Saturday, June 17, 2006

Well... Damn

I was all set to go to my first roller derby today, but ...

The niecelet fell off playground equipment and bumped her elbow pretty bad. Around 4PM, I whisked her to her pediatrician office where we spent almost an hour waiting to be seen. They thought nothing was broken, but in case of a fracture, x-rays were in order. Of course.

They sent us to the imaging center for the hospital across the street from the pediatrician's office. We sat in their waiting room most of an hour before they told me that the niecelet's insurance wouldn't pay for treatment at their hospital. I had to take her to the one across town. Fine. We went back to the pediatrician's office for a new referral slip. Banged on door until staff let us in, as it was after hours. Waited a bit. Got new referral. Niecelet was still in tears. Rushed over to the other hospital since we were told we only had fifteen minutes to get there before the radiology department shut down for the night. Cursed mightily at red lights. Got hesitant chuckle from niecelet as I ranted about the stupid BMW driver in front of us going 15 in a 45 zone. It was hella hot outside, and every time we get back into the car it felt like we were being roasted alive.

I promised niecelet popsicles when it was all over. She fretted about her plans for Saturday.

It took a bit, but I found the other hospital. Drove in circles in search of parking. Hiked around inside big hospital until we found radiology(their signage lies). Waited ten minutes to be told that we had to go to the imaging center. Showed clerk our referral to radiology. Was told that was wrong, we had to go to imaging, and by the way, they were closing in two minutes. *big sigh* Got in car and drove to the imaging center. Wrote name on list. Half an hour later, got pulled into admissions. Had relationship to niecelet closely questioned. Produced documentation. Offered to write fricking check if that would make them happy. Got sent back to waiting room. Tick. Tick. Tick. Twenty minutes later, we got called in - to a smaller waiting room.

Story idea - hell is a series of medical waiting rooms like nesting boxes, to infinity.

Made a much needed trip to the lady's room. Came back, niecelet was gone. I conducted a panicked search of both waiting rooms. No one. No staff, no other patients, no niecelet. I went down hallways and opened doors. It was almost 7. Found niecelet sitting on a chair in one of the x-ray rooms. I tried to go in, but the tech told me to wait outside. Twenty minutes later, the niecelet came out of the exam room alone. Tech, staff, everyone had mysteriously disappeared. No one to ask what I should do next. Called pediatrician's office for guidance. Was told by night service to wait for a call.

We got home at 7:30. It was 85 degrees inside. I opened windows and doors, but it was pure swelter. We fell asleep on the couch before we could even eat dinner. Not exactly the fun evening I had planned.

11 AM the following day, after calling every person in the known universe, finally got the word - her arm is fractured. Nothing can be done about it until Monday. Her planned trip to a waterpark with friends is out. I can't risk her being jostled in a crowd, so I can't take her with me to roller derby. So we're going to sit home and cheer on the USA in World Cup and eat popsicles.

If I'm ever given the choice in the future, I think I'll choose to suit up and spend an hour doing roller derby without padding or a helmet rather than spend 5 hours seeking medical treatment. I think it'll be less painful.

2 comments:

greg said...

GREAT story idea. And I would LOVE to go to the roller derby...next time I am in LA????

Kathleen Bradean said...

This is killing me. I realize I know four Gregs, only one lives in LA, and most of them would go to roller derby. Hmmm.
My guess is that you're the Greg who was born in Alabama, but to be on the safe side, every Greg I know should come visit. Soon. And by that, I mean October.