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Birth Balance Blog

A series of topics related to preconception, pregnancy, labor, birth, bonding, and post partum issues. Feel free to make suggestions for future topics.

Requesting a Break – Part III

“Well, there you are!” Ms. Radiology comments as she limps back into the room. I’m wondering where she thinks I would have gone since, I can’t walk and the crutches are way the hell over on the other side of the room!

“Do I get to go somewhere else? “ I impatiently prod.

“Oh, yes,” as she hands me the crutches, “I’m going to bring you back to your examination room,” she cheerfully retorts.

“Great.” I squeeze out under my breath, gritting my teeth while breathing out at the same time. I muster up my strength; pull it together and crutch/hop my way down the various hallways, back to the exam room. I look as if I have all the balance and ability to do this, knowing I am being fueled by high doses of adrenaline and a deep desire to get to the airport on time.

I’m surprise I arrive safely and rather quickly back to the room. My eldest sibling, Mary, is patently awaiting my return. I plop up on the exam table, dangle right leg down and bend left leg up and supported over my right knee.

We wait. While biding our time until someone walks in and can tell me if it is broken or not, Mary asks a few questions about the ‘radiology’ experience.

As I am in the middle of the yarn, a small framed, blonde woman walks into the room. She’s wearing the traditional white jacket and carries a file. She seems neat, clean, serious, quiet and could benefit by courses on laugh therapy.

Mary and I exchange glances as my animated story comes to an abrupt halt and the room becomes quiet.

She sits at a small desk in a swivel doctor chair and coolly reports with a deadpan face, “It seems you have a non-displaced, distal, fibula fracture. I would like you to see someone in 2-3 weeks for a follow up on…”

My brain is a bit mushy at this point and I have NO idea what she just said other than the word, FRACTURE.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait..” I impatiently interject, then lightly continue with a smile on my face, “…you’d think I fell on my HEAD because I have no idea what you just said…could you please write everything you are saying on a piece of paper? I will never remember it.”

With an expressionless look, the doctor gazes at me for a pregnant moment, says nothing, then looks down at a piece of paper on the desk and responds, “Of course.” She proceeds to legibly write down on a piece of prescription paper what she just said.

Mary and I share eye-popping glances, smiling and shrugging our shoulders as we cover our mouths from giggles. The doctor’s conversation continues with the practicalities and firming up my ‘next steps’. (No pun intended).

Pain meds are a big topic. It’s all about covering up the pain in life, right?Take a pill; cover it up particularly in a Country with more legal prescription drug addictions than, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol combined. I am about to be prescribed one of the most popular: vicodin. (House, look out.  Here I come.)

I explain to the doctor, I generally don’t take allopathic medicines, so I don’t really need something that strong or very many pills. (I have NO IDEA what I am in for with the kind of pain I am going to experience in the next couple of weeks. I ‘m still in shock, so I don’t even feel the full extent of this fracture, yet.) She fills out another piece of paper containing the prescription and hands it to me.

I graciously thank and shake her hand, and she slips out of the room as quietly as she came in.

“Well, she certainly could stand a few lessons in ‘patient relations’,” my sister comments.

“Yah, I don’t think they very many courses like that in medical school, do they Ms. Nurse Practitioner?” I ask my sister smiling as I jump/hop off the examination table and sit on a chair, next to her.

Another, more pleasant woman enters the room. I assume she’s the nurse, lighter energy and a pleasant smile. She fits me for a walking boot cast and upon my request, pleasantly inserts an ice panel, which helps cool the swollen, fire laden ankle.

I notice it takes extra focus on my part to correctly remember the instructions regarding the ‘mechanics’ of the boot cast. Left leg needs to be 90 degrees at the knee, slip in the foot slowly and make sure the heel is flush with the back of the boot. Fold and strap the foot pieces first and then along the calf.  Make sure the velcro straps are secure but not too tight.  My eyes periodically check my watch. It’s 1:35 pm. The flight is 2:40 pm. ‘I’ll be OK,’ I reassure myself by focusing on what I do want instead of do not want: an integral point for the law of attraction.

At one point the nurse jokingly exclaims, “…and the boot matches your outfit! How perfect!”  I peer at Mary out of the corner of my eye, smiling, reminding her of my comment earlier in the car, “It DOES matter how fabulous one looks!” We have a good laugh. I am soooo ready to get out of this room.

Next instruction;  hop to the payment window. While propped on one foot, dropping a crutch as I search for my credit card, I finally find the card and hand it to the woman behind the window sitting at a desk. She processes my records effortlessly and easily with a smile and midwest, “Thank you very much,” hands me back my card and bill.

WOW!  The full fee, no insurance, emergency visit, walking boot cast, 3 x-rays, the doctor’s consultation: $245! In New York City, I couldn’t walk into an emergency room for under $500 and that is just to walk through the door! PLUS, I would have never been able to make my flight because I would have had to wait 5-10 hours to see someone. There are certain advantages to being in the Midwest. Yet, sorry, family…the Big Apple calls me.

Next, I tunnel through a few more hallways and doors and make it to the original waiting area. I see my sister standing in line for my prescription to be magically filled out, all in the same building! As I stand waiting, simulating a ballet dancer, I prop my leg and foot on top of the horizonal support railing, easing the pressure of the blood and fluids pooling in the ankle. I hand my credit card over to Mary and within a few minutes, my drugs are in hand at a reasonable, $24! Wow, the Midwest, at least in Iowa, has quite a health care system.

We are out of there, on to the airport. It’s 2:05 pm. 40 minutes before my plane departs.

More to come in Part IV…

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