Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ER is More Than A TV Show

I looked really good that day. Even though I was wearing a simple cardigan high heels1sweater and skirt, it was an attractive outfit, very flattering on me. Pam had complemented me on my appearance as she hung up my coat. I had worn my  leather black bootsknee high black boots and changed into casual shoes at her  place. I loved those boots… little did I know that they would lead to my down fall, literally.

The roads were starting to get slick from the falling snow and I was glad to be finally pulling into my own driveway. I grabbed the bag containing my shoes and headed across the driveway to the side door. I had taken about a half a dozen steps when suddenly I was face down on the snow-covered concrete.

I was just about to start swearing at myself for being such a klutz and ruining my stockings (I had worn stockings with a garter belt instead of pantyhose because I wanted to feel sexy even if all I was doing was visiting my sister) when the pain hit. I won’t repeat what I said, but it wasn’t very ladylike, I assure you.

I immediately realized that my right arm was broken. And as I tried to push myself up with my left arm, more pain set in. I wasn’t sure but I thought that I had broken both arms. Somehow, I got to my feet and got over to the door. Opening it was going to be a challenge, but I found that my left hand could move slightly without causing more pain. I got the door unlocked and got inside. I sat and cried for several minutes while trying to think what to do.

Fortunately, I have Pam on speed dial, so I called my sister for help. She got there in record time, and now I wonder how she did that on those roads. She was happy to see that I still had my coat on.

“Come on, I’m taking you to the emergency room right now,” she commanded. I tried to tell her that I couldn’t go dressed as I was, that she had to help me get changed. But as I screamed in pain as she tried to remove my coat she said, “There is no way that I can undress you by myself in your condition. You are going to have to suck it up and realize that you have to go to the hospital as you are.”

I knew she was right but I didn’t want to have a bunch of strangers seeing me as Beverly. I realized that I had no choice and allowed her to help me get into her car. All the way to the hospital she kept assuring me that the hospital staff, especially those in the ER, had seen people like me before. That really didn’t help me feel any better, but at that point I had no choice.

My appearance created some problems at the hospital in that Pam was calling me Beverly as she spoke to me and my look said ‘female’. But as I was being admitted and being asked questions the confusion set in momentarily. I was asked my name, and since I knew that this was going to go on my insurance I knew I had to give the legal information. So I told the admitting nurse my male name and watched her facial reaction go from confusion to recognition.

“Would you prefer to be addressed as Beverly?” she thoughtfully asked.

I was in so much pain that I really couldn’t answer at that point so Pam replied “it might be easier until we get her changed.”

“That won’t be a problem as we can’t very well put an ID bracelet on her arms right now. So you can do the talking to the doctor and I will tell the other nurse who will be working with Beverly,” Nurse Amber replied.

Amber asked Pam to help her get my coat off gently as I sat on a gurney. I just about passed out from the pain during the ordeal. Then they removed my boots as I laid down.

“We won’t worry about the rest of her clothing just now. They will want to get x-rays but can do that with the sweater on most likely,” Amber stated as she covered me with a white sheet.

dr1Dr. Wagner, the on-call ER physician came in a few minutes later. He talked to  Pam and allowed me to just quietly lie there. A couple of times, as he examined both arms, he called me Beverly. I wasn’t sure if he knew differently at that point as I wasn’t really focusing too well then.

“We are going to take you to x-ray now and get a better look at those arms. I’m thinking that your left arm is probably just sprained and not broken. The x-ray will tell us for sure. Your right arm is definitely broken but I can’t tell how bad yet. As soon as Nurse Kelly gets here we will go,” the doctor stated reassuringly.

As if on cue, another nurse, Kelly I presumed, walked in. “I will be taking Beverly down to x-ray now,” she said after introducing herself. Since she hadn’t looked at any chart, and was calling me Beverly, I knew that she had spoken tosharing secrets Nurse Amber. I wondered how quickly news of me was spreading through the ER. “Pam, you can come with us and wait in the waiting room there. Then we will take Beverly into another room as the doctor looks at the x-rays and decides further treatment. Sorry we can’t give you anything just yet for the pain, Beverly. But as soon as we can, I will get you something.”

I don’t know how long I was in x-ray as I somehow managed to sleep, or more likely pass out. I remember the pain as they moved my arms around. I don’t remember hearing the x-ray technician speak to me or comment to anyone about me. I think that perhaps he had been informed of me privately.

Soon I was being told that I was going to sit up so that I could be undressed and put into a hospital gown. Nurse Kelly asked another nurse, I never got her name, to help her. Once again I assumed she had been told about me because she didn’t act surprised during the undressing process by my change in apparent gender.

