6.5.2003 Elizabeth Calling II
By the time I got home, I was layered in a film of sweat underneath my business casual clothes – probably not feeling the most comfortable, but once again, this was overshadowed by my overbearing thoughts. I unlocked and opened the front door and tried to hold back my worse fears in what I may see when I entered.
Running up the stairs, I called out for Elizabeth. No response. I didn’t notice anything in disarray with the shoes at top of the steps; possibly a good sign. I heard her rustling about from the bedroom. I called out for her again. She called back for me.
She was lying in bed, on her side, with her right leg elevated atop a stack of pillows. She still appeared to be in quite a lot of pain. I noticed right away that the ankle was a bit swollen. I asked her how she was feeling. She answered stating how much pain she was still in. I asked her if the pain has increased since the fall. She stated that it’s been constant. I tried resist asking, but I finally did – I asked if she felt that if the baby may have been injured. She answered that she was too afraid to think about it.
I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital. She stated that she didn’t think it was necessary. And if we went, she didn’t think that they could diagnose anything without taking an x-ray. And being pregnant, she didn’t want to be exposed to any radiation. Her self-diagnosis was that it was either a sprain or a slight fracture. She reassured me that she felt she just needed a little rest and me being here really made all the difference.
I asked her how it happened. Apparently, she fell from one of the smaller staircases between the living room and bedroom. She was running back to the bedroom and after climbing about two steps, she realized that she had forgotten something and quickly turned around. Her foot slipped and she tumbled down to the floor.
A few hours had passed. Again, I asked her the same questions about how she was feeling. She said she thought she was feeling a little better. I glanced over to the ankle and it still appeared to be still just as swollen. I also noticed that she didn’t have any pain anywhere around the abdominal region. I stated that I thought the baby was fine. She seemed to be more confident hearing this from me and hugged her arms around her tummy. I asked her if she wanted to listen to the baby. We had rented out this home-version of a Doppler – a device that enables us to hear the baby’s heartbeat. She hesitated. I reassured her that I thought things were alright. She agreed.
Minutes later, the room was filled with the echoes of the baby’s heartbeat. Weird how it’s so rapid, but it was a beautiful sound. Elizabeth smiled again, hugged and caressed her tummy and gave me a kiss.
A few more hours had passed and it was now 10 o’clock at night. The mood had certainly lightened since monitoring the baby. I did notice however that Elizabeth was still in a lot of pain. I finally persuaded her to make a hospital visit. We were supposed to be traveling to Boston in a few days and then we were going to host her Aunt’s family visit after that. I stated that we were probably going to have a better time if she healed quickly and a hospital visit could only help at this point, even if all they do was to put a splint around the ankle. The irony here is that Elizabeth works as a nurse at this nearby hospital and treats patients daily herself, but in some weird empathetic way, I can understand how she feels.
She then did something that I did not expect – she called the hospital and talked to the ER nurses. She appeared to be on a first name basis with them. They also chatted about what was going on in their daily lives. Finally, they ended the conversation with what appears to be call-ahead-seating – something that I thought was only available at the infamous and oh so delicious Red Lobster restaurants.
The rest of the night was filled with me witnessing the gruesome underground world of hospital politics. We were met out front of the ER by an awaiting security guard with an awaiting wheelchair. Elizabeth was quickly escorted inside whereas I went to park the car. After running back to the ER, I entered into a jam-packed waiting room filled from wall to wall of ailing people. None of which injuries seemed overly serious. There were no trauma patients, but there was this one guy who appeared to be beaten up pretty badly, with bloodstains all over his shirt, but still smiling nonetheless. I looked around more and noticed that Elizabeth was sitting in a wheelchair already awaiting entrance into the treatment area. Quickly, they shuttled her in. For the remainder of the night, the word “Elizabeth” became gold for she automatically became the next person in line in every department we visited (I think I noticed one of the patients chanting her name after a while – sarcasm). Our brief stay also included a requested visit to L&D, which I deduced to mean Labor and Delivery, where she received a positive reading on the baby.
The final diagnosis for the evening was that it was either a sprain or a hairline fracture to the right ankle – it was tough to tell without an x-ray, which Elizabeth asked not to have done, but it was noted by the doctor that both a sprain or a hairline fracture to the ankle would be treated with a splint at this point anyhow.
Well, thanks for letting me share this. One day, maybe Elizabeth or I, or possibly even Baby Knight, will revisit this entry and just reminisce… ahhh… or not. :)