The laughter continued until he got to my side of the truck to help me into the building. This was not an E.R. When you’re injured on the job, unless you are in a life threatening situation, you go to an approved doctors office. I hopped my way  into the office and sat down. Paul went over to get the paperwork to fill out. My leg was still throbbing as I sat there and answered the stupid questions on the forms.
    With the paperwork finished, we commenced the waiting game. I was shocked that Paul stayed to wait with me. When one of our spray technicians thought his leg was broken, he was dropped off at the doctors and told to call when he was done.
    “Now might not be a good time to tell you but,” Paul started with a somber look on his face, “but if it costs more than a couple hundred dollars, we have to take you out back and shoot you.”
    I laughed hard enough to hurt my leg even more. “Shut up Paul. Bullets are expensive with the war going on, you wouldn’t waste the bullet.” People were looking at us like we were crazy. I quickly shut up. Even in pain, I don’t like people starting at me.
    After what seemed to be forever, the nurse came out and wanted to take me to a room. She had a dumbass wheelchair that had to be pushed. It had 4 small wheels, and I was sad because I was looking forward to doing wheelies. My stepfather spent a lot if time in one after breaking his hip, so I am pretty adept at wheelies in a wheelchair.
    Paul left as I was wheeled into a cold room and was told I had to wait for the xray tech. Finally alone for the first time, I moaned and fought back tears as I removed my sock. (How about that huh? I’m not a robot after all.) After being taken to get xrays, and having my leg manipulated to the point of dizziness, I was wheeled back to my cold little room.
    A lady came is as I was flipping through a magazine and wheeled me out to look at the xray with her.  The doctor was still nowhere to be found. I played along, because, lets face it… I wasn’t getting up to go anywhere. But at this point I wasn’t happy with the service.
    The first thing I noticed was that the xray was blurry. I commented on this and the lady replied with, “Yeah… We are using our trainee for xrays because the normal guy is off today. She overexposed the xray.” I’m not an expert, but how the hell do you overexpose an electronic xray?! There is nothing to develop. But even tho I was irritated, I wasn’t about to piss off the people that were going to help me with my leg.
    I could see the break in the Fibula, but the lady told me, “I don’t see a break. It’s a little blurry, but I don’t want to say there is none. We’re going to wait for our xray guy to come in on monday and have him look at it just to be sure.” She smiled at me.
    “Ma’am,” I started slowly. I could feel my blood boiling. This lady was dumb as dirt. “How long have you been reading xrays?” I got out of the chair and hopped over to the moniter. All traces of pain were gone as I felt rage taking over. I pointed at the break. “What is this crack then? I’m sure you are not trained to read these as well as the xray techs, or doctors… but please don’t tell me I can read them better than you!”
    She shrank back a bit and retorted with a stuttering, “I am trained to read them. But I understand your concerns. How about I get the doctor and have him look at it?” She gave me what I can only assume was her winning smile, but I was unaffected. There would be no disarming my anger.
    “Yeah, lets do that.” I got back to my chair and she pushed me back to my room. I had a feeling I was going to be there for awhile. That’s what happens when you piss off doctors or staff members. So I proceeded to read while I waited for Dr. Invisible to appear. She closed the door and I opened it again. I wanted to see them.
    The doctor came into the room smiling. I assume he’d been told I was angry, but I pushed it aside. He told me it was broken (told ya so) and they were going to put me in a splint. I would have to go see a specialist in 3 days and he would let me know if I needed surgery. “Surgery?!” I asked, a little frightened. I was told that I probably had ligament and tendon damage, but it’s best to have a specialist look at it. I agreed with him. I just wanted out of there.
    I arrived in the treating room and was told to lie on my stomach with my knee bent at a 90 degree angle. They were trying to be careful as they did their job, and the lady was cute, so I offered no trouble. I was now sitting in a chair while one person was getting me a pair of crutches and the cute lady was offering me Vicodan. I wanted it so bad, but I couldn’t have it. I stopped using narcotics in ’99 and never had a relapse. I wasn’t about to have one then… especially since I needed a clear head. She nodded understandingly and gave me a smile that made me wonder if she’d ever date a guy like me. But of course I didn’t ask. Lol
    My crutches came wrapped in plastic, and I was busy setting them up to the right height before Assistant Hottie knew what was going on. She was trying to explain to me how to use crutches as I kind of crutch ran around the area. I did some sideways movement as well and she realized I already knew how to use them. (Yes, I was showing off a bit) I was given the address and time of my appointment with the specialist and hobbled outside to call Paul.
    I got in the truck and gave Paul the details, and he grimaced. “No painkillers?! Why?! You’re just going to go home and rest. I’ll take you to the office, get your check, and take you home.”
    “Umm… That’s not gonna work for me Paul.” I laughed. “Have Gil meet us at the yard with my check. I have no food in the house, and I have to get my kids.”
    His eyes widened like a lemur’s. “There’s no way in hell you’re able to drive. You have a stick shift! If you drove an automatic I could see that happening, but you can’t drive.”
    “We’ll see about that.” I chuckled. Why do people always underestimate me? I wasn’t trying to look tough. I just wasn’t about to miss a weekend with my kids. We arrived at the yard and Gil was waiting with my check. He tried to talk me out of driving, but I wasn’t hearing it. I got to my car and got in.
    “Moment of truth.” I said as I turned the ignition on. The car shuddered as I put it into first gear, but I managed. My splint barely allowed my knee to bend, but I found my focus. A spot where the pain was dulled, but I wasn’t so far removed that I couldn’t focus on the road. I had to hold my entire leg up to work the gas pedal, and my hip started hurting.
    The trip passed uneventfully. I stopped at the bank and deposited my check, went to pick up my kids, stopped at the store, and went home.  The kids were super helpful, and pushed the cart for me. Then they made me an awesome microwaved dinner. As I tried to sleep that evening I found myself thinking, “Why didn’t I take the painkillers?” This was going to be a very painful three days.
    I went to the specialist and was told that I would need surgery. Besides breaking  my leg, I had torn all the tendons holding my lower leg together. So basically my leg was held together by some muscle and skin. I had to ask, and my dr. confirmed, a very strong jerk to the foot would be able to remove it from my leg. (I know it’s pretty twisted, but I thought that was cool.) We set up the date for surgery and I continued to go about my days with no painkillers until then.
  To be continued…