I was at derby practice last Wednesday and got my skates knocked out from underneath me. I felt my leg snap on the way down. I laid on the floor for a second and then got all my gear off before refusing to let the coach call an ambulance and opting for my teammate to drive my car a mile to the packed ER. I sat in the wheelchair in the hallway behind the magical doors that separate the milling around texting/Angry Birds playing world from the I'm seriously dying part, for about fifteen minutes. I was moaning, shaking and trying not to throw up just like having a baby, but they had no beds available. And I couldn't wait in the hall moaning like that, as I was freaking the hurt patients out. "Ma'am if you can't stop that, we'll have to ask you to leave" to which I replied "I really can't heeooooOOOOooooooowlp it!" She shook her head and wheeled me back into the waiting room to next to toothache guy, sore throat kid and ugly pajamas lady. She put a slip of paper with the number 5400 in the barf bucket I was holding in my lap and made sure to face me into the corner so nobody could knock into my leg on the way to get a bag of Fritos. My teammate Mellon Collie ran interference when cops came in and brought a very pissed off and bloody handcuffed lady past. Mel was ready to hip check anyone that got near my wheelchair. Our trusty track-man, Scott, held vigil over my leg keeping it steady with his bare hands because the emergency personnel didn't have a board. We waited while they called out the numbers leading up to 5400, bitterly triaging every person that went in front of me with a quick scan of how they were walking. Two hours and six x-rays later they put a splint on the back of my leg, wrapped it with an ace bandage and sent me home with instructions to call a doctor.
The next morning I called the number they referred, before I even got out of bed. They said they'd call me back and let me know when I could come in. Hours went by. I called back in and they said "Ma'am, it takes 24 to 48 hours for the doctor to review your records and then we will call you to let you know what we have available." I had just gotten the 'don't call us, we'll call you' from someone who wouldn't even use my name. I thought about the wait the night before. Then I refused. I looked up orthos in my city and called the next doctor, who's secretary Pam, said she would talk to the doc and get my x-rays sent over and call me back. Five minutes later Pam was on the phone again telling me I should come in to see Dr. McCarty right now. I did. But first I took a little joy in calling the first ortho back to tell them I'd gotten in somewhere else immediately. They apologized. They explained their triage department usually gets back to people sooner. They said if it was a break, they didn't know what could be taking so long. They said they'd make a note about it in the file. I cringe to think what the note says about me. Dr. McCarty put an air cast on my leg. It gets big and small to allow for swelling and looks like a big piece of machinery. It has plastic armour on the outside and holes for pumping it up and velcro to hold it on and since it's not the signing type of cast, I'd like to get some stickers for decorating it.