Saturday, March 27, 2010

one for the road

I know next to nothing about hospitals.

At least from personal experience.

I was born in one.  At 4, my skull fracture was treated in the same hospital.  In high school, my tonsils were removed in another.

But I know a bit about medical care.  Two decades of poring over other people's medical records for litigation, tours of hospitals, and deposing doctors has taught me something.

Or I thought it had.

Just like a play, being a member of the audience and being a member of the cast are two different experiences.  Too different.

When I broke my ankle, one of the first questions the guides asked was where I wanted to be taken.  There I was -- a stranger in town, not knowing anyone.

The question would have stumped me had I not seen a hospital the night before while looking for my lost bank cards.

San Javier Marina Hospital had the look of one of those boutique hospitals that spring up next to high rise condominiums in tony neighborhoods.  The type of place where you could leave a good portion of your children's inheritance.

It had three advantages for me: location, location, location.  Just like the old real estate joke.

It was across the street from my hotel.  It was one block from the cruise ship dock (for my friends).  And it was about a mile or two away from the disco where I parked my truck when we went ziplining.

The guides loaded me into the van -- after my rather melodramatic parting speech.  And down the hill we started.  To the hospital.

But, this is Mexico.  We were all part of a tour that included a free tequila tasting.

OK.  We were part of a tour that had an agreement with a tequila distributor to ensure that the zipline tourists stopped at the tequila store for a shot -- and the marketing opportunity to take home a genuine bottle of local tequila.

The driver asked if anyone wanted to stop.  Hands shot up like a Russian election.  They then asked if I objected.  Of course, I said: go right ahead.  My foot was not hurting too much.

But it did bring back a memory.  In the early 1970s, a group of us regularly skied Mt. Hood.  We were in our 20s, and knew no danger.

While hotdogging on a jump and somersault, my friend Leo gashed the back of his head with his ski.

The ski patrol gave him first aid and told us to get him to a hospital near our homes as soon as possible.  So, off we went on our mission of mercy.

One of our ski traditions was to stop at a burger drive-in for dinner at a small town at the base of the mountain.  And, being young people of a pre-postmodern era, we honored tradition -- especially those dealing with food.

Leo was fine with it.  His girlfriend (now his wife) was not.

But we got him to the hospital.  And we are all still friends.

So, Theresa -- I guess Karma has had its say in the great stopping for refreshment lottery.

Tomorrow, I will tell you a bit about the surgery.  I will warn those of you of an empathic nature, eyes may be averted.

For the rest of you, that is merely a come-on.


Anonymous said...

Some things eventually even out.


Babs said...

Geez, Louise - a shot of tequila might have removed some of the pain?

Hmmm, or not.

Steve Cotton said...

Horst -- Does that mean I will now break my left leg? Is this supposed to be good news from Germany?

Babs -- There was not much pain -- as long as I did not move my leg. Looking at the x-rays, I now know why.