Last week or so

This last week or so I have been held up at home, unable to go many places due to the walking boot, broken foot and a lot of swelling.

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Bruising is least painful part

Not that it is a big deal, it looks like since its an on the job injury I might get paid for my downtime, although the Department of Defense doesn’t use the normal Washington State Labor and Industry Insurance, which means they use the US Department of Labor instead.

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This requires an MD to sign off on everything. The sad part about this, is this is not how medical services work. Nowadays most interactions are with Physician Assistants (PAs), Nurse Practitioner’s (NP, or ARNP in WA State) or straight up RN’s who do the hard work.

Their signatures (the non-MDs) are acceptable for anyone else evidently, except the Department of Labor. So I had to go back yesterday to the ER to have a doctor countersign the paperwork from the day of my break, and now that they countersigned I may need to go back and do more with the doctor, who never saw me or my case (and that is normal, they use the lower paid staff to do most of the work, unless its life threatening I am assuming).

In addition this week brought some highs and lows with the injury.

The high was once again seeing how lucky I am to be married to my husband. He wants to take care of me, and even when I annoy him because I am not the world’s best patient, he still shrugs it off, loves me and is willing to go out of his way. I am damn lucky to be with him and I love him more than anything.

He was willing to drive me anywhere, go anywhere for me, or just listen to me whinge about my foot. He is absolutely amazing.

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The low was realizing this was the first major injury or incident that I didn’t have my parents clucking over me and worried about me. It was a little depressing to not get the constant phone calls checking on me, worrying about me or reassuring me.

I realize I am a 46 year old man, but it was crushing to only get silence when I normally would get a hubbub of concern, and love. I realize the hubby gives more than enough, and this doesn’t take from that at all. I know part of it was my parents were fairly young (they would only be 68 and 67 this year) and it has only been a little over a year since they passed.

The hubby is my only close support network left, and honestly while I have a lot of friends to help (and who always are there if I ask), no one else is close enough at the moment that I can let in to fill that.

I anticipate there will still be scattered feelings like this that might lessen over time, but I know from talking to my parents in the last couple of years that even as they approached 70 they felt the same. No one told me this growing up, that there is no switch that clicks and makes you different. You are still that 17 year old that wants your parents affection, doesn’t want to deal with people’s bullshit and who hates being stuck in situations that you don’t like.

That has been my week (other than playing Max Payne 3).

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Not A Lucky Day Today

Today was a bit rough. I got to work, getting ready to work through a sample plan for an audit I was on. I walked over to my cubicle, turned and pivoted on my left ankle, and the next thing I knew I was smashing off my desk as I fell, barely stopping my head being smacked by holding out my left hand.

Me in the cubicle of shame. Not this day though.

I laid there for a few moments, stunned, picked myself up and planted myself in my chair. I sat there for a few moments with a burning foot. One of my coworkers named Bill came over to check on me. He joked around, ribbing me for the fall. I pulled my shoe and sock off and noticed a huge lump on my foot.

Within 15 minutes I was surrounded by two supervisors, our Resident Auditor (think a full manager of the office) and four or five auditors (a revolving mix) all checking on me. During this time it got even more swollen. Eventually it was decided one of my supervisors would drive me to the ER. The problem is, the defense contractor we work at is a huge city size campus. The building we are in is larger than a football field and there was no way I could walk anywhere.

One of the supervisors called the paramedics (the contractor has their own in house fire department and paramedics) and the paramedics were there within a few minutes. They were nice guys, supplied with top of the line equipment and began the process of taking my vitals. They were prepping me to put my ankle in a fancy new air splint design I hadn’t seen before.

As they were taking my numbers, they asked which hospital I wanted to go to. Evidently the Contractor provides free transport to medical facilities for their employees. This is when we point out that I am not a defense contractor employee, rather I am a federal employee who audits them. They immediately put away the splint and wrapped my foot in a older pillow with some ice… I am not joking when I said that, the hubby got to see the pillow when I was at the ER.

First ambulance, with a pillow wrapped around my foot.

In addition they couldn’t take me to the hospital, but they didn’t want to release me to my supervisor so she could take me. Because we weren’t “employees” they couldn’t drive, but they had some BS excuse that they couldn’t release me to someone with less medical experience. This means they called a second ambulance company (a third party) to come get me and take me to the ER.

Second non-contractor ambulance, actually going to hospital.

Fast forward an hour, I had been transferred between two ambulances and arrived at a local hospital. There they x-rayed my ankle and foot and it came back with a break. They are a little worried about the placement of the break (a Jones Break I believe) so had me set up an appointment with an orthopedic specialist on Friday. Meanwhile I am not allowed to do any weight bearing at all on my foot as they put in a temporary fiberglass cast.

Xray Time
Emergency Room Waiting
FInal situation “temporary cast”

So here I am back home, a little drugged up, with an ankle sprained and swollen and a broken foot, out of work at least for the rest of the week, blowing my saved up leave. Hopefully I won’t need surgery, I need this healed before the hubby’s surgery in November. Oh, and please excuse any meanderings on this post, I am under those pesky pain meds… because this does hurt a lot.

Ghost does not approve! Not of my injury at all!