My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
My screaming in the park set people in motion. A man crossed the street to come to my aid, and he shepherded me across the street, blocking traffic like a pro. In the distance on a side street I saw a blonde woman emerge from her gated garden. It was my boss, coming out to find the source of the commotion. She quickly motioned us to her house and the man complied and helped me to get there. He was calling a Cruz Rosa ambulance on my behalf. She was getting ice and trying to dial my husband. Concerned onlookers were stopping by at the gate to see if I was okay, but I noticed it was only men. The women and the boxer never passed by to see how I was. I suppose they already knew the answer.
I was still freaking out at the appearance of my hand. I was now in pain and I could feel it getting worse. I was saying, “Fingers aren’t supposed to do that,” with regularity through my sobs. I wanted to know why it was taking so long to get medical help. I wanted to know where my husband was. In my head everything was taking far too long and my hand was at risk of becoming permanently and irreparably damaged. Didn’t someone qualified need to put the pieces back together?
When the medics arrived they took a quick look and left the house again. There seemed to be confusion as to whether our major medical insurance would cover their services. I was worried that they were going to leave without helping to stabilize my hand. They returned with a thick blue foam brace and clamped it over my hand, leaving my middle finger painfully pinned over the top of my index finger. That was not what I had in mind. I wanted less pain, not more pain. How I was feeling didn’t seem that important to anyone. My husband was ready to load me into our van, but the medics said it would be better to put me in the ambulance, so in we went. My kids stayed behind with our boss, taking part in a wonderful game of “Find the Cats.” We were so grateful that we didn’t have to drag a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old to the hospital with us.
I was lying on a gurney facing the back of the ambulance with the female medic sitting beside me. My husband was up front with the driver and he said it was cool to see the cars pulling over and runing all the red lights. It was a very bumpy ride and each bump made my painful fingers sing. Was anyone ever going to put me out of my misery? I looked at the female medic and she had a needle to put in an intravenous line. I told her I didn’t want her to put it in because the vehicle was moving so erratically. She told me it would make life easier at the hospital. I said, “Fine, do it,” and proceeded to watch, as I usually do. She told me not to watch, so I complied and looked away. After it was done she spent several minutes sopping up my blood. It was not a clean process in a moving vehicle.
The driver almost took us to the wrong hospital based on the instructions of the good samaritan who had helped me to cross the street. He had a surgeon friend at Doctors Hospital and was determined to get us to go there. It was a good thing my husband was along to set the driver straight. After a few retornos we were on our way to Hospital San Jose. As I watched through the back I could tell we were driving in circles for a bit. It seemed like we would never arrive and I was still in so much pain.