Saturday, April 24, 2010

the tragedy of an amateur snowboarder, part 3

After getting me down the mountain, Hans made me walk up some stairs into the first aid trailer to fill out some forms. He asked me if I was ok to drive myself home, and of course I said yes - I'm irrational when I'm in pain. I realize now I should have called someone to come get me, but I really didn't want to bother anyone. So, after I limped back down the stairs out of the trailer, he wheeled me across the parking lot in a wheelchair to my car. At this point both feet were very swollen and red. But somehow, I managed to drive. Thankfully it hadn't snowed any that day and the road down the mountain was clear. Before heading home I stopped at the rental place to return my snowboard. I limped slowly inside, board in one hand, boots in the other. The rental guy asked me what was wrong and I told him I hurt my feet. He just laughed at me.

Finally I made it home, without killing anyone or wrecking my car. At this point I hated myself for having requested a 3rd floor apartment. But I was determined that everything would be ok if I could just get home and elevate and ice my feet, so I dragged myself up the stairs and got into bed with 2 ziplocks full of ice and lots of pillows. Then I think I started coming out of survival mode and was able to start thinking rationally. My feet were huge and red, and hurt so bad that I was shaking all over. My thoughts went something like this: "I should see a doctor. But I don't have a doctor in Reno. I probably need x-rays. Where should I go? I don't even know who takes my insurance. And it's almost 5:00. I don't want to go to the ER. What if my ankles are broken? I'm going to lose my job. I don't know what to do. I know - I'll call Mom! She'll know what to do." So I called Mom. She helped me figure out which urgent care to go to, and demanded that I give her the phone number of my Bible study leader, so she could call and get someone to come help me. Because I still wasn't going to ask for help. I'm used to helping other people, not asking anyone to help me. God had some lessons to teach me about that. I gave Mom the number and then hobbled back down the stairs, got back in my car, and drove to the urgent care. After the urgent care people watched me painfully limp through the hall, they made me step up onto a scale to get my weight. Such logic. I was in too much pain to care, but afterward that made me kind of mad. How much I weigh will make absolutely no difference in how they treat my ankles! The doctor wanted me to get x-rays, but they didn't have an x-ray machine at that location. They said I should have gone to the urgent care clinic at the bottom of Mt. Rose, because they had an x-ray machine. This would have been an excellent piece of information for Hans to have shared with me. As it was, I would have to go to the hospital down town to get x-rays.

While I was rushing to the urgent care clinic before it closed, Mom was trying to call my Bible study leader, Marshall, who is also the worship leader at the church I was going to in Reno. The phone number I gave her was for his home phone, but nobody answered, because Thursday night is band practice. So she decided to call the lead pastor, Brent Brooks. Brent and his wife had been in a Bible study with my parents in Houston 30 years ago, when Joe Wall was the pastor of Spring Branch Community Church. The number Mom had for Brent was just the church phone number, and nobody answered. So she called Scot Wall, the pastor of Magnolia Bible Church in Texas, and asked for his dad's (Joe Wall's) phone number. She called Joe, who couldn't hear her because his hearing aids weren't working or something, so she ended up talking to his wife Linda, who translated for him. They were able to give her some numbers for Brent, and she got ahold of him, who got ahold of Marshall, who called my friend Crystal.

After this comedy of errors, Crystal, the wife of the youth pastor and also a nurse, came and picked me up and drove me downtown to the hospital. While we were in the car she said, "By the way, Ruth, you're staying at our house tonight." I ended up staying with her and her husband, Robbie, for a week. When I found out my left ankle was broken in 2 places and my right ankle was sprained, the travel company had to cancel my travel contract and kicked me out of my apartment. Crystal and Robbie packed up everything in my apartment for me, drove me to and from my doctor's appointments, and let my mom and brother Jonathan stay at their house for a night after they flew in. I was going to drive my car back to Texas, but my parents were worried that it would be bad for my ankle, which swelled up and turned dark purple every time I stood up. So Mom and Jonathan flew to Reno to drive my car back to Texas, and I flew home a few days later.

1 comment:

  1. If you weren't so much better, this would make me cry!