Tuesday, April 04, 2006

“Break a leg?”

Christina just called. That’s my daughter who lives in Tampa.

Last week her husband Johnny was riding his Honda motor scooter, slid on some gravel, put his foot down to avoid a fall and sprained his ankle. His left foot swelled up to twice the size of the right one, and hurt like the dickens.

(I wonder just exactly how much the “dickens” hurts. Probably a lot.)

That was on Wednesday. He went to the doctor on Thursday, who prodded around and pronounced it sprained. He wanted some x-rays to be sure, but it was too late that day so Johnny went back on Friday for the radiology.

He called on Friday afternoon for the results, but the doctor wasn’t available to talk to him and the nurse said she wasn’t allowed to “read” the x-rays and discuss them with him.

The doc had prescribed some non-narcotic pain pills, and they weren’t cutting the pain at all. (Yeah, that proves that the “dickens” really DOES hurt.)

By Monday (yesterday) Johnny was seriously unhappy. When he called the doctor’s office he got the same run-around about nobody could read his x-rays but the doctor, and the doctor wasn’t available.

He demanded some stronger pain pills, and someone there called in a script for some percocet. The told him they’d call him back about the x-rays later.

This morning (Tuesday), Johnny called again, very unhappy. Nobody had called about his x-rays. At this point a “nurse practitioner” came on the line and told him she couldn’t believe that nobody had called him because the x-rays clearly showed that his ankle was broken!

Johnny was NOT a happy camper. Neither is Christina, who thought all weekend that he was whining an awful lot about a sprained ankle.

They then told him they’d get him in to see an orthopedist to set the ankle on Thursday, and he had a fit. “It will have been broken for over a week by then!” he reminded them. By now I’d say he was MAD as the dickens! (And I’m sure that’s pretty mad!)

The point was made, however, because they were able to make arrangements for him to see an orthopedist tomorrow (Wednesday).

Oh, and did I mention that they are planning to move into a new, larger apartment this weekend? Christina is trying to make arrangements for someone to help them move. She may have to hire some people if all else fails, because Johnny probably won’t be able to carry much from the truck into the new place. Even though it’s on the ground floor.

And no, in case you’re wondering about the title of this post, Johnny was NOT on his way to an audition or a performance.


Shesawriter said...

Oh, gosh. This guy can't win for losing. :-(

r.e.wolf said...

I'd get a new doctor right quick!

kenju said...

Oh, the poor guy! That happened to me once when I had a broken elbow. It hurt like the dickens too (which I can verify is a heck of a lot) and I had no pain meds either.

robotJAM said...

Duke, I've never heard of "hurt like the dickens", as for "gone for a Burton" I spent a good while yesterday researching it.

It is said that there was a series of advertisements for beer in the inter-war years, each of which featured a group of people with one obviously missing (a football team with a gap in the line-up, a dinner party with one chair empty). The tagline suggested the missing person had just popped out for a beer — had gone for a Burton. The slogan was then taken up by RAF pilots for one of their number missing in action as a typical example of wartime sick humour.

Burton Ale is a type of proper English Bitter brewed in Butron on Trent just outside Nottingham.

That is just one of about 10 ideas where the phrase came from.

Michelle said...

Okay I must be the youngest blogger here, being 21 ) *wink* and even living in darkest Africa, I have heard of hurt likes the dickens. Must be because we were once a British colony? *grin*

Johnny and Christina must definitely sue. Beeg time. Huge. Ginormous. It is totally unacceptable that he should have borne a second of pain and suffering in a 1st world country with high levels of medical care. Unless the break was very bad, why was he sent to an orthopedist? Surely the doctor is trained to set a broken ankle?

Candace said...

First, new doctor, with letter to old doctor detailing incompetence of office staff and lack of proper instructions in emergencies.

Second, next time (and hopefully there won't be a next time), emergency room. He could have had (and still could have) a blood clot from that injury.

Third, keep watch CLOSELY for leg pain and/or swelling = blood clot.
Not uncommon with leg/foot injuries! I had one after a surgery on my leg, so I know what I'm talking about. I also know someone who got a clot from a sprained, not broken, ankle.

--Dr. C