday.

I went way out on a new limb with this one… jumped right into the middle of a fantasy action adventure story by writing the chapter as it would be if it were a scene in a movie.

I don’t know what chapter it is… it might be 4 or 5 or 18… sis thinks it could stand AS the first chapter, being that it is an action adventure story. I do have a vague idea of what came before; but, this particular scene is what filled my mind. It was the scene I had to write. And it was so much fun! Things happened that I did not plan. I have no idea of how this story will end. I’m just going to write it, one scene at a time.

Then I really went out on a limb… gave a printed copy to a reader (not a writer) because he asked if he could read it. That is scary because it feels like I am exposing a part of me that he does not know yet. Writing about anything, even pure fiction “outside” yourself, is kind of like walking naked in public. When you pour your heart and soul into anything creative, it comes out in the work. Other people might not see it, but the person who made it or wrote it does. On that note, thanks for reading!



Last try… Tressed

Scanned image of Tressed.