July 22, 2010

brace yourself... (pt II)

As the ambulance pulled up to the hospital I was pulling up my shirt to tell my new Korean friend/translator that he had to explain to the hospital that I was missing a spleen and that i had a blood condition. These are the things that kept my mind off of my locationally challenged body part.

Once in the hospital I was whisked down a hallway and onto a hospital bed. Well they didn’t get me right onto the hospital bed. They got me half on, and rested me agaist the bar on the edge of the bed. I made sure I they were aware of this. Once on the bed I realized that the bed was in the middle of a hallway, and that I was surrounded by other patients. I was more or less on display. There were injuries of all types on display in the hallway, I have no idea how I rated amongst the other zoo animals, but I was making noise which always attracts a crowd.

As I was laying in the hallway immobilized a patient came screaming into the hallway. She was hysterical, she was flailing around in her wheelchair attempting to escape. I remember asking my friends to guard my bed. I swore if that lady hit my bed, and made me move and hurt I would rip her arms off, i have no idea how i would achieve this; i just knew i would attempt it. Gladly she kept her hysterics to an enclosed area before the orderlies were able to scoot her into an elevator.

I got my first visit from a doctor in this hallway, I have no idea how long I waited to get this visit, but it was the start of things to come. The doctor approached and saw my leg wrapped in padded foam and asked me where it hurt. I blatently said, "my knee is out, I think my leg hurts". He vanished, I don’t think he returned. I continued to wait. One thing was decided however, i would not be sent into the room the crazy lady came screaming out of. I think this was a smart idea, I don’t know what kind of medicine was practiced in the screaming room.

I was SO relieved when i was finally assigned a doctor, i was moved into a stall and waited. I was anxiously waiting for my knee to be put back in. The process back home had been flawless, painkillers then relief! However, There is a danger when comparing things to the way they are done back home, and I’ve been adamant in my desire to find how things are done differently around the world. I was quite honestly given a taste of my own medicine. Aparently health care systems aren't really all that universal.

My new doctor (who had the same glasses as me, I might add) again asked me where it hurt. Again I thought it was pretty obvious, and gave him the smart ass answer. He then proceeded to touch my toes. He asked me if I could feel my toes, and if so what toe was he touching. I couldn’t believe it. I was sitting with a dislocated knee, and he wanted to play 'this little piggy'. I answered most of his questions incorrectly, I was more or less guessing what toe he was touching, I wasn’t that worried about having a broken back. (I have since learned that nerve damage to the toes can occur through a dislocated knees, I just figure that’s something they would attempt to figure out after the knee is back in).

After I correctly identified that the last little piggy went wee wee wee (all the way home), I wanted to get down business. So I asked the doctor if had ever dealt with a dislocated knee before, he said , "no". I then asked him if he knew the procedure to put a knee back in place, another "no" to which I replied "you’ve got to be kidding me! well go fucking google it! Quickly!" I was asked to calm down and to watch my language. I apologized sincerely, I was really sorry, but I couldn’t believe it. (also in a hospital full of koreans who could understand me anyways)

His remedy for the situation was pain medicine and a half hour wait till I saw him again. When he did return he told me that he would like to x-ray the knee, with the kneecap out. I told him that was stupid, insane, and I wanted the kneecap to return to its home. He said he refused to put the knee back in until he could see through x-ray that it was in fact my kneecap that was out, (maybe the guy thought my leg was broken, I don’t know). He gave me morphine for this, I agreed simply for the pain relief.

I was speedily wheeled away done some hall to radiology. I was given a number to wait in line. I love how Koreans love the number thing. ‘now serving ___’ it creates equality and fairness for everyone. Anywho, my number was called quickly, (actually I have no recollection of this I was WAY to doped up on morphine). I got into the x-ray room, and they wanted to take off the splint I was in (I do remember this!), I told them no fucking way. They should take the x-ray with my knee as is, in the condition it was in. They didn’t like it. Apparently my doctor wanted a photo shoot with my knee. He wanted it to pose in different positions, some profile shots, you know some great smut material. Basically he wanted me to move me knee, to twist it, I cousn't have disagreed more. I would not allow the x-ray tech to touch my leg, I yelled loudly in English, my translator spoke softly in Korean. I felt bad for the x-ray tech I was yelling at him when he was just following orders. I made sure to apologize before i was sent out of radiology. I was ushered back down the hallway to my ER stall.

A half hour after i returned to the ER, the doctor arrived to say he wasn't happy i didn't have an x-ray. I informed him that I wasn’t a fucking textbook, and that I would love my knee back where it belongs. I felt that the more I told him where I wanted the knee, the more he would understand how badly I wanted it there, i hoped he would eventually get what i wanted. I continued to apologize for anything and everything I said, i just wanted relief.

I don’t actually remember the first attempt to put the knee back in place. It barely registers in my mind. My doctor tried to push the knee back in, in the position I was in. He walked away after I screamed repeatedly for him to stop. One of my friends asked him what was next? What would he do?

He replied ‘well we tried once, it didn’t work. We will try again, and if that doesn’t work we will call more doctors”

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