I passed a number of patients on gurneys as I walked just to the left and behind the hospital employee. She led me to an open area which had space for about six patients. She pointed me to a spot and opened the curtain a bit where I saw the lady who I first met 14 years ago this summer.
She was conscious, but had a neck brace on. I don't know about you, but it's not a pretty sight to see a loved one in such a contraption. A couple nurses were asking her about the level of pain she was experiencing. She was throwing out numbers like 7 and 8. I noticed some bruises, or burns perhaps, on each of her hands. It was then that she was able to tell me a bit about what had happened.
She had just purchased a combo meal from Mickey D's (with a chocolate shake, no less) and was on her way home. She was stopped at an intersection. When the light turned green, she accelerated and was immediately sideswiped by an SUV (my wife was in a sedan). The airbag immediately deployed, but she was able to get over to the side of the road so that no one else could hit her. She gave a brief report to police before being sent to the hospital.
When the nurses completed their assessment, my girl was shipped off to Radiology where she was to get X-ray'd from head to toe. I spent the time reading a book called "Leaving the Saints". It's about a woman who quit being a Mormon when her definition of God exceeded that of the church, not to mention because she'd been abused as a child by her father, a prominent Latter-Day Saint.
She returned about 30 minutes later and we waited for the results of the scan. The nurse said she had something for the pain my wife was experiencing; it was something called Tordol. The RN said the potion would work faster if the needle was put into her upper thigh. She said it was gonna hurt as she stuck it in. As my girl grimaced, I said, "It'll be worth it".
A short time later, I headed for the bathroom and noticed an Asian lady spraying some aerosol into a restroom. I commented, "That's your favorite part of the job, isn't it?" She smiled. I also stopped by the gift shop for a few minutes where I got a blast from the past. They had a number of Invisible Ink books called Yes and Know.
I remember my mom buying them for me as a kid to give me something to do on road trips. I was tempted to buy one, but felt it could wait, happy enough at the memories that it brought back.
As I returned to the room where my love had been placed, I noticed that she was stationed in Acute Care as opposed to Critical Care. No wonder I hadn't heard anyone screaming; I was in the boring section. "Grey's Anatomy" wouldn't have lasted six eps if they'd focused on those in this area.
My wife's tests came back and she had no breaks. The worse injury she sustained (other than having to see my ass for at least a few years more) was a strained ligament in her right thumb. This and the burns she sustained were actually from the airbag deployment. She was fitted with some new-fangled device called an airbrace. Damn, her injuries came about from the airbag and now she was supposed to be healed by an airbrace. Well, I guess if air caused the injuries, it would only be appropriate that it be used to heal them. She was discharged about an hour later and all was well.
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the shop where her car is at to pick up some items that she might need (sunglasses, garage door opener, Backstreet Boys CD) as it's ascertained whether the car is totaled or not; most likely, it is. I had to chuckle when I saw her McDonalds's combo still sitting on the passenger seat, uneaten. I couldn't resist bringing it home and setting it on the kitchen counter. My wife asked why I did this. All I could do was smile.