my hilarious (30 year old) emergency room story

August 19, 2019

First off, this is an old, old emergency room story, almost 30 years old at this point.  I was reminded of it recently and wanted to tell it.  So, do not worry for me.  I am fine.  My loved ones are fine.  Nothing to see here, move along…

When I was sixteen, I fell off the horse I was riding.  Landed on my shoulder.  And something went crack.  So there I was, an hour later, in the Air Force Academy Hospital emergency room.  Observation #1:  In my experience, military emergency rooms are extremely efficient.  Very capable folks there.  Observation #2:  In this particular emergency room, on a weekday afternoon, it was a very slow day.  I was the only patient.

I got x-rays, came back to the emergency room so the doctor could look at them.  I was sitting on an exam bed looking bedraggled and forlorn.  Across the room, the doctor took the x-rays into a little dark side room so he could look at them on the light box. (Ah, the days before digital…) He looked at them.  Then he looked over at me.  Then he looked at the x-rays.  Then he looked at me.  Pretty soon, every other doctor in the place crammed into the room to look at the x-rays.  Did I mention it was a slow day?  Then, all the nurses crammed into the room.  Then, all the orderlies.  So at this point there were like 8-10 people crowded around looking at this x-ray.  And glancing out at me.  And shaking their heads.  Finally, this young orderly in the back pipes up, “Wow, even I can see that one.”

We had to ask to see the x-ray ourselves. The collarbone was snapped in half a like a pencil. It was hideous. A month later the orthopedist was impressed at how well it had healed, but to this day the bone isn’t quite straight and has a big calcified lump on it. I’m very proud of it. It’s my best scar.

Observation #3:  Military emergency rooms are efficient but the bedside manner with dependent children isn’t always ideal. At least it wasn’t 30 years ago…


One Response to “my hilarious (30 year old) emergency room story”

  1. Jo Anne Vaughn Says:

    You didn’t mention what it was like at home putting the brace on and off! Also, you got out of finals!

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