Tuesday, November 21, 2006


This post is about my other half as my week since last Monday has revolved around this event.

Last Monday, he dislocated his left shoulder. We spent the better part of the night at the ER getting that all worked on and worked out. He is doing okay now, there is some soreness and tenderness. They put him in a sling. He is taking Ibuprofen as needed and has a prescription for something stronger if he needs it. He saw the orthopedist Friday morning to check it out further and see if there is any interior soft tissue damage (ligaments, tendons, muscle tears, etc.) It seems like that's not the case, but the doc will see him again in a week to check him out.

The story goes...
About 9:30pm he had gotten back from the grocery store. We were walking out to his Jeep and he took his frequent route to the driveway, along the front of the house on the porch/deck/whatever you call our front part of the foundation that juts out pretending to be a porch. Unfortunately, there was a rolled up rug lying in his way and the reason he could not see said rug was that the front light is out and has been for some time (wiring problem with the fixture). He tripped over the rug, which was near the end of the porch, and fell right off the end step onto the ground. He most likely fell ON the arm, dislocating his shoulder. He was in a terrible amount of pain and when I asked how he was, he told me I needed to call an ambulance. They got here pretty quick and got him up and out to the local hospital. The EMT told me to calm down and take a few minutes before following (so that I would not be tempted to run the lights with the rescue unit...) So I went inside and put away the frozen foods and milk that he had just bought, put the puppy in her crate and jumped in the car to head to the ER.

It was not a great experience at the ER, unfortunately. The nurse did not ask him if he would agree to an IV and painkillers (since he had refused in the ambulance) so he was basically yelling in pain for half an hour, maybe more, before I could get someone in there to administer that. He was asked his birthday no less than 6 times, two different nurses came in to take a history, the doctor finally saw him and had an "okay" bedside manner, he was a bit flippant for my tastes, but treated him properly. The nurses were all pretty bitchy and gave him attitude when he wanted to go to the bathroom IN THE BATHROOM rather than in the plastic thing they give you. The one really nice person was the X-ray tech, she was cool and nice and seemed concerned about how he was doing. Once he had the IV and they gave him valium and morphine, he was in much better shape (although he could still feel the shoulder, which gives you an idea of how painful it was.)

Well, after determining by x-ray that, yes, his shoulder WAS dislocated (I saw the x-ray - yeesh!) and nothing was broken, they set him up to go to trauma to get it put back in place. They sedated him and two docs wrapped a sheet around his torso and the other around his left arm and basically provided traction in opposite directions until the shoulder went back in. He was pretty much out for that part, which was good. He was sleeping and then groggy for about an hour after that.

We sat around for a LONG TIME after they took the follow up x-ray and FINALLY got the doc to discharge him. We were there for over 6 hours!!! So, about 4:00 am, we are driving to the 24 hour CVS to get the Rx filled and trying to find a 24 hour McDonalds (the craving was for fries and a burger) I tried my best but we could not find anything open. So we went home and I made some mac & cheese and we went to bed.

As I said, he is doing MUCH better having the shoulder back in place. The pain of it was something that he and I never want to experience ever again. The ER was SLOW SLOW SLOW and no one communicated anything to us and I had to go track down the doc or a nurse more than once. Sure they were busy (not with trauma emergencies, but there were lots of people there) but they were less than attentive and I was really pissed at a few things - one nurse got indignant with me when I was trying to get someone to administer pain meds saying that he refused them in the ambulance; another got uppity after he had gone to the bathroom saying why did he need the portable x-ray since if he could walk to the bathroom, he could walk to x-ray (I had to inform her that he threw up from the pain after walking back from x-ray!) And I literally had to go out and ask for things like 5 times (pain meds, x-ray status, to get him off the backboard, when would they come to reduce the dislocation and then to get him discharged.) But the billing person got in there within about 10 minutes of his arrival, it figures. So the service was less than ideal.

He is doing better and we hope that there is no permanent or further damage. He was home for three days and back at work Friday. Fortunately, his work is accomodating his restrictions as well, so we get to pay the bills! WOO!

On the plus side, a neighbor of mine, undoubtedly after seeing the fire truck, ambulance and/or him in a sling all week, came over and blew all the leaves in my front yard out to the street!! I cannot tell you how incredibly cool that is! We have SO many trees and SO many leaves! It's just too much for me alone. I don't even know which neighbor it was because it was Saturday morning and I was sleeping in!

Also, this weekend I replaced the outside light fixture (kinda proud of myself!) and moved the rug to a less treacherous location. So the causes of this accident have been removed.

The sling sucks and he has to wear it ALL THE TIME, working, home, sleeping. Hopefully he gets it off at the next doc visit.

Maybe my neighbor with the snow blower will have mercy on me this winter and blow out my driveway, since I will be the only one in my house using a shovel (most likely anyway!)

Ah, well. He is better, but I needed to get that story out!

Cross posted to LiveJournal here

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