Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just One of Those Years

At any given time or moment you are likely to find me curled up in a ball in a corner somewhere, whimpering like a wounded puppy.

Okay, maybe not, but sometimes it feels like that. It has not been a great year, considering that it's only July and we have five more months to go. I miss my kids and grandkids intensely. This horrible economy means I can't afford to visit them very often. Our savings has dwindled to just about zero. Tom's work has picked up some, but not anywhere near what it was, so we are struggling, probably like more than half the country. We've had unexpected serious expenses...the car...the boat (which we have returned to the boat shop because it runs like a piece of merde ~ that's French for crap).

This morning, after Tom left for work, I was sitting quietly, minding my own business, waiting for something else to happen and, of course, it did. Tom came back home and when he was getting out of his van, he proceeded to slam his own finger in the door, slicing the tip of the finger quite deeply.

It really needed stitches so I sent him to the local hospital emergency room at 7:15am. He declined my offer to drive him and he was off with my reminder to "Call me!!"

When I didn't hear from Tom by 9:00, I called him. He was the only patient in the emergency room so they put him in a room right away. And there he sat. No exam. No nurse. No doctor. Forty-five minutes later woman came into the room dragging a very large contraption.

TOM: What's that?
WOMAN: I'm going to x-ray your hand.
TOM: I don't need an x-ray. My hand is fine.
WOMAN: It would be best if you had an x-ray so we can see if your finger is crushed.
TOM: It's not crushed (lifting up his hand and tapping the tip of the toilet-paper wrapped bleeding finger with his thumb). I just need some stitches. I'm not paying $300 for an x-ray I don't need.
WOMAN: Well, you just want to talk to the doctor?
TOM: Yes, I want a doctor.

The radiology tech left with her contraption and Tom sat there quietly for 45 minutes more, peering out the open door, watching nurses and doctors standing around talking or sitting and drinking coffee. An hour and a half of that was apparently all Tom could tolerate because when I called him he was furious. I suggested he call our doctor to see if she would stitch up his finger.

He called me back a couple of minutes later. Our doctor's office is not equipped to do stitches. I suggested he call the emergency/after-hours doctor's office here in town. He'd already called them. They aren't equipped for stitching wounds either.

TOM: I'm sick of this. I'm coming home.
ME: Well, we could probably bandage it really well.
TOM: The only reason I thought I should go ahead and get stitches is because I was afraid of hitting my finger and popping the cut open.
ME: Okay, well, I think we can use a butterfly bandage to close the cut and then bandage it enough to protect it, if that's what you want to do.
TOM: Yeah. I'm coming home.

Tom got home about 10 minutes later and was still fuming. When he walked out of the treatment room, passed the the 7 or 8 nurses, doctors, techs and what-have-you's standing around chatting and drinking coffee, he muttered, "I'm outa here." Not one of those nurses, doctors, techs or what-have-you's standing around chatting and drinking coffee even looked in his direction.

Our doctor left Conway to practice medicine in Little Rock. What Tom experienced is part of the reason she decided to leave.

So now Tom's finger is bandaged and it was done very well, thank you very much. We are hoping he doesn't get any sort of infection, but I KNOW our doctor's office is equipped to handle that if he does.

His finger isn't sore right now, but I can assure you whining will commence sometime this evening. I will be gentle. I promise.

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