CHAPTER TWO: Care Begins
We arrived at the (busy) emergency room at 9:45 p.m. (I believe my accident happened somewhere around 1:00). Yes, busy! It does seem that accidents are likely during holidays, and this Memorial Day seemed proof of that.
Everyone at Providence was extremely helpful, caring, gentle, patient and compassionate. But the wait was somewhat long. I got into the “vitals” room rather quickly (this may have been time #1 that I told staff person of my updated med list of no atenolol and no ibuprofen); X-ray was taken at some point; got into exam room at about 1:00 a.m.; emergency room doctor came in at around 2:00 or so with the sad news. I had a mild fracture of my pubic bone. After listening to and answering my questions (how long til I can bike? And a few others) he contacted the “transport” team to take me up to room 1005.
By now Susan had gone home to get some well needed rest, and I got transferred to my bed in the room with a view! By 3:00 the nurses had taken over, introduced an IV for morphine injections (ahh, less pain), checked with me about my current meds. Time #2 I told them which meds should be taken off the list and they said ok. Finally I could get to sleep (3:30).
I will not go into detail about the number of times in each hour that someone came in to wake me for something — bp reading/pulse/heart rate — or to give me a med (happy pills I called them). I know this is what they must do, so this is not a complaint, just a point to illustrate what little rest I had for the entire day and night!
Susan came in later that morning and spent a whole ‘nother day with me. The Orthopedic doc made a visit to tell me more about the facts, and I am glad Susan was there as my scribe because I know, as hard as I was trying, I was not getting it all. Something about not much activity the first month, then being able to go to the gym for LIGHT (he emphasized) weights, and about 6-8 weeks before biking. I must let pain be my guide for what I could do. He too spent a lot of good, valuable time with me.
Next came Darlene for my PT session. She gave me several (in bed) exercises to do several times a day, then took me on my first Walker expedition.
They (PT, nurses, Susan) were all so impressed with my ability to use the walker to get around the room. I felt like I was barely moving. Darlene gave me a few tips about using it and stayed to chat a while with us (they all seem to like us). And they are all so impressed that this accident happened while bike riding! (I always hate to add, at my age!).
I had several more visits from other than Providence nurses (OT, 2nd PT, Kaiser nurse, Kaiser doctor) and so — felt rather special! The lead Providence nurse (Carla) especially spent extra time with us. Her brother had ridden with Tour d’France and was killed in a crash on one of the warm up rides. Each day after her nursey duties she would linger longer for conversation.
In the early evening I had my first visitors — The Smoldon Family. They each gave me a warm hug and Jaydon went to sit by his mom & dad while Lucy and Kaitlyn could not get enough information from and about me. They looked at everything, touched everything and used the walker a bit to scoot around the room. Kaitlyn wanted that needle (the IV) out of my arm. It was unpleasant for her to see it there pinching me and filled with some blood. But it did not scare her enough to want to leave my side. Both girls wanted the details about my accident. After listening wide eyed to my details, Lucy said THAT’S it! I am not biking again!!! I said oh no Lucy, I plan to bike and I want to bike with you. OK, she said — I AM NEVER biking by a green bin!! Jaydon was mostly interested in the food I got at the hospital. Just like a growing boy. ;’-)
I was cleared for discharge by PT, OT and Doctor and would go home the next day. Let me repeat how caring, gentle professional, patient, and compassionate each staff member was during my stay at Providence.
Things kind of go downhill from here.
END CHAPTER TWO