Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mistakes Were Made

Looking at a time line of my recent injury , (a fall in a restaurant resulting in a severed Achilles tendon). the first mistake was when some decorator decided that it would be cool to raise the floor level and have a couple of banquettes one step above the main floor in a restaurant.

Then…being a doddering old person, I forgot that I had gone up said step barely an hour earlier and walked off into thin air as I exited. I can do a lot of things, but walking on air is definitely not one of them.

Then, the barely post pubescent manager of the chain told me as I lay on the floor, “Oh, it happens all the time. We have 51 stores in this chain and the new ones aren’t designed with the step up.” Um…I’m no lawyer, but isn’t there some responsibility of correcting a hazard you are aware of in ALL your stores?

Then there was the surgery, which I am happy to say was uneventful. My final words to all anesthetists and anesthesioligists are always , “Now, don’t let me die, okay?” I did not die.

But then came the visit to get my “real cast” a week later. My surgeon, whom I love and trust implicitly, had told Walker to bring me in to have staples remove from the incision (ouch!). Somehow the purpose of that visit got lost in the shuffle and my doc turned me over to a tech for casting who commented, “Oh, he forgot to take the staples out. I guess he’ll do it next time.” She then proceeded to put the cast on as she deemed fit, aiming for a 90 degree angle for my foot. I chose a nice denim blue for my cast, and gingerly got down off the table. It hurt…a lot. “Oh sometimes a little hurt is nothing to worry about,” said the cute little thing.

I rode home in my wheelchair, which I had hoped to escape, and spent the afternoon in the most discomfort since the injury. By dinner time, and after a couple of strong pain killers, it was still unbearable. Son in Law John chased down the surgeon who called and insisted that I come in. “It should not be causing you that much pain.” Thirty minutes later he had me all patched up, with my foot at a much more tolerable angle and able to bear weight. He thought the assistant had removed the staples, but , “It wouldn’t have mattered if they had stayed in longer.”

All went well as I got home and got my first tub bath in two weeks. This is a major quality of life issue for me, and we had invested in a fairly expensive “boot” to keep water out of my cast and allow me to soak comfortably. All went well for two more baths, and then the next catastrophe struck. The boot leaked…probably my fault. I’d tried to get control of it after it blew up like a pool toy by letting some of the air out of it and in the process got water in.

Agonized over my wet foot all night envisioning a raging case of epizoodiac if I didn’t go get the cast changed, which I was really embarrassed to do after the amount of chaos involved already. I woke up the next morning with a plan to get it dry. My hair dryer blew too hot, so I posed stuffing paper towels into the space around my foot and getting it as dry as possible, then using our shop vac as a blower to finish the drying. By late afternoon I was dry as a bone, and not even considering taking another tub bath.

By last night, I thought, “Okay, I’ve done it twice with no incident. Surely I can do it again.” I booted up and took a brief bath, but before I got out good, realized that my foot was wet again. It was way past bedtime by the time I went through a roll of paper towels, and neither Walker nor I was in the mood to get the shop vac into the house or me into the garage. So that’s how I spent my forty- seventh anniversary…up every hour or so changing the damp towels. Back to the shop vac this morning, and hoping to avoid further mistakes at all costs…even if it means no tub baths for a couple of weeks.

If I couldn’t laugh, I’d definitely cry.

Blessings. Janie

No comments: