Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I had a great run last night.  11 km total.  It was actually just after I'd finished that I hurt myself.  I stepped onto the grass beside the track to enjoy the cushioned turf, ran a few happy strides and out of nowhere, *crunch* I put my foot onto what may have been a terribly uneven piece of turf, or perhaps I just wasn't paying close enough attention to what I was doing and voila, a beautiful sprain.  It was painful enough and I couldn't put any pressure on it initially.  I sat down for a quick assessment and knew that it was neither severe (that's happened to me before with this ankle... crutches for weeks & hobbling for weeks after that!) nor mild, and that I was likely screwed for the next little bit, as far as mobility goes.  It is a "level 2 sprain", meaning there is some torn tissue and some loss of stability.  Where exactly in the level 2 category it falls though, I've yet to find out.  Today it is still too angry, bruised and swollen, and I am trying my best to get it better as soon as possible.  I don't really have time for reduced mobility right now.

Last night was my first visit to a Belgian emergency ward.  It was... a disappointing first impression, I must say.  I've heard mostly good things about the medical system here, so I'm hoping that this experience was an exception, and not the norm.  I'll start by saying that I cannot imagine what this particular hospital would do if, for example, TWO significantly bad emergencies were to occur at once, what with there seeming to be only one doctor working and the rest on summer vacation.  We waited for more than an hour in the preliminary waiting room with several people, including a couple who had already been there 2 hours.  When we heard the couple had already been there that long, (the woman had something more deserving of quick attention than I,) we decided we were going to leave, because by our basic calculations, it'd probably be 3 hours before we'd be seen.

Oddly, when you go to the admittance counter and tell them you're going to leave because it's evident that the people in front of you have already been waiting awhile, and you fear you'll have to wait equally long if not longer, everyone waiting in the emergency department suddenly gets service.  It wasn't even a complaint we made, we were just letting them know we were going, and then just like that, all the people who'd been waiting, some even closer to 3 hours and us (1 hour at that point) got diverted into our various departments of need and seen.  Bizarre, and questionable.

I've been to the hospital previously in Canada for the same injury to the same ankle, so I know roughly the drill as to how things are supposed to go.  Here we had one quick and inattentive assessment by what must have been an intern, (he hurriedly asked questions, not really listening very well, asking for information I'd already given him, and in the end I believe marked the wrong side of the ankle for the sprain in the documents.) This was followed by a lightening quick set of x-rays (seemingly again, for the wrong side of the ankle), and an improperly done wrapping from a nurse (applying the pressure and support to the wrong sides of the ankle given the sort of sprain I had.)  We were out with a medical certificate for my work, a tube of ketaprofen (pain killing anti-inflammatory) gel and a fairly nice compression bandage after about 4 hours total.  I was unimpressed with the hospital, overall, as was boyfriend.  Not a terribly well-kept environment combined with a seeming lack of organization / attention to detail / providing proper service to patients.  I guess it's better to find that out now though with a minor injury rather than with a truly serious problem.  Next time we have to go to the hospital, we'll be trying out CHU, and not Bois de L'Abbaye.

Today I'm missing work and I'm supposed to be resting with foot up.  It's not an easy thing for me, to stay immobile.  I know it's crucial in the first 24 hours after a sprain though, to do this as best as possible in order to assure quicker healing and so I'm trying to do it in spells that are broken up every hour or two by putting in a load of laundry, tidying a few things in preparation for the mother-visit (she arrives tomorrow!), getting something to drink and something new to keep busy while immobile once more.  2 hours of nothing followed by 15 minutes of something.  It's a challenge for me.  My medical certificate says I can have up to 3 days off work, but I've convinced myself that provided I do a good job of resting and caring for the joint today and wrap it really well tomorrow morning, that should be able to gimp my way through work tomorrow.  Not the smartest thing, but I know I can't stay still like this for 2 days in a row.  I figure at the very least (worst?) that putting it through it's paces a bit while working will allow me to gauge exactly how bad it is.  Even if it's horrible, I'll have 6 days off in a row after that, so if it's really more messed up than I thought and I have to baby it, I'll have the chance and can hopefully go back to work after the time off in a more normal, properly functional condition.

Still, I can't help but think that the timing is terrible.  For starters I don't like missing work, it's frustrating not to be able to do much around here either, and to top it all, my mom will be arriving tomorrow.  She won't be here for very long, and I don't want to be the person that slows her down in seeing what she can while she's here.

No pun intended, but this is seriously lame.


Efrutik said...

I hope you get better soon! You should be proud for running though, I admire your stamina. As for missing work. Look at it this way, you need to recuperate or else it might get serious. Take the time off to gather your strength. Get well!

Jessica said...