Pam was in the room with us and tried to keep things light by commenting on my sexy underwear. “Beverly, I had no idea that you were wearing such nice things to come visit me,” she joked as my sweater and skirt were removed, revealing the matching set of bra, panty, and garter belt.

laddered_tights “Looks like you won’t be wearing these stockings again,” she stated as she showed me the holes in the knees.

I don’t even know if I was able to blush at that point. I remembered that a few days earlier I was worrying about our upcoming Super Bowl party where I knew I was going to be appearing as Beverly in front of friends and family. Now I was in the hospital where doctors and nurses were seeing even more of me. And all I could do was lay there.

“I’m afraid we are going to have to remove your bra and breast forms,” Kelly gently informed me. At that point I didn’t care about keeping up appearance. “You can keep your panties on under the gown,” she smiled.

I don’t know how they were able to remove everything so gently without causing me great pain. But they were truly professional in all ways. Not once did I feel embarrassed by my appearance, even as Beverly was stripped away. As they were fastening the gown in back the doctor reappeared.

“As I thought, your right arm is broken just below the elbow. It is a clean breakdr2 and will only require setting it, no surgery. The left arm is not broken, but you do have a pretty severe sprain. I will wrap it to keep it immobile. It will have to stay wrapped for two to three weeks so you will be pretty limited in what you will be able to do for awhile,” he informed us. “We can get you into an operating room in about 30 minutes, so we can get that arm set and put into a cast. I want to keep you overnight because you have had so much trauma. I just want to make sure everything else is alright. Kelly will tell you about getting you released tomorrow. Any questions?” he asked.

I shook my head no and he left. Kelly said that she would be back shortly and asked if I needed anything. Pam seemed to read my mine as she asked Kelly if she could bring us a pan of water and a wash cloth. She knew I wanted to get my make-up off and return to my male self.

“Don’t worry, Bev. I will stay with you tonight until you are ready to sleep,” Pam said as she washed away the make-up. “Then I will be here to take you home tomorrow. I think you should plan on staying with us until Linda gets back. Oh, and I will call Linda and tell her what happened as well. I will swing by your place in the morning and get you some clothes to wear home and at my place,” Pam reassured me.

Fortunately, the rest of the day and evening was pretty much a fog to me as I was put under while they set my arm, then I slept the rest of the afternoon and evening. I guess that is the body’s way of coping with trauma and stress. I was very thankful for it.

^ More to come ^


Rhonda Wagram said...

Hi, not being able to use the computer properly is a terrible added nuisance to your broken or sprained limbs. Solution: Get Nuance Dragon Dictate Version 10 (not an earlier, cheaper version!). The standard edition will serve you well, "preferred" has some added features, which are not really necessary. The package comes with the microphone included. I am using it and it makes writing soooo much easier and - whoosh - faster. I cannot live without it anymore.
Get well soon, we all want to hear about your and your wife's changing relationships.

aynalia said...

It sounds like the ER trip went as well as could be expected. Not surprisingly, the staff there was there to help and not to judge. They seemed to be quite sweet to you.

Though I'll admit that I enjoyed hearing the details of your undressing, in spite of your not having any fun yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hey, girl, not much sympathy in the comments here! I know you had pain and suffering, and I feel for you!! And no Linda to take care of her Bev. You take care, and post more soon! STormy

Anonymous said...

Linda does not take care of her!


missy said...

dear Beverly,
i just found your blog and it is totally lovely. you are living my dream. i read the whole thing in one day. i am cd too and you are so lucky to have a wife like Linda who so totally understands you. Get well soon.

Liz Romney said...

Dear Beverly,

I miss hearing the latest and greatest from I-Oh-Way. Of course typing is certainly a challenge with one broken arm and the other with a sprained wrist... I'm only guessing. I have enough trouble typing when I have everything together.

Please don't let some folks get you down, think of all the positive vibrations (to coin a phrase) your blog generates!


Mike said...

Sure hope you are recovering well and making small notes of the progress...we loyal readers love to live vicariously through you!
Get Well soon.

Anita said...

Wow, this episode sounded like a lot of fun. I'm going to watch ER now! I grew up watching the original cast of ER, and really lost the thread about six or seven years back, so it will be great to catch up. I don't even mind knowing what happened!

Anonymous said...

I have read your post. I really admire your post. ER is not only the tv show its also shows the reality of life. I like this concept very much.

Marian said...

Bev -

We miss your posts.

Are you coming back to post anytime soon? Or, can we take it that this blog has been abandoned?