By Meadow Murphy
Adam puts his four way flashers on and pulls into the Emergency entrance next to the ambulance bay. A very hot looking volunteer our age or slightly older meets us there and helps me get into the wheelchair he’s pushing.
Once I settle in and perch my purse on my lap, Adam reaches for the wheelchair handles to push me into the hospital. The volunteer stops him telling him to park his car, or they will ticket him for leaving it there. Adam relinquishes the handles of the wheelchair and heads back to his car. The volunteer navigates me to the triage desk.
Adam returns to the Emergency department after parking his car. There’s only one other person in line waiting to speak to the triage nurse, but the waiting room is full. We are definitely going to be here a long time.
A potbellied nurse with curly blond hair and pudgy red lips says, “Name and health card please.”
“Dalia Middleton.” I grab the health card from my wallet and hand it to her.
“The reason for your visit today?”
“I hurt my leg while I was skating this morning.”
“Right or left?”
“On a scale of 1-10, what would you rate the pain? Ten being the most painful thing you’ve ever felt.”
“Nine,” I admit.
She looks unimpressed as she wraps a cuff around my arm and places an oximeter onto my finger. She takes a temperature reading as well,
“Your heart rate is up, do you feel pain right now?”
Yes, I do.”
“They will give you something for that once the doctor sees you. Do you have any allergies?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“Have you travelled outside of Canada in the last six months?”
“Okay, you can go have a seat, we’ll call you when it’s your turn,” she says.
Adam takes the handles of my wheelchair and moves us out of the way. He finds a vacant area for us to sit closely together, his bolted down seat next to my wheelchair. Everyone who isn’t looking at a phone is staring at us for a lack of anything better to do.
I pull my phone out of my purse and find several messages from Tara.
Tara: Where R U?
Tara: U have 2 B @ school I C U’r car here. Looked 4 U.
Tara: Call me!
Dalia: Hi Tara, I’m not @ school.
Tara: 1 min
I glance over at Adam, he’s texting too. He glances back at me, “Are we allowed to use our phones here?”
“I think so, I guess we can unless someone tells us otherwise.” I look back at my screen again.
Tara: Had 2 leave classroom so I wouldn’t get caught texting.
Dalia: I’m @ hospital. Hurt my leg on triple axel this morning.
Tara: How come U’r car is here?
Dalia: Adam took me after homeroom.
Tara: Basketball Adam?
Tara: Yummy! How did U swing that?
Dalia: My leg almost gave out on me in homeroom. He carried me 2 his car, insisted on driving me!
Tara: How chivalrous!
Dalia: U think?
Tara: I know!
Tara: Do U want me 2 come 2 the hospital?
Dalia: It’s ok, I’m in good hands.
Tara: Jealous! Do U’r parents know?
Dalia: Texted mom.
Tara: Ok, I’ll C U after school. Just 1 > thing.
Tara: If U hook up with Adam, I want U 2 set me up with Carter.
Dalia: Adam’s not in2 me! He’s just happy not 2 B @ school!
Tara: He brought U 2 the H.
Dalia: It got him out of class! Text me later.
The vertically and horizontally challenged plump nurse calls my name out surprisingly soon. I must have been right up there on her triage list. Adam slips his phone into his front pocket and grabs the chair following the nurse into our assigned curtained cubicle, “A nurse practitioner will be in here to see you shortly.” The nurse goes back to her post leaving me alone with Adam who assists me to get from the wheelchair to the stretcher.
I play level 167 of Candy Crush while Adam continues texting. It’s my only addiction, sometimes I advance the time on my phone just to play extra rounds. On my fourth attempt at round 167, I’m getting antsy and no further ahead so I turn it off. I study Adam instead, he continues to text.
Soon after, the curtain moves and a lady wearing a tight white lab coat and knee high boots with a stethoscope hanging around her neck comes into the cubicle, “Hi, my name is Meadow Ward and I’m a nurse practitioner, you are?”
“What brings you in today Dalia?” She asks.
“I hurt my leg this morning on a jump while skating.”
“Where you taking off or landing when you hurt it?”
“Do you remember if you were twisted as you landed or were you straight?”
I take a second to think, “I’m not sure, it happened so quickly.”
The nurse practitioner stands at the foot of the bed, “I’m going to do some range of motion exercises with you. Tell me if any of them cause pain.” She picks up my leg and starts moving it around. There is hardly anything she can do, that doesn’t hurt.
She appears dismayed writing feverishly. When she finishes, she informs me of her plan, “I’m going to send you for x-rays to look for a fracture. If they come back clean I still want you to go for an M.R.I as an out-patient.”
Adam interjects, “Can’t you do it while we’re here?”
Meadow slices him a look, “And you are?”
Adam responds sheepishly, “A friend.”
She looks at me, I confirm his status by nodding, “M.R.I’s have long wait lists. It can take several weeks. The hospital will send you a letter with your appointment time. You can’t skate until we get the results back”
“Can you explain everything to my mother? If I tell her she won’t believe me.”
“Sure,” She agrees.
I give the NP my mother’s phone number and she disappears behind the curtain.
Hearing the Nurse practitioner talk to my mother over the telephone, suddenly makes everything very real, and the situation hits home. I might lose my ability to make my own decisions regarding my skating career, which is a bitter pill to swallow.
It strikes me that I may miss the final competition before Worlds which I’ve worked so hard to qualify for.
Tears start building in the corners of my eyes, threatening to make their way down my cheeks. I find myself wishing that mom is here, she understands the impact this injury is having on me. Adam puts his phone away and at a loss for what to say, he remains silent.
The curtain pulls back and the volunteer our age appears pushing a wheelchair. Surprised to find me crying he says, “I’m here to bring you to x-ray. Do you need some time?”
“No thanks,” I say avoiding eye contact.
Adam assists me into the wheelchair and then the volunteer releases the lock and takes me to x-ray. I’m away long enough to get a chance to recompose myself before returning to Adam.
The curtain pulls back for a final time, it’s the nurse practitioner. A blast of nerves hits me when I see her smile at me hesitantly, “Dalia, I have some good news. The radiologist doesn’t see a fracture on your X-ray. I spoke to your mother, and until you’re MRI results are back, I don’t want you back on the ice.”
“We need to know the extent of your injury, so we know what we’re dealing with. I’m so sorry but you’re not going to be competing this year. I will manage your pain, and refer you to a well known sports doctor who deals with these kinds of injuries all the time. You need to use crutches until we have your M.R.I results so you don’t bare weight on your bad leg. I’m sorry Dalia.” She hands me papers and says I’m free to go after I dropped by the fracture clinic to pick up a pair of crutches.
I text mom:
Dalia: No fracture. Not allowed 2 skate until after M.R.I
Mom: I know. How R U getting home? Do U want me 2 pick U up?
Dalia: No, Adam will take me.
Mom: Who’s Adam?
Dalia: A friend.
Mom: Better B. No boys while U R Skating! They’re a distraction.
Dalia: I’m not skating.
Mom: 4 now.
Mom gets me more upset. I turn my phone off while Adam escorts me home from the hospital.
Watch-Out for Kiss and Cry – Part 1 (Chapter 3)
Read Also: Kiss and Cry – Part 1 (Chapter 1)