Saturday, March 19, 2016
After competing the Puerto Rico marathon (yes, it was hot and no, it wasn't flat, thank God for the rain
showers) there was no shuttle to take us back to our car. I was suffering, too. I'd done a fairly difficult 53k trail run the week prior, and then 12 or so miles of walking and hiking a few days later. So, after drinking some water and sitting a bit, Sweet Baboo and I walked up a small hill looking for a shuttle, but alas, if you're a slow runner, much of the time you can screw yourself, because the pizza, masseuse, and shuttle will be long gone. Baboo finally parked me in the shade and went to get the car, a couple miles away. I squatted down to stretch out my lower back and glutes a bit. "I'll wait here," I said. And then I stood up. All the way up.
Baboo described what happened next. "I was walking away and I heard a noise. You went down like a sack of wet rocks."
I refuse to believe that I did anything other than swoon gracefully but nevertheless, I was suddenly laying on the ground on my side in a pile of wet leaves and dirt, and my sunglasses were broken. My first thought: I must have laid down to take a nap. And Baboo's back already--that was fast! But why is he yelling? Eventually I made out that he was yelling for an ambulance, and he gave me a piece of dry clothing and told me to press against my face.
Just trust me, he said.
There was blood. A fair amount. At first we thought I had hit my head, hard enough to split the sin 1/2 away from eye, but eventually I reasoned that my glasses broke and cut me: there was no dirt in the cut and I never had a headache.
In the ambulance, I was finally able to start talking, and i babbled to prove I was oriented. I babbled my name, the date, the president, etc., to the attendants, who looked puzzled, "que?" And finally were able to get some information out of me that they needed.
At the hospital, the ambulance the driver indicated that they would like to be paid right now, please. Luckily, Baboo was able to get Tricare Military insurance on the line to tell people they were going to get paid, and after speaking to them they never approached us for money again. I am so incredibly thankful to have good insurance.
As a social worker, the experience of being in an emergency room where nobody spoke my language was pretty eye-opening. I asked several times for a blanket, as did Baboo, because I was still soaked and in addition, when I'm nervous and in pain, I shake like crazy. Plus, who knew what the hell was happening to my blood sugar. In any case, I got a CT scan, an EKG, and bloodwork, but I never got that damned blanket. I got sheets. Eventually I had five sheets, none of which coverd me fully and at least one of which was immediately soaked through, since I was comletely soaked from running 26 miles in the rain. All the lab work was negative.
The people around me, though, they got blankets. The lady across from me, the lady next me, they got blankets. Not me. Wtf?
Baboo left to go find the car, and eventually I was taken to 'trauma', to sit alone, shake, and anticipate what was going to happen next. I knew what happened next, but I'd never gotten stitches while awake before.
Fuck me, that shot hurt.
I got seven stitches, in the cut next to my right eye. By the time Baboo returned I was tearful and self-pitying and huddled under a pile of sheets. He brought me dry clothes and walked me out to the car, and later bought me the best pizza I ever had. Meanwhile, it turns out that that much crap happening that close to your eye results in an impressively black eye.
I didn't get to snorkle, obviously.
And that's the story of why I need to go back to Puerto Rico, (to snorkle) and why I'm creating a medical information card in Spanish, and why I have a black eye.