So, I had made it to the couch and was trying to convince myself that with ice and never moving again that everything would be OK. The rest of the household was behaving normally and contributing to this delusion. My husband had thoughtfully picked up all of the breakfast I had scattered over the carpet, however one of our dogs was doing a very good impression of a Roomba and trying mightily to find any scrap he had left behind. Our other dog was still trying to find a place to lie down on me to “comfort me. Since I wasn’t struggling, he finally settled on my lower back.
Now a rapidly swelling ankle that I couldn't bear weight on that hurts like a balloon full of razor blades would usually send me right to the ER. However my life decisions, as well as my decisions regarding my day to day activities, have to be tempered by my lack of funds and insurance. So first we rang up Zoom Care a pay as you go facility. The pluses for Zoom Care are that you can make an appointment online or over the phone. The minuses are that for a possible bone break is that they have to send you out to a facility for x-rays, and then they send you home while they wait for someone to read them. Zoom Care then rings you up and lets you know if you have a broken bone and what you should do about it.
“I’m sorry, we can see the bone sticking out of your leg from your supposed compound fracture, but we’re going to have to send you home while we wait for that diagnosis to be confirmed.”
So Zoom Care seemed like less than an ideal solution to my issue as wandering around from place to place on possibly broken bones for an extended period of time was appearing less attractive with every passing swelling, bruising moment. We then tried calling Urgent Care units. There used to be Urgent Care units attached to hospitals so that more critical patients could be quickly shunted over to the ER and the Urgent Care could make use of the hospital could make use of the hospital facilities. Unfortunately for whatever reason, the Urgent Cares attached to hospitals have closed. Perhaps they weren’t making enough money as I’m sure they were a top choice for people like me without insurance. So that left my husband and me with about two hours wasted and after a dare to place my entire weight on my right ankle (I lost,) we were headed off to the nearest ER. As we were going out into public I did get it together enough to change out of my breakfast soaked pj’s into some slightly more socially acceptable sweatpants. I only needed a sports jersey or a bedazzled tank top to complete my camouflage for the ER waiting room.
As my mother-in-law actually does have one of everything stored away in her house a set of crutches was quickly found so I could hobble to the car. OK, I crawled, I crawled to the car. No dignity was involved whatsoever. Having already been covered in breakfast I thought that I couldn’t sink any lower. I was wrong. Random whiny baby noises kept coming out of my mouth despite my resolve not to say anything. These noises were interspersed with horrible nonsensical profanities. I'm actually surprised that a random nun from my childhood didn't show up and slap me in the face for some of the things that I said.
The first obstacle after finally getting in the car was simply finding the emergency room. Even though the ER was attached to a hospital its immune system was no defense against the plague of construction that had already infected the streets around it. We found ourselves following detour signs just to find an entrance. Well, my husband was following the signs; I was making pathetic little whining noises every time we went over a bump or a pothole. But the signs eventually led us to an entrance where they had a large covered ramp of a detour, but wondrously they also had wheelchairs and valet parking. I got settled in a wheelchair and my husband started wheeling me towards what was undoubtedly going to be a very large expense.