Saturday, June 17, 2006

Reasons my life Sucks....Part 2

So, just hours after Part 1 of this series on why my life sucks, I was on my way to synagogue, late of course, for Friday night Shabbat services. Being in a hurry I was rushing down the 100+ steps that connect Fort Washington Ave to Overlook Terrace. As I neared the second to last flight of steps I saw a bunch of neighborhood kids with their little mini-gang which consists of about 8 tiny Puerto Rican kids who enjoy wreaking havoc in the neighborhood. Yesterday they chose to steal some kids tricycle and were taking turns throwing it down the flights of stairs to see which 9-year-old could throw it furthest. I, trying to avoid being smacked by the flying tricycle, went to move to the other side of the stairs. As I did my ankle turned in my cute leather sandals and I heard a faint pop sound. I tried taking a step and realizd something was seriously amiss. The little kids surrounded me asking, "maam, are you okay?" "can we do anything?" So much for them trying to act all tough. They're still nice kids. I guess they'll have to wait until they are all sent to prison at 16 for Grand Theft Auto before they toughen up.

So I hobbled, painfully, the last block to get to shul. I knew once I got there I'd have help. Where better to find a doctor than a synagogue? I hoped Nurse Practitionor DT would be there but she wasn't. Thank goodness Estie (I'll share the name since she deserves full props) saw me and follwed me outside. She quickly hastened a friend of mine MA who is a member of Hatzolah. According to Wikipedia Hatzolah means "rescue" or "relief" in Hebrew and is a volunteer Emergency medical service (EMS) organization functioning in Israel and in many Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in major cities of the United States, as well as in Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Hatzolah specializes in quick first response, aiming to have trained medical volunteers at the scene of an emergency call as quickly as possible. Plus, their help is free of charge. Woohoo! Another Hatzolah member YB who saw MA leave came out as well. They surmised that it most likely was a broken bone in my foot. It was starting to swell and just looked plain gross. They suggested taking me to the hospital. I was bummed out because I had planned to go to LZ for dinner and as mentioned before, she is a kick tush cook. I had been looking forward. But I couldn't walk on it so the hospital was the only option. According to Jewish law one is not supposed to drive a car on Shabbos. But if a person's life is at risk, or I learned, if a person is unable to walk, this is justification for someone to be driven to the hospital. YB ran to get the "bus" and we waited in shul for him to bring it. I prayed he would hurry as to avoid the embarrassment of everyone seeing me on a stretcher. But he arrived back just as everyone was exiting the sanctuary. So everyone was there to watch my fight with Hatzolah as I tried to convince them to let me walk out on my own. I lost and was loaded up onto the stretcher. Thank goodness I was wearing a longer skirt or everyone would have been looking up it. Estie graciously offered to accompany me which is great because although I was taking the break well, I was terrorized to be alone allnight in the ER. YB got called away to another trauma and another Hatzolah dude AF took over the driving of the ambulance. We got to Columbia-Presbyterian on 168th in no time and I was wheeled into the emergency room. Fact: Riding in an ambulance gets you places really fast. Ficion: Arriving in an ambulance does not get you faster treatment.

Estie and I were left in the ER by our excellent volunteer EMT's MA and AF at about 9:30. I immediately began to put on a show for all the other ER patients. We were situated in the section directly in front of Section D, the infamous Psych area. Who needs a TV when you have a woman with a mullet brought in with no apparent injuries who insists her name is John? Good times. So I was commentating for those lucky enough to have beds near mine. I was in the hallway next to the nurse's station since there were no available curtained areas. Not a prob, we got to listen to all the crazy stories from the nurses and doctors. After one dude was wheeled in after an obvious overdose (he was convulsing and snoring louder than I've ever heard before) we heard one nurse whisper to another "yeah he's taken everything tonight, E, crack, and plenty more". NYC. Good times.

