7.20.2007

3 stitches & no, johan, i'm not being a baby

orangemanmike had one perspective with the steam pipe explosion of the summer of 2007, and i had quite another.

it isn't a crazy story really, but it just seems lately that i'm in some sort of causality chain that has been making my day seem planned by some force other than myself. take for instance last sunday. i had no interest in spending the day watching t.v. sci-fi series reruns with my husband and decided to take a walk and ran into 3 people from my past that i hadn't seen in a very long time. the first two (pleasant), i felt, were a total set up to get me to the last (awkward). and then just this monday, when i was running errands and ran into another good friend of mine that would usually be no where near where i was in chelsea, but coincidentally was working on something that brought us together for a little shoe shopping. eerie, right?

well this wednesday was the same. i skipped my workout because on monday, after the afore mentioned running into my friend and shoe shopping, i went to yoga where i sort stretched too much for my own good and re-strained my back injury. i was home all day nursing my back and saying short little prayers to get better in time for our soccer finals on sunday when i decided to bide my time by doing a little cleaning. under normal circumstances there would be no force on earth that would compel me to wash the dishes, but heavy bored, i had to do something, and coincidentally this past weekend when having dinner with my in-laws i brought back a wedding present, our new wusthof knife block. which led to this...

gross, right? honestly, i didn't even feel it. those knives are so f#*$ing sharp, it barely grazed me and sliced me like a piece of ham.

anyway, after a call to my husband with a "don't worry, but i may need stitches" we arrive at a relatively sleepy st. vincent's e.r. where after a short wait i was put on the "fast track" and told i'd be seeing a doctor "soon". we were watching the stem pipe chaos on the waiting room t.v. and it never occurred to me that they might actually send those people all the way downtown for medical care. that's exactly what happened.

all the sudden there was a commotion and all the fast track rooms were cleared and all these patients with mud on them were brought into a haz-mat shower area, where they were all showered and then sent into all the rooms throughout the entire e.r.

clearly it was traumatic, but i didn't see anyone with much more than a few scrapes and bruises among the patients. mostly they seemed more concerned about what had happened to their clothes and other possessions, which were all sealed in these blue haz-mat bags when they were disrobed and hosed down. there were these n.y.p.d. officers all over trying to get reports from all the victims, asking, "we're they in the accident? was she in the accident?" no one knew where patients were or what their names were. they were walking around saying, "mr. rodrigo martinez? mr. martinez? are you mr. martinez?" many of the patients didn't speak english or spanish, which led to a lot of hospital staff running about asking one another, "do you speak portuguese, do you speak swahili?" i tried to be sympathetic, a patient patient, but the disorganized way that the whole thing was going down annoyed me and made me sort of scared to realize that we are so not prepared for a really big emergency.

my "soon" (understandably) turned into a 4 hour wait to get into a room. i had to sit in there for a long time. there was a man on the other side of the curtain seeing another doctor. he wasn't insured. he had fainted at work. he wasn't involved in the steam pipe explosion. the doctor told him that he had a panic attack. i don't know how he felt about that diagnosis, but with his symptoms, i wouldn't have been satisfied. they sent him home without tests.

from my room i could hear the doctors asking people how they felt and what was wrong. i heard three different people complain that their neck and backs were bothering them. maybe i'm a cynic, but i felt that they were just setting up their future lawsuits.

anyway, when i did finally see the doctor, it took him longer to numb my finger than to stitch it up and after a tetanus shot i was out of there.

today my finger is all bandaged and fine. i keep hitting it on things (accidentally), and it's making for some interesting typing, but the worst of it is my tetanus shot arm which is totally sore.

f.y.i. i'm still playing soccer on sunday. wish us luck.

1 comment:

orangemanmike said...

Wow. Interesting perspective. And, as you said, it makes me worry about the city's ability to respond in a major emergency.

Glad your finger is OK.