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Continued from the first episode:
Part Two: Dr. I Don't Know
My wife is wonderful.
When I got home from The Accident. She was in the kitchen doing something-or-other and heard me come in. I wasn't really in a mood to answer the dozen or so variations of "What the hell did you do to yourself?" I knew were in store for me. Fortunately, she couldn't see me from the kitchen. I ducked into the bathroom and shut the door immediately.
After cleaning up and taking stock of myself, a few things were clear:
1. There was no way I was going to be able to hide this.
2. No matter how much I fancied myself a John Wayne bite-the-bullet tough guy, I needed an MD.
3. I really, really didn't feel like driving myself.
I decided it was time to introduce Mrs. Donkpunch to Mr. Road Rash and also point out that Mr. Left Pectoral Muscle apparently decided to leave the party early.
To her credit, she adopted a wonderful no-fooling-around demeanor, kept the questions to a sympathetic minimum, and sped me to the closest urgent care facility we could find.
Get there, sign in, fill out some forms, and wait.
Suburban ERs on the weekend are not exactly like "ER -- The TV Show" or even "ER -- The Breakfast Cereal". I saw no GSWs or MVAs wheeled in by young attractive paramedics urgently shouting things like "Pulse is 60, BP is 130 over 60. Pupils are fixed, dilated, and an entrancing emerald green. Legs are tanned and muscular from lots of tennis and swimming. Breasts are firm and...."
Sorry, where was I?
Oh yeah, no GSWs (GunShot Wounds) or MVAs (Motor Vehicle Accident). I did see a PWBA (Pee Wee Baseball Accident) and an LCW (Lawn Care Wound). I was relieved to find my own RBI (RollerBlading Idiot) injuries were not embarrasingly minor in comparison. In fact, I think the continual bleeding and oozing from the road pizza on my thigh earned an envious glance or two. Maybe I just imagined it.
Eventually, they got around to me. I went through the usual preliminaries of blood pressure and weighing. Despite the implications of several adult movies and internet sites, I quickly learned most female nurses are not incredibly well-built nymphettes in short skirts and white stockings. I now had one more reason to avoid hospitals.
When the doc arrived, it became clear we had a conflict of priorities. My pizza-leg was cleaned some more (hmph, like I didn't do a good enough job), bandaged, and a tetanus shot was administered. That was all well and good, but I knew what was wrong with my leg. What I didn't know was what happened to the piece of meat that used to define the front of my armpit. That was the reason I came to see a doctor, dig?
One of the things I know about modern medicine is that doctors are often in CYA mode. If you complain about something enough, they'll do something about it just to head off a potential malpractice suit. After a long-winded explanation and demonstration of how my left shoulder didn't look like my right shoulder anymore, the doctor decided to default to the "do-something-to-shut-him-up" plan and ordered an X-Ray of my left shoulder. To this day, I am convinced he thought my left shoulder was always like that and I had just now noticed it.
The X-Rays came back and revealed no fractures. Well, I didn't really think I had broken the darn thing, so the news was only mildly reassuring.
"Can you tell if the muscle tore?"
Doc said the shoulder looked fine, just rest it for a few days and be more careful. Thank you. Please drive through. Next, please.
The implication was clear: he didn't know and, furthermore, my presence in his examining room had become tiresome. Perhaps he was in a hurry to treat the person who came in after me -- a female college volleyball player with a twisted ankle (all her friends had thoughtfully accompanied her to the hospital). I decided it would be better to take my questions to a specialist, preferably one who would not give preferential care to thin thighs in nylon shorts (even though I'm a fan of them).
More to come in Part 3....