Around 11:30 I had to pee. Couldn't just get up so I asked the doctor dude what I should do. He was like well what did the doctor tell you. I was like, um, no one has touched my foot yet. So he came over and felt my foot and verifed that it was indeed broken. So he told me he'd send a nurse over to help me get to a bathroom. No one came. Finally I asked this chick nurse to help me get to the bathroom and she looked all pissed and was like, so just go. I was like the doctor said I can't walk on it. So she pushed me AND my bed to the bathroom. Thanks for that. Estie who was on yet another search to find one of the 5 loose chairs in the ER saw me and came running. She quickly grabbed some gloves and cleaned the pee off the seat for me. Thanks buddy. I peed into a cup while I was in there because they wanted proof I wasn't pregnant before sending me to X Ray. Results were negative. What a surprise.

Finally I met my doc. She was sooooo awesome. I told Estie, she reminded me of the doctor from Father of the Bride 2. My female readers will know what I'm talking about. Of all the doctors we watched in the ER that night, Dr. NB was the only one who actually spoke and spent time with her patients. She wasn't the usual robotic ER doc. The best example is when Mullet lady John was being released, she let her give her a hug. I would have ran from mullet lady, if I didn't have a broken foot. The bitchy nurse from the bathroom incident was then assigned to me and took me to X-Ray bumping me and my bed into each doorway we went through. X-Ray confirmed the break known as a Jone's Fracture of the 5th Metatarsal. Dr. NB even pointed it out for us on the computer screen. Here's my X-ray. I circled the fracture.
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Estie and I actually cheered the news because it finally justified us being in the ER for 4 hours. Bitchy nurse finally got around to bringing me my Vicodin over an hour after the doc asked her to. Then she made jokes asking me how high I was the rest of the night. It took Dr. NB another hour or so to get back to me to wrap my cast since, you know, she was the only doc there actually "caring" for patients. When that was finished bitchy nurse came back with my crutches and of course made fun of my height since she was taller and made jokes as she tried to show me how to use crutches. She couldn't help but do that. She's a bitch.

Estie and I finally left the hospital and had a car bring us back to her place. We went to sleep around 4:30 am. We were in the hospital over 7 hours. As I kept reiterating all night long, it sucked. We were awoken around noon by MA and YB from Hatzolah checking to make sure everything turned out well. Also LZ and her friend stopped by. I had MA run by LZ's meal last night to make sure she saved me some leftovers. She heated some up for lunch today. LZ food at last. Estie, LZ, and my buddy NW hung out with me while I ate and we all went to take naps. I slept all day long because of the Vicodin and trauma and got a lift back to my apt tonight.

Estie and I made lots of friends in the ER. Old Jewish guy who asked me if I prayed for him when he saw I had brought a prayerbook with me. Old dude with the cane who agreed with me when I commented that the little cups of cranberry juice should come with little bottles of vodka. Old smelly dude with walker who didn't really do much, but he was next to us, so we smelled him. And our favorites, the Spanish lady who helped look out for Estie's chair when she had to get up and our friend Ysidro who broke his finger and was getting casted by Dr. NB alongside us. We chatted until he was discharged.

I give full props and shout outs to all who stopped by to visit (or tried to, thanks ZK and TI). And especially to Estie. The 20 minutes or so that she was kicked out of the ER when they were bringing in a crazy person to the Psycho area was the hardest I spent there. Without anything to do or anyone to talk to I caught myself breaking down and tearing up. The ER is no place to go alone, or without a good book. I'm not so sure I'm a big enough person to have done that for someone else. Her kindness really got me through the night. I owe her some chopped liver. And I want to write a thank you letter to Dr. NB. She was Canadian, but I'll let that slide. She was awesome. Peace out!


Drew_Kaplan said...

Awww, so sorry to hear about all of that. I hope it gets better in time. Does that mean no softball for a bit?

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your foot.I broke mine as well,really sucks.Well fellow jew wanting to wish you a refuah shelemah and we should sign each others casts,

ZK said...


Sorry that we didn't get to see you yesterday. Hope you are feeling better. Does this at least get you out of work for a couple of days? Let me know if you need anything (I really mean it.)


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