2pm – Realize I’m still wearing the same clothing I wore to bed last night so I hurriedly changed shirts and put on the nearest pair of shorts I could find before going down to check the mail. There is a medium-sized package from my mom and a dividend check that she forwarded to me.
2:45pm – I take the package up to my room, grab some change off the counter and go downstairs to wait for the trolley. I was hungry too. Maybe, I’d get something to eat on the way back…
3:15pm – Wait for trolley to leave, check that were no cars coming and got two feet away from the median when suddenly a navy-blue car came out of nowhere and struck an old, fat guy dressed identically to me. A few seconds I reach for my glasses under the aforementioned car, more worried about the checks not getting lost or damaged than the throbbing pain in my left shoulder or the bleeding from my left ankle.
3:35pm – Firefighters show up (they had a station literally 3 blocks away so, of course, they arrive first), and stand around while one guy takes my shirt off (that’s right, I’m surrounded by a dozen hunky firefighters and I’M the one taking my shirt off) and another probably older one barks: “this don’t look like no ‘crosswalk,’ so I reckon you deserved this” (no, really).
3:45pm – Paramedic van arrives, and I’m lifted onto the gurney and into the vehicle. As they are about to shut the door, the older firefighter sneers and says:
“Don’t worry, buddy, the cops will meet ya there, hahaha.”
Not only were both of the EMTs are younger than I am, but one casually mentioned that he’d only been on the job a few weeks and had to ask where everything was as we careened down the highway, every bump, stop and acceleration felt like bloody murder on my already hurting shoulder and it didn’t help the soreness from where the rookie hooked the IV into my right arm.
This wouldn’t have an issue if they had taken me to Dr. Phillips Medical center (which the rookie correctly stated was “less than 15 minutes out”) …but instead they drove me to Osceola Regional Medical Center (a roughly 30-minute drive in late-afternoon traffic) because as the older guy said:
“It looks like he’s some trauma or something from the collision. We should take him to Ozzy, they have a Shock-Trauma center there. It’s better to cover our asses NOW than get in trouble later if he needs a transfer.”
4:15pm – Arrive at ORMC and dropped off unceremoniously in a hallway in the back of the E.R where doctors and nurses rarely tread. It is also one of the last confirmed time stamps I had on my visit.
An hour or so passes and a woman with a clipboard, a name badge and a rambling cart with a laptop computer stopped next to my bed. I initially thought she was a nurse coming by to take my medical history. Nope, just my insurance information (I should have known better, actually).
However, a few minutes after she leaves, I’m met by another person with a badge, but, unlike my threatened encounter from earlier, the officer was generally calm and professional which was a huge help considering the level of pain I was in (remember, no doctor or nurse has come by to see me yet).
Roughly two hours later, a doctor finally found my bed. He asked me about the accident than pushes and pulls my shoulder. I ask him to see if my ankle had stopped bleeding, so he reluctantly lifted my leg for two seconds, put it down. He turned to me, said “no,” and disappeared into the ether, never to be seen again…
Another hour passes and a cute girl in red scrubs with a faded “Rad-olo-y” badge comes by and wheels me 500 feet through the double doors and into the ancient, positively cavernous room with a monstrous X-ray machine that looked like an early boss battle from a video game. It was slow, loud and not particularly agile… kind of like me, and if I thought that realization hurt, they had to reposition my shoulder five or six times to get “good” shots.
So, after 40 loud, painful minutes, I’m rolled back into the ER and dropped back in the hallway where I eventually retrieved for a CT scan from a surprisingly modern, almost normal looking machine. The only real problem I had was that the guy working it pulled me off the bed with my LEFT hand. Thankfully, when he pulled me off six minutes later, it with my right and that was nowhere near as painful… as being wheeled out into the same lonely, depressing hallway.
8:45pm – A nurse comes by and offers to get me pain pills (finally). She returns 15 minutes later with a shot of Morphine (administered through my IV) and a single Motrin tablet. It wasn’t much, but it was a welcome start. Now, all I needed was some food, as the nurse disappeared into the ether…