So last Sunday I had a pretty awesome hike. Drove up to North Carolina with a couple of good people, and walked 9 miles through snow and cool weather. Had a great supper and headed home.
Everything changed on the ride home. My daughter, who is 13, texted me about getting a skateboard from Grandpa for her birthday. I sent the following text, which turned out to be a lot more prophetic than I thought it would be.
So just a few hours later I’m getting off the interstate on the way home and the wife calls all frantic and such. The kid broke her leg. And not just anywhere, she broke it above the knee, on the femur. By the time I got home, there was a fire truck, an ambulance, a sheriff’s deputy car, and several nosy neighbors standing around. They were working on her and trying to get her doped up and put on a stretcher.
They drove her to the hospital and we followed them, beginning a long and arduous night that wouldn’t end until about 3am. The doctors at my local hospital (most people in town have nicknamed it “The Pine Box” for a reason) decide they don’t have the facilities to treat her, and want to transfer her out to another place that can take care of her. So at around 1:30 in the morning we head to Columbia, SC. My wife rides in that ambulance, and I follow along the interstate.
This is after having 3 hours sleep the night before, and hiking all day. So by now I’m pretty tired and seeing things and I’m REALLY glad it’s 2 in the morning because if there was heavy traffic I’d be playing bumper cars.
I get to the good hospital, and have to go in through the emergency room entrance, which seems to be a homeless shelter of sorts. Security is finally convinced I belong there, and they lead me all the way across the complex to the children’s wing. The on-call guy comes in and tells us she’s getting a titanium rod in her leg, to help fix the bone in place and heal the leg up.
She decides at this point that her skateboarding career is over. A fitful three hours later they come drag her off to surgery. The doctors and nurses at Palmetto Health Richland were just great. They treated us like one expects to be treated at a hospital. The fluids never ran out (which often leads to an incessant beeping noise in the machine), she never wanted for anything, and when you called them, they were there in a minute or two.
We stayed until Thursday afternoon, and came home with a brand new walker (yay, it’s like hospital Christmas), a chair with a built in potty seat (not yay), and a rental wheelchair. However, the way insurance works, we have to return the wheelchair, but we own the leg attachments, the seat cushion, and the anti-tip bars on the back of the thing. Really strange.
Friday morning we get the bill from the Ambulance ride. Medical people are nothing if not efficient.