Other Ideas We've Had Along the Way....

Or Something Like That

Adventures in Emergency Rooms

March, 2006

Bob and I have found that the older you get, the more aches and pains you get. It seems once you hit 40, whatever warranty your body came with is up and there are no extensions. After that, its down hill all the way.

Our problems started in January, Bob was in New Orleans helping rescue animals after Hurricane Katrina. Bob was trying to catch 2 cats in a condemned house when he fell through the floor, jamming his spine in the process.

Several weeks later Bob innocently leaned over to pick Scruffy up and felt and ominous pop. The pop turned out to be the sound of two disks rupturing. Before long we were having loads of fun with doctors appointments, referrals and the ultimate: getting an MRI. The first attempt to get an MRI wasn't entirely successful.... Bob didn't fit in the machine. That required another round of referrals and finally an open MRI. We finally found one about 30 miles away. Unfortunately, it was booked for the next 3 weeks. However as long as the prescription pain killers and muscle relaxers held out we were set.

Things rolled along smoothly until the day before Bob's MRI, when I slipped and fell down the steps. (I could try to say I was pushed, but Bob was propped up on the couch and on enough pain killers that he needed a bib to drink his diet coke.) The fall part wasn't too bad, however the landing, along with the twisted ankle and torn tendons did put a damper on the day.

The day of the MRI dawned with me sucking down Aleve and Bob adjusting the crutches for my size rather than his. He also decided to take my smaller car (with the manual transmission) to get there rather than his van in case I had to run one of our critical care fur balls to the vet clinic. This plan seemed to work on the surface. Bob left on time and didn't have to wait too long to be called into the office. It wasn't until he was waling out of the office and back to the car that things began to fall apart.

As Bob stepped off the curb his knee popped and he and his MRI pictures ended up flat out on the ground. Although Bob was sure that the physicists of the world were happy with his extensive gravitational testing, his new injury made it quite difficult to get up off the ground. His first step was to call the doctors office that he just came from. They told him they didn't handle emergencies. It was during his second call to me that he realized the battery in his cell phone was going dead. Using another car in the parking lot, Bob eventually managed to pull himself up. (At least he didn't set off the alarm in the car) Eventually Bob felt stable enough to try to make it to the car... Actually, he had to move, the owner of the car he was using as a crutch wanted to leave. Bob finally hopped his way to the car and tried to figure out his next problem: fitting in and driving. He decided to risk the last of th e cell phone battery and call home. (As usual the charger for his cell phone was in the other car) Bob's predicament gave me several options: on the plus side I already had plenty of pain killers for him (plus my handy back up, a cast iron frying pan) and plenty of ice packs. On the downside, if I hobbled out to the car and drove down to him, we would have at least one car stuck 30 miles away for an indefinite amount of time. So I did what anyone in a dilemma does: I called Bob's mom.

While I was waiting for Bob's mom I started prepping -- I got all of Bob's recent pain meds, ice packs, blankets, and a rolling pin. (The rolling pin was for me to use in case Bob started complaining too much) We eventually got on the way and found Bob, propped up against the car in the parking lot. Then we had to reconfigure a little: get Bob settled in his mom's car, with me and my crutches driving, Bob's dad riding shotgun, and his mom managed to fold herself up enough to fit into my car. The drive back to the house was interesting. Bob's mom was so worried about getting lost that she almost had the front of my car in the back of her car a couple of times. (Dumped the clutch too, but who needs a transmission anyway?)

Our next dilemma occurred back at the house: I wanted Bob to have his knee x-rayed and he didn't. I was basing my analysis on the fact that he couldn't put any weight on his knee or walk, and I needed the set of crutches. He was basing his opinion on the fact that he didn't want to go to the doctor. He soon changed his mind when I explained that I would not be carrying him into the house. It wasn't until I got him settled into the Rude Ranch van that I heard those fate words: "I have to use the bathroom".