Getting To The Hospital
The urgent care center that handles the Workers Compensation claims is not equipped for head injuries and must send me to the emergency room.
Surely I am not the first head injury. Why was I sent here?
The nurse case manager is contacted again and approves the decision to send me to the emergency room.
Evidently today NO ONE IS USING THEIR HEAD.
I am free to drive myself to the hospital.
Here’s a tip to the general public:
If your employee, loved one, or ANYONE says the any of the following after even a simple bump on the head DON’T LET THEM DRIVE!
“I’m having trouble finding my words,”
“I feel off,”
“My head hurts,”
“I feel like I’m in a fishbowl,”
“I’m Okay,” or
“I’m not Okay.”
Wait at least 48 hours before you let that person drive because symptoms can get worse, then improve, then get worse again. It’s important to use your head when they can’t.
You can’t see a brain injury.
As I walk to my car in the parking lot at the urgent care facility I hear someone laying on their horn. The sound is excruciating. I turn to see who the jerk is laying on his horn as I open my car door. Whoops! It’s my husband trying to get my attention.
I told him before I left the facility about getting hit in the head at the beginning of my shift.
I walk to his truck and stand at the driver’s door window. The window is down and I hear his side of his phone conversation with the person he’s supposed to be picking up. He has to tell this person to find another ride to Columbia where they were supposed to be carpooling to training for the week.
I know he feels like he’s let them down, and I feel guilty because it’s my fault his plans are changing.
Maybe that is why I didn’t leave my vehicle at urgent care. I thought I was okay to drive… I had made it to urgent care by myself.
We drive separately toward the hospital, except I don’t remember how to get to the hospital.
I have lived in Summerville for almost three decades and I have absolutely no idea how to get to the hospital.
I see the hospital in my mind, but nothing is coming up when I scan my brain for the answer of which way to turn.
I find myself sitting at a traffic light. I feel like I should turn right. Not sure.
Then a horrific noise.
It’s inside my head again.
No, it’s inside the car! I almost open the door of the car to escape the noise. It stops.
Then it starts again.
I see my husband’s name on the dashboard. I am so damn confused.
I look down at the thing on my passenger seat. The words ‘slide to answer’ appears on this apparatus. I slide the bar at the bottom to see what would happen.
I hear my husband’s voice.
Back To The Future
Evidently, I was thumped back to 1980 because I had no idea what my phone was.
I did not know that I could push the button on my steering wheel to answer the incoming call.
The horrific noise was entering my damaged head through my car speakers. I hear my husband’s very calm and patient voice and I am relieved.
I realize I am in trouble.
I am almost in tears when I tell him I need help to get to the hospital.
He is in his vehicle, which is literally right behind mine at the light, but I could not see him.
I hear his voice tell me that I have to turn right.
So I do.
He gets in front of me once we are on the road.
I follow his bumper to the hospital with him on the phone in my car.
I remember his bumper, and that is all I remember about that trip.
I hear him tell me to park next to the green truck.
I’m at the hospital.
The Emergency Room
I still feel panicky. It is flu season and there are some really sick people here. I don’t need to be here.
My daughter shows up, and my husband leaves for the week of training, a work trip.
I’m given a CAT scan and receive two shots to help relieve inflammation I am told.
The nurse touches my forehead with her fingertips. One side feels like the gloved hand. The other side feels like she is wearing a mitten even though she has the same gloves on each hand. Diagnosis: Concussion.
Home At Last
My daughter drives me home, and fills my prescription.
It’s been a long day straight out of the Twilight Zone.
It’s late, but I call the institution to tell the lieutenant I won’t be at work in the morning because of a concussion.
I fall asleep alone in my bed and medicated.
Continue reading the next installment of the Thumped series by Kathy Trill:
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