Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nurse Ratchet or It Was The Ladder's Fault

I feed the birds at least three times a week. I use a step ladder every time. It only has two steps, so it isn't dangerous. . . unless there is a two-inch gap between the porch and the ground.

Yes, such is the lesson I just learned. You see, when one's hands are full of birdfeeder, one is not always paying attention to what is happening around one's feet. I can see quite plainly now that as I climbed onto the first  step, I moved  my step-ladder forward just far enough to let one leg hang over the edge. When I put my second foot up, that shifted my weight, and the whole contraption went over while I discovered that gravity works. My fall was nicely broken by my left elbow as it and the porch became acquainted. Indeed, I also proved that physics is alive and well. The force of my fall and the quick stop allowed the bones of my forearm to continue in motion. In fact, they moved right out of joint and continued on their way two-inches to halt when they'd streched the skin as far as it would go. Fortunately, they did not go any further.

Angela was Johnny on the Spot, or rather it was me, Jonni, who was on the spot, er ground, and she rushed to my aid as she called the ambulance. When it arrived, they bundled me inside and promptly took me to the nearby bustling Trauma Center. A dislocated elbow was not high on the list when gun wounds and knife victims took priority. Four hours later, I made it to the photographic suite where several lovely exposures of my misplaced bones were taken. Two more hours passed before two doctors worked exactly ten minutes to set my elbow. I was then reminded what Real Pain was, and yes, I ground off about 1/4th inch of my tooth enamel. More X-rays followed and I arrived home ten hours after I was signed into the emergency room. Angela immediately took the step ladder to the garage so I couldn't berate it with, "It was all your fault."

My T then became Nurse Ratchet: If I lifted a toothpick, she told me, "Don't do that." You must realize that I was in a half-cast, so I couldn't even move my fingers more than a half inch, much less alter my wrist or arm position.

If I got a glass of water, I heard, "I can do that for you." If I sat up in bed, her strident voice asked, "Can I prop you up?" If I moved a plate it was, "You aren't allowed to lift anything that heavy."

"Yes, Mom," I said repeatedly.

You should have seen her when we crammed my arm, cast, and swelling hand into the shower-protector so I could finally clean myself. She was so solitious and careful not to cause me pain, that it took thirty-minutes to acconmplish the task.

The next day my knuckles started to turn blue, so she whisked me back to the emergency room where the cast's wrapping was removed, the felt cut through, and the whole thing redone with her hovering over the doctor's shoulders. I think Angela would have carried me to the car had not the hospital provided a wheelchair. Now, it was my elbow that was injured, not my feet or head, right? So, while I had a grimmace on my face, I was capable of walking on my own.

Once back home, Nurse Ratchet had enough pillows on the bed to prop up ten elbows, not to mention my single injured appendage. Then came the "Do you need any water?", "How's the pain?", "Can I get you anything?" AND, "Don't you get out of bed without me being beside you," "Make sure you don't trip over the dogs," and "Let me get that for you," no matter what "that" turned out to be.

It may have been the ladder's fault, but I think (?) I'm enjoying my T being my wonderful Nurse Ratchet. Mostly though, I'm happy to have her because she's The Best Thing About Being Married to a T.


Unknown said...

Way to Go! Gotta be yourself. Congrats on the great love story!

Joel, author

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