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Monday, January 11, 2010

Today At The Hospital ...

I hate snow. Not snow itself, which can be majectic in its beauty. No, I hate the qualities of snow such as cold and slipperiness (if it's not a word, I don't care.)

Yesterday, I was shoveling off my small front porch ... referred to many as a "stoop." I failed to realize, however, that during the night the Gods of Weather had first depositied a thin sheet of ice on the world before cleverly concealing it with innocant-looking, frothy snow. So when I emerged from my garage with shovel in hand, I was basically a parka-wearing lamb to the slaughter.

One step ... two step ... three step ... WHAM! I was down, heavy on mhy right hip with a glancing "thud" to my head as it hit my porch steps. I think I stayed conscious, but it was one of those cartoon falls ... all slow motion and exaggerated limb movements. Luckily, no one else was around to see it happen (unlucky, had I actually injured myself). I regained my footing slowly. I surveyed the snow-laiden porch, strung together a few curse words in new and exciting ways, and decided to use my garage as the "Winter Palace Entrance" to my home for the foreseeeable future.

About an hour later, I made a short run for groceries. Milk ... bread ... margaring ... all the usual "there might be a blizzard comin' " staples. I had just put my items in the trunk and closed the lid when myfeet hit a patch of torn-up, marble-sized pavement chunks, perhaps made from repeated parking lot surface scrapings this winter. Anyhow, I went into cartoon mode again and lost my balance, slipping to my knees HARD. It hurt. Damn, it hurt.

I got up, got into my car, and started the engine. I just wanted to get home ... get home, find the SportsCreme and soothe my January afternoon away.

But, alas, kind reader ... it was not to be. As I turned onto the street where I reside, I remembered that I needed stamps. Bills were awaiting me and it was GO! time. I quickly detoured to the post office (it closed in 30 minutes) and found a parking spot surprisingly close to the door. I checked my wallet for cash, zipped up, and headed in.

At the entrance, I held the door for a middle aged lady who I thought was a neighbor on the block. I was contemplating her identity more deeply when I stepped inside to the poorly maintained entry alcove. Slush abounded and the rubber mat was sopping wet. WHOOOOSH!! ... I caught a slippery spot and my knee headed east while my upper body fell west toward the inner postal sanctum. I caught myself from falling, but the "catching" of myself did more harm then falling, I think. I both heard and felt a small snap, followed by immediate pain.

With no pussyfooting, I hobbled-slash-lumbered to my car, the Joker grimace on my face clearly telling people to get out of my way. I knew I was hurt and no "creme" or "ointment" was gonna help. I traveled about eight miles to the nearest hospital with little additional pain, just a strong throbbing sensation. Driving didn't seem tostress my knee any further. I pulled up to the emergency room doors and honked my horn until an attendant appeared. It must have been a quiet day at "Mercy Sacred Heart St. Elsewhere Memorial General" because someone else came out with a wheelchair and the attendant, an African-American volunteer named Pete, parked my car in a temporary lot.

After paperwork and a short wait, an x-ray revealed some minor ligament damage. The attending said I "wrenched my knee good" and prescribed rest, a few weeks on crutches, an over-the-counter stretchy knee brace for support, and a follow up with my regular doctor.
I suggested painkillers, and he obliged me with a small prescription.

POINT OF RANT: Snow is not your friend.

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