2012 went out with a bang — literally!

Sunday, December 30th, Mark got hit by a runaway golf cart.  He already has lower back pain from a military maneuver in 1998 and this exacerbated it, so after brunch on the 31st, we went to the VA Emergency room.  This was sometime between 1:30 and 2:00 in the afternoon.

When we got to the ER it was practically standing room only.  There were people waiting in the hall.  There was a large screen TV on the wall.  We watched the end of one movie, and then another whole movie, and then they started going through The Walking Dead shows in a marathon.  We had arranged to Skype my family at their annual New Year’s Eve/Christmas party at 7:00, so as the time approached, I went out to the car and got my laptop and brought it in to the waiting room.  By then, the waiting room was beginning to thin out but those of us who were there had been there for hours and were becoming old friends.  They all joined in the party while my laptop was up too.  It was something to do besides watching zombies get killed.  Mark and I hadn’t had anything to eat since brunch, except that someone had brought in some taffy for New Year’s and we had several pieces.

Finally around 9:45, Mark was called back.  He was told that the doctor was going to want to examine him, so he should put on a hospital gown.  With the amount of pain he was in, that was no easy task.  The doctor came in, asked him a few questions, glanced at his back once, and prescribed medication for him.  It took all of 5 minutes.  A few minutes later a nurse came back to give us release papers and tell us to wait in the waiting room for Mark’s prescription.  By the time we got the prescription and got out of there, it was 10:20.  Our first stop was Jack In The Box for food.

When we left home this afternoon, we thought we’d be in the ER for a couple hours and still have time to do some grocery shopping afterwards.  By the time we got back to the Saratoga area from Palo Alto, all the stores were closed.  We have no cat food, so instead of going to bed when we got home, I’m trying to cook some rice in beef broth for the cats.

This could be a disaster story, and yet, there was camaraderie and fairly good cheer in the waiting room…all things considered.  As each patient left the ER, they wished everyone a Happy New Year.  The nurses and doctors were apologetic, but they really got slammed today.  I’m grateful to the person who left the taffy in the waiting room with a Happy New Year note.  Mark and I made it home in time to give each other a kiss at the stroke of midnight on our Christmas clock.  I must say I’ve never celebrated New Year’s with a room full of strangers before, and I wouldn’t want to make a tradition of it, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Please be praying for Mark.  The doctor told him he can’t operate any heavy equipment while he’s on this medication, including any golf carts.  Pray that he’ll be back at it soon.

May 2013 be a good year for us all!

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