Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Runs in the Family; or, we really know how to show guests a good time

I'm going to write a big ol' post about Scarlett's visit, but first I want to tell you all about Saturday.

Saturday dawned sunny and gorgeous and warm, and after a late breakfast we prepared to drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park to show off some more of our fair state to our guest. All morning we watched as our idiot next door neighbor pulled down large chunks of his roof to land in a huge pile right outside our back door. Usually on such a glorious morning, I would have opened the back door to allow the kitties watch the kitty show, but there was debris and dust flying around from the aforementioned roof demolition, so we kept the house closed up. When we were ready to leave, we found that we had to climb over the pile in order to leave the house and get to the car. Which both Scarlett and I did with no problems. And then Dan, who had locked up the house, came after us, and he stepped on a great big old nail.

A great big rusty one. It went through his shoe and into his foot. He made a loud noise, as you do when you step on a great big nail and it goes through your shoe and into your foot.

He sat down on one of the chairs in our backyard, gave the nail a little tug, and realized that he would not be pulling it out himself. I tried the same thing. The loud noise he made then told me that I would not be pulling it out.

We drove to the hospital. Actually, the idiot neighbor drove us to the hospital because neither Scarlett nor I could drive our car. Yes, I know I need to get on that. You don't need to remind me. The neighbor gave us his phone number and told us to call him when we were finished.

We went in through the regular entrance and borrowed a wheelchair from the information desk. I'd never pushed anyone in a wheelchair before (it's not easy!) and steered him through the labyrinth of hallways over to the emergency department. It was seriously a rabbit warren. Dan was soon checked out by the triage nurse, and Scarlett stayed in the waiting room while I wheeled Dan back to the minor trauma area. He was given a bed (with a clean sheet, no less!) and then we waited a while.

Only a few minutes later, someone came in to assess the situation. I think it was the doctor. He had a paramedic student with him, who we found out later was from Montana and spending a few days working at Denver Health to experience big city life or something. The doctor told Dan he'd be pulling the nail out (no pain meds! No shoe being cut off his foot!) and instructed the paramedic student to irrigate the wound after he was finished. Then he disappeared, presumably to find some forceps or something.

Now, let me tell you something about the hospital where we ended up. Because Dan has the student health insurance through his school, he knew he'd be covered to some extent, but he didn't know where his insurance card was because he doesn't need it to get any sort of treatment on the campus health center. But this was Saturday and we needed a medical facility that would be open. This hospital is the closest one to campus, so we figured it would take his student insurance. This hospital is also notorious as the one where you go when you don't have any health insurance at all, where you go when you are a drunk man in your fifties and you get into a fight with your roommate and he beats you in the head with a baseball bat and the police are called and they bring you to the emergency room on a stretcher. Yes, that sort of place. When Dan first got into his little curtained minor trauma bed, the guy in the bed next to him was handcuffed to his gurney and being watched over by two people in sheriff's uniforms. And then a little while later, the aforementioned drunk man was brought in, and we got the story despite never actually seeing him because the police and hospital people were loudly trying to get the story out of him.

Never a dull moment at Large Denver Hospital. The nail was soon removed from Dan's foot, and the student irrigated the hole, and then he waited and waited and waited for the other stuff that was supposed to happen (a tetanus shot, IV antibiotics, and an xray to make sure there weren't metal fragments from the nail still in his foot). Eventually I started to feel bad for making Scarlett wait by herself in such a fabulous place, so I went out to the waiting room to spend some time with her. Unfortunately, in our rush to get a Dan in Much Pain to the hospital, she hadn't thought about bringing her books or computer along, and she could have used the time to work on a paper that was due today. Instead she sat for a few hours surrounded by strangers and watched reruns of Scrubs on the Comedy channel. She went back to say hi to Dan, and came out a few minutes later to say he was being wheeled off to xray and had had the shot already.

I went back to visit after I figured enough time had passed, and he was back from xray and the IV antibiotics were done and he was ready to go. But then we waited for over an hour for someone to come and remove the IV from his hand, slap a bandaid on his foot, and hand him a prescription for CIPRO (which he did not fill, duh, because he didn't have anthrax). Finally someone came and did these things and he was told he could leave. All in all we were there nearly four hours.

We went out in front where the idiot neighbor had dropped us off and called the number he gave us multiple times to no avail. Eventually we called a cab; normally we would have walked home (it's only a few miles) but since Dan had just had a nail shoved into and then pulled out of his foot he wasn't up for it. The idiot neighbor watched us pull up in the cab and asked, "Did you guys call?"

I wanted to strangle him.

We spent the rest of the day doing very little, despite how nice and gorgeous it was outside. Dan sat on the couch with his foot up, Scarlett worked on her paper, and I made sandwiches (we were starving) and read a book.

All in all, it could have been much worse. Our landlords have backed us up and we are going to ask the idiot neighbor to cover any of the hospital bill that Dan's health insurance won't pay for. He cleaned up most of the debris the next day. The nail went into a fleshy part of Dan's foot, not through a toe or a bone. The hospital visit itself could have been far worse. We didn't see anyone who had been stabbed or shot or was bleeding profusely. So I suppose that's pretty good. And it was pretty funny that just as I'm getting over my torn calf muscle, Dan starts limping. It's the same side, too. Maybe we should just call ourselves the Gimp Family.

Next time, I will tell you about all the good parts of Scarlett's visit.


Anonymous said...

Jeez-o-pete! Glad everyone's okay and it wasn't worse!

(Careful calling yourselves the Gimp Family, though. You never know who you might offend...) ;)

Yank In Texas said...

Sheesh. Glad Dan's ok though and good that landlord is backing you up on everything. That's dangerous.
Oh and we've had the Civic for what, 5 years now, and I STILL can't drive it. So you're not alone.

Cilicious said...

Sorry for Dan's injury and having to visit the Knife and Gun Club (that's what a former neighbor of mine who interned there called it.) Still, I always heard that it was a darn good place to go in an emergency.
Is Dan's car a manual? Heh, I did not learn to drive a stick until I was 30 years old.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a kinda crazy weekend. But I am glad to hear that Dan will be okay and that despite the frustrations of having the whole thing happen, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.