Monday, June 15, 2009

It Only Happens to Me - Story #1 - Always Carry A Great Purse

Since I really don't have anything interesting going on today, I'll share something that happened to me just a few short years ago... maybe 4-5 years, can't remember for sure.

I was in New York City for a conference. I noticed an uncomfortable pain in my hip as I was walking but didn't pay much attention to it until it got to the point of almost making me cry to take a step. So I started loading up on the Tylenol, Advil... whatever pain reliever I could get my hands on (legally of course). Nothing worked, and the pain got so bad I literally couldn't walk. The decision was made that I should go to the E.R. So the hotel loaned me a wheelchair, but of course wouldn't push me to the door (apparently there were some 'liability' issues), so one of my friends pushed me to the door and helped me get into a waiting cab.

The cab took me to NYU Medical Center ER, but of course dropped me off at the wrong door. I shuffled myself inside to be told that I was in the wrong place; I was at NYU Medical Center, but not the ER. The ER was down the block further. And naturally they couldn't help me get there (liability issues again apparently). So obviously in a considerable amount of pain, I shuffled myself back outside and headed to the ER. As I made my way along, a young lady came over to me and smiled; I thought "gee there are nice people in NYC, she's going to offer to help me". But she said "that's a great purse, where'd you get it?"

Well I do like a great purse, so I paused in my shuffle and told her that I thought I got it in Chicago but couldn't really remember because I was in so much pain because of my back, and that I was trying to get to the ER. So she said "ok" and walked away.

I finally got to the ER and after the appropriately lengthy wait to see a doctor, he finally appeared to examine me. He asked me some questions, poked around a little, and told me that I'd need an MRI. But since I'd be going home in a day or so, to just wait until I got home and have my regular doctor do it. I guess I was ok with that. But told him I wasn't sure how I'd get home, not being able to walk and all. He generously gave me 2 pain pills to get me home. And a prescription to get filled if I wanted more.

Now mind you, I was a visitor in a very large city, and virtually couldn't walk. I understand (now) that he didn't know me, and could have thought I was a druggie just looking to score some pain meds. And I understand (now) that there are hospital policies and all. But all I could understand at that time was a body full of excrutiating pain, having expanded from my hip down my legs and was out of control. I had no clue where I could get the prescription filled, and had no desire to shuffle my way from the hotel to a pharmacy (no matter how close it may have been to the hotel). So anyway they packed me back into a cab, and sent me back to the hotel.

I shuffled back to my room, and took one of the golden pain pills immediately, saving the 2nd precious pill to hopefully get me through the airports the next day.

A very kind-hearted friend wheeled me through the airports, and another friend met me at the airport to drive me home. Getting home never felt so good!

My doctor and physical therapist took great care of me and got me back on my feet (upright, no shuffling). Diagnosis: cracked vertebrae and exposed nerve, but no surgery (thank goodness).

I know this probably sounds crude, but now I understand why God created drugs! And why they can sometimes be our friends. And of course the importance of always carrying a great purse!!!


  1. Yes you do have some great, no,,, better than great purses. Surprise you even got a smile outta strangers. Now if that happened in Illinois, our neck of the woods, a complete stranger would have pushed you in your borrowed wheelchair to your destination and then asked you if they could come back and give you a ride to your room!

  2. Just got home from the camping trip weekend. I found your fun comment over on my blog and gave you a response right there under it.

  3. I'm gonna follow you so I can catch more good stories!

    The Texas Woman