Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, April 29, 2019



Friday 4/5

The ceiling was red, the sheets white and rumpled. I clutched my knee, the pain thickening and swelling increased. My heart pounded and my breath sibilant through my teeth. I realized I could not stand up nor walk. Six feet, four inches, two hundred pounds, wide awake and helpless. I used my iPhone to call Ann, our neighbor Dora but no one was available to help me.

Strangely, I looked around the room at the huge brown bookcases stuffed with books with red, yellow and blue bindings. The row of photos atop the bookcases of my daughters, my brother and Pamela and several of Ann and our wedding photo. I felt collected and ready to do something else. Out the window, I saw puffy white clouds floating through the blue. Slips of Palm green also.

I did not want to call 911 for emergency help. I could not move enough to let them into our flat. I could not get to the silver lighted buzzer on top of the stairs. Oh, the hell with it I thought, surely, they knew how to break into the front door twenty-five steps below our third story flat.

911 answered almost immediately. The friendly but direct woman took my story. She asked if I had heart problems, fever, headache, vomiting, bleeding or perspiring. She sent the emergency people who arrived in fifteen minutes. They were slower than usual since I was no having a heart attack or bleeding.

I heard some scratching at my front door and in three minutes, I was besieged by five burly blue clad firefighters and two ambulance attendants. They all showed concern and sympathy. They put me in a small wheel chair, got me to the top of the stairs and plunked me into the stair lift. I had a lot of howling and pain while they hoisted me about. I am not the silent type. Down the stairs I went and into a stretcher, hurled into the ambulance.

Then a brute shoved a needle in my arm to give me some medication. While wincing, I got calls from. Ann, Sarah, Leigh and Jessica. I chatted briefly with all lying on my back on the gurney, looking at the shiny white ceiling in the rumbling along chariot. I watched green trees, blue and white buildings trolley wires that I have seen hundreds of time driving by in my car. They seem new and strange even exotic as I look up at them from on my back glancing at them through the small ambulance windows. We glided into the Emergency Care section of the brand-new California Pacific Medical Center on Van Ness Avenue (CPMC). We go into the Franklin Street entrance.

 It must have been a slow day, as I had a nurse receive me into a private ER room and within minutes Dr. Rooke was examining me. Nurse Emily entered my body into one of those blue and white back-tied hospital gowns. We had a brief chuckle about modesty. (I noticed the sexism, he is Doctor Rooke, she is Emily) (To continue the sexism, Emily was far prettier than Rooke.)

Rooke said he would stick a needle in my knee and