When I came back from my honeymoon, everyone at Home Depot asked me, “So what part of your body is injured now?”
I’m getting a reputation for this, guys.
And it hurt, because I had to reply, “My tailbone. I broke it while skiing. So now I can’t sit down.”
They would laugh, so I would laugh, and then we would move on to other things.
So because of my tailbone, I’ve been sitting with my legs at weird angles, so as to not put pressure on my tailbone. It’s been hurting less and less, so now I can sit almost normally for short periods of time. One of the most comfortable ways for me to sit in a chair is sitting on one foot. This puts my bodyweight all on one buttcheek, away from my tailbone. It’s fine. I’ve done it a ton of times in the past few weeks.
So last night I had a normal dinner (chicken tenders and frozen veggies). I played SimCity and Plants vs. Zombies. Then I decided it was time to clean up, so I stood up, not realizing how completely dead my left foot was from sitting on it for a while. My leg completely folded under me, and down I went.
I screamed in pain for a minute or so. I inspected my foot and saw how swollen it was. I tried to rotate my ankle, but it didn’t move very far. I had definitely heard a noise from my ankle as I went down — was it a crack? A snap?
I called 911. I felt like an idiot for doing so, since I wasn’t, like, dying, or anything. But I couldn’t stand. I had heard a sound. I actually had to crawl up the stairs to the bedroom to get to my phone. I had never called 911, but I told myself that I wasn’t a prank caller, at the very least.
I had thought I would start by stating my emergency, but actually the first question out of the dispatcher was “what is your location?” I gave her my address. Then my phone number. Then my name (do I say Hancher or Meyers? I went with Hancher) Then I explained that I had fallen and hurt my ankle.
“An ambulance is on its way,” she assured me a moment later, after a few more questions about how I had injured myself.
An ambulance? Surely that was overkill? But I had called 911. Ambulances were part of the equation.
“How old are you?” the dispatcher asked.
I considered saying 29, since I’m a week away from my birthday, but I said 28.
She asked if I had any free-roaming pets (yes, so get them locked away). Did I feel safe hanging up? Yeah, like, it’s just my ankle (it’s not like I was getting murdered). Okay, make sure to pack up any medications in case they have to take you to the hospital. Feel free to call back if I needed further assistance.
And that was that. That was my first 911 call.*
Fortunately Cornelius had been following me around, so it was easy to just take my phone and crawl out of the bedroom, then shut the door behind me. I sat on the stairs and hopped down, then grabbed my medication and my crossword puzzle book and put them both in my purse. Then I crawled over to the recliner and grabbed my Hamilton biography and then crawled over and set that next to my purse. I decided I didn’t want to be seen in my pajamas by the ambulance people (you know, just so I didn’t look so much like a screw-up), so I crawled back upstairs and exchanged my pajama pants for jeans. Then I slid back downstairs, unlocked the front door, turned on the front light, and then sat on the stairs and waited.
Well, I called James and told him not to panic if he came home and there was an ambulance. It was my ankle, not anything serious. He sounded tense. Well, of course he was tense. His mother is in the hospital and his wife called an ambulance.
After a few minutes I noticed that my ankle didn’t hurt nearly as bad. It was still really, really swollen, but it didn’t hurt. So I stood on it. I could stand on it, but I couldn’t really walk. It could share my weight, but it couldn’t hold all my weight. What was that weird noise from when I fell down? Maybe it was just the same sound that comes from when you crack your knuckles.
So when the ambulance arrived, I said, “Guys, I have to be honest, I think I called you in the initial panic. I think it’s just a sprain.”
They checked me out anyway. They agreed that I had really, really bad swelling. They had me rotate my ankle (I was able to move it way farther than a few minutes prior, which I pointed out). They had me stand on both feet. The fact that I could do just that was a really good sign that it wasn’t broken.
They had me sit on the recliner. The woman asked me questions while the man took my vitals from a weird boombox-looking machine. I could remember the name of my doctor but not her practice (but I assured that I couldn’t remember that in the best of times, I always have to look it up). I told her my birthday and reiterated my phone number. I had to tell them that I took Sertraline for depression. I told them that I had recently sprained my toe, and broken my tailbone and my ring finger.
“Do you want us to take you to the hospital for an X-ray?” they asked.
Here’s the part I regret: I said no. I genuinely thought it was just a bad sprain and that an X-ray wasn’t necessary. So they wrapped up my ankle in an Ace bandage and gave me an ice pack and left.
But today I want an X-ray. I want to know if it’s broken or just sprained. I want crutches in any case, because I can’t walk around a whole lot and that’s getting really old really fast. I have work at 5:00 and I want to be able to tell my managers what it definitely is when I call them. I think I could drive, but I don’t know how to get to my car, or if I should call 911 and say “hey, can you drive me to the hospital?” or if I should call a taxi. I don’t think I need an ER, but I should visit Urgent Care.
So now I’m just sitting on the couch, trying to figure out my next move.
James is being great. He fed the cat and put my phone on the charger and offered to make breakfast for me, until I said that that would involve making coffee. He helped me get settled on the couch last night with my computer and painkillers and water and a heating pad. He clipped Cornelius’ toenails when I complained that his back paws were hurting me (at one point he did the head bump thing with Cornelius and it was so cute). But James had to go to work.
Maybe I’ll call my mother.
*Once, I called a non-emergency number, because I got cat medication in my eye back when I first got Marty McFly. But that was a non-emergency number and the answer was “does it hurt? No? Okay well flush your eyes out and call us back in a week to let us know how it goes.”