Last Thursday afternoon, I took off work early to meet my brother Mason, who flew in from Austin to wrap up Dad related stuff. And it turned out to be an unexpectedly eventful weekend. My first broken bone!
We chatted for a while on the porch, catching up, then went to rent a storage unit here in town to move Dad’s stuff from his storage unit way out in BFE. Did you know there are storage units above The Fish Market restaurant? The Storage Depot is about the same price as something dumpy off Green Springs, too.
We got a 10×12 unit. Mason had previously bought a really nice replacement lock for Dad’s storage unit, but it didn’t fit. It was still in the glove box of the Pathfinder. And it fit just fine on this unit.
Went back home and Mason helped me move the futon out of the front room and then moved the full size bed in. That bed had been leaned up against the wall for months since Tyler and I brought it over from Dad’s river house. I was planning on using that as a recovery space after my scheduled surgery coming up soon.
Mason and I got the bed set up and then some of the bed frame. It’s a free standing frame which Dad and I made out of copper pipe a very long time ago. Mason wanted to go ahead and move the wooden coffee table back in, so that was kind of askew in the middle of the room.
After helping me with all that, my brother went down to the river house since I said I could finish up. And Tyler was out of town on a work trip, so I was by myself.
I had ordered some blackout curtains for the bed frame, climbed up on the bed to put them on the pipe. Then proceeded to tumble off the bed and my left side landed very hard on the coffee table. Since I was standing up on the mattress, that was a quite few feet. The pain was unbelievable. And remember, I was by myself.
Somehow I managed to grab the house phone, limped to the bedroom and collapsed in agony, flirting with the idea of calling 911. But no, I thought I’m probably not going to die. I eventually went to sleep or passed out from the pain. Not sure which.
Sleep was fitful and woke up around 7. It was excruciating to get up out of bed, so I collapsed back in. Around 10 am, Mason called and I told him to stop by CVS and get me some Aleve. Also, he’d have to break into the house because I can’t move.
Mason thought it quite amusing and rather ironic that I injured myself while fixing up my recovery area.
He brought me a delicious pizza from Slice on Saturday, the “Basic Pesto.” Much appreciated, as that was all I could manage to fix myself to eat for a couple of days.
Unfortunately, I was not able to help with moving anything that weekend. I feel really bad about that, having let Mason down. But there was no way I could physically do anything. I spent all Friday in bed and then Tyler got home and found out what happened. I managed to get out of bed for a while on Saturday, but not long. Felt a bit better on Sunday, but realized that I was in no shape to go to work on Monday, so went ahead and called out.
Nasty bruise on my left side, Tyler took a picture of it so I could see it (no, I’m not posting that). It looks like a thug whacked me in the side with a tire iron.
Saturday, I messaged my primary doc at UAB about the fall and to inquire what she recommended. A nurse called me Monday morning and initially suggested I go to the UAB Urgent Care clinic. But then she called back a few minutes later and told me to go to the ER. As everyone knows, that’s a completely different copay and then a potentially much longer wait. I told her that if I needed admission after the urgent care visit, I’d figure it out from there. I was mostly ambulatory at that point, anyway.
Later Monday morning around 11, I took an Uber to the UAB Urgent Care Clinic. It’s just down 20th St at 2nd Ave S. In fact, it’s a block over from where the old KnownHost office was, next door to Mama Goldbergs. Some guys at work love those sandwiches, I think they’re kinda gross. Steamed sandwiches? Ick, soggy.
Since it’s UAB, all I had to do was give my name and birthdate, no forms or insurance hassle. Didn’t have to wait too long to be seen either, as no one else seemed to be there. They did a chest X-Ray and my 9th rib was fractured. Got a script for something stronger than Aleve. They X-Rayed my left foot, too, since it was black and blue. But luckily no fractures.
The PA (physician’s assistant) who saw me said, “You’re my age! We’re young, we bounce back from things like this, no biggie.” She was a very large woman, over 6 ft tall. When she examined my little black and blue left foot, I noticed her hands were bigger than my foot. I had *just* showered and put on clean socks and clothes. Touching feet must be gross, even if you’re a medical professional, so I’m glad I didn’t try to walk up there. I don’t think I physically could, anyway.
The copay was only $15 and I was there for about an hour and a half total. Most of the waiting time was for the X-Rays to be read. UAB facilities all have the same SSID for the public wifi, so my telephone automatically connected, got on my VPN (just in case!), and piddled around reading news on my TinyTinyRSS instance during the wait.
I was feeling OK enough after the clinic visit to walk a few blocks to Tyler’s office at UAB. We visted a few mins, then he walked me down to the shuttle bus that goes to UAB Highlands. From there, it’s just a couple blocks to CVS. Picked up my scripts, then walked another few blocks to the bodega for a delicious Indian hot pocket-like treat. I wasn’t in the mood to cook anything, but wanted something to eat before taking meds.
Whenever I’m not sure about these things, I look at the ingredient list.
Very yummy, baked in the toaster oven with a bit of butter.
From the bodega, it’s just another block home.
What shouldn’t be incredible about the UAB Health System (because it should just be a given!) is how everything is integrated. But I know at other places, care is often fragmented, different providers don’t know what’s going on, let alone history, even within the same facility. Fill out form after form with the same information…
But not at UAB. The UAB Urgent Care Clinic automatically knew which pharmacy I use, so they called scripts in to the CVS a few blocks away from my house. The PA told me to follow up with my usual Primary Care Physician, she’ll be able to see the X-Rays and the report of the visit. I had surgery scheduled for the next Monday to remove a “complex ovarian cyst” (which involves removing the entire left ovary, btw), so I simply messaged the Gynecology Oncologist about the fractured rib to see if they wanted to proceed as scheduled or push it back. No effort on my part to transfer medical records, all my providers can see everything.
I heard back from the surgeon and he wanted to push everything back a couple of weeks due to the rib fracture. So now I’ve got another two weeks to dread/get ready for that.