09 November 2010

Urgent Care

My first question was, "Have you called the police?"

I'd received a call from my husband - my daughter had been involved in an accident coming home from work. Definitive piece of information: I had the car. She was on the bike.

He didn't realize that until I answered his question, "Where are you?"

As it turned out, no one hit her. Thank G-d. She'd braked too hard in the process of missing a pedestrian on the shoulder (she was making a right turn) and gone "AOTK" - family shorthand for "ass over tea kettle."

So, all things considered, it could have been worse. No head trauma, no internal injuries, no hit and run reports. Just a trip to the urgent care clinic and a few pain pills and days off work.

And BTW, she did dent her helmet when she did that tuck-and-roll. We're retiring it. In fact, I think I may have it bronzed. It most likely saved my daughter's incredible brain.

She thought she'd dislocated her left shoulder. Turns out it's a 3rd-degree AC sprain. {Put another way: It could have been better. A broken collarbone is apparently preferable.) But she didn't break her neck, she didn't put her eye out, and she didn't hit the pedestrian -- what more could a mother ask?!

And here, for your edification, are the not-so-gory details of Urgent Care:

(1) I redirected the Parental Taxi from the ER when I learned the worst of it was a shoulder injury. Past experience tells me self-referrals to the ER earn bottom priority on the triage list. I was right. We were home in under an hour and a half -- had we gone to the ER, we'd have still been waiting to be called for paperwork.

(2) One more time (in case I haven't mentioned it lately) -- Dr. Bird at the Baptist East Urgent Care on Shelbyville Road is THE COOLEST. He doesn't get excited, and he doesn't get panicky. He applies exactly the right amount of concern to whatever the situation is, and there you go. And he talks to patients - even purple-haired punk-intellectual types and their marginally old-hippie moms - as though he assumes they know what he's saying. And when we ask him to explain, he doesn't bat an eye. He just does it. No condescension. Just the facts, ma'am. With a little bit o' humor thrown in.

(3) Fee-for-service is totally WRONG. Okay, cost of visit, not too bad. Cost of X-rays, less than I expected. Cost of sling for arm, $29. Cost for nurse to put sling on patient's arm -- are you ready for this? -- $122. That's one hundred twenty-two dollars for about 15 seconds of work. Okay, maybe thirty. Good thing I beat her to it... Jesus H. Roosevelt...

Ms. Tough-as-Nails has quite sensibly called in Wounded for tomorrow's work day. The bakery can probably do without her for a day or two, considering her mobility is down by about 80%. She's taken half a pain pill, and she's trying to sleep. (The Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie prescription probably helped as much as the pill, all things considered. We believe in the healing powers of chocolate.)

Betty the Bike is off to the shop tomorrow to confirm that there's no harm done to her considerably solid frame -- and that she didn't do anything bad to cause this.

Cycle Girl will be doing a few circles around the cul de sac on Trigger, the Palomino cruiser, as soon as she's able. Past experience tells me any kind of nasty spill requires getting back on the pony as quickly as possible. Even if it means riding one-handed. And Trigger is the perfect choice in this case, since he has old-school, back-pedal brakes.

I'm thinking I may institute a Purple Pedal Medal for those injured in the service of saving the atmosphere and keeping their butts skinny in the process. Design ideas welcomed!

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