Knit a little, read a little, watch a little

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My Life as Catastrophe

Life at casa Habsgirl is best described as "in total disarray." Why, you may ask. Let me explain.

Last Wednesday, deconstruction began in our kitchen/downstairs bathroom renovation. Mom and I emptied the two rooms of everything, meaning it moved into the dining room/living room/computer room/my bedroom, making the house cramped and difficult to move about in. The kitchen is sealed off but it is accessible through a zippered plastic panel. This becomes important.

Last Thursday, I let my parents' cat out - he's allowed to go out, but he's very set in his ways, and going out the front door is NOT part of his routine. Less so? Coming in the front door. This leads to me making numerous trips outside to see if he is on the back porch or otherwise accessible. A little before 11 pm, I head down for yet another cat search. My mother is not on the couch. She is staggering through the pitch-black kitchen saying "I fell." Oooh, baby, did she ever. She decided to go out and get the cat. He was on the back porch, and she grabbed him. He panicked and took off, dragging her behind, off the porch and onto the concrete patio. Her glasses are toast, she's bleeding on the side of her head, her wrists hurt, her knees hurt. I get her onto the couch, call 911, get the ambulance on its way, go up and wake Dad, let the paramedics in, move furniture out of the way and wait. She gets to the hospital, Dad and I sit in the waiting room (I grabbed knitting on the way out the door, so progress on the Chinese Leftover socks was made) and wait. She broke both wrists, badly enough that she needs an orthopedic surgeon to set them, and they can't get a consult in the middle of the night. They dope her up on Demerol and we go home and attempt to sleep. (The cat eventually came in and has been living under my bed.)

Next day, Dad goes to the hospital, and I stay home to deal with construction/ordering new glasses/figuring out who we need to call (little brother is on vacation, complicating this). In a stroke of luck, the orthopedic surgeon is at our little hospital to do a bunch of knee 'scopes. He determines that she doesn't need pins or stuff, and the setting can be done here. Fine, dandy, she's now got a lovely set of plaster casts. Once the wrists are done, they start looking at the rest of her. They want a facial x-ray because she's got one hell of a shiner on the left eye. But they can't x-ray her here because of the casts - they can't position her so that she's comfortable and they can see what they need to see. So, they load her up into the ambulance and take her into the city for a CT scan, and Dad and I follow in the car (9 pm). We spend two hours in the waiting room waiting to be called to do paperwork. I finish the second Baudelaire and switch back to the Chinese Takeout sock, and nearly finish it - I was just about to start a sewn bindoff when they call us back into the observation area. (Her records were all complete - which makes sense since this is the same hospital where she gets mammograms - so our waiting to be called to do paperwork was for naught.) She's broken her orbital bone, and needs to see an ophthalmologist at 10 am Saturday at another hospital. She will stay in the ER overnight, rather than shipping her back out to our town and then taking her back in for the ophthalmologist appointment. We're told that we will be the ones driving her to her appointment. Which surprises me, because she doesn't look like moving is a great idea. But fine - if she can't travel by car in the morning, something will get figured out.

Bright and early Saturday morning, we reappear at the ER, bearing clothes. She's sitting up and looking more with it than she has been. So I get to dress her (a taste of days to come), we load her into the car and drive to the other hospital. Which has a lot of bumpy spots that don't seem well-designed for a hospital, but there you go. We go up to the eye clinic, get sent back downstairs to the registration area, back up to the eye clinic, she gets checked out and her eye appears to be fine. The only problem may be one that pre-dates the injury. The ophthmologist says she should see an opto-plastic surgeon (do not quote me on that spelling) for the broken orbital bone, and he'll make those arrangements. As Dad says, this is probably a good area to get such an injury, since they probably see a lot of these resulting from pucks to the face.

Then we head back to town and she checks into the hospital proper. I feed her lunch, and we leave her for a nap. Now, the routine consists of heading back to the hospital for meal times, so we can feed her and visit. She'll be fine - they're keeping her in the hospital so that the plastic surgeon consult can be scheduled and home care can be arranged. For the next 6-8 weeks, she won't be able to do anything for herself (and probably some time after that). I told her that there were less dramatic ways of making me get a driver's license, and she pointed out that I hadn't done it yet. So my knitting and blogging time is most likely going to be severely curtailed for a while, since I am no longer a lady of leisure. I've got to run the house, make sure Dad eats, and a whole bunch of stuff I kinda suck at. Fun, fun, fun.

The moral of the story - if the cat isn't ready to come in, don't make him! He'll become infamous in hospitals throughout the area. (And socialized medicine has its perks.)

And a meme, because I thought it was hilariously wrong based on my experiences:

habsgirl --


Sexually stunning

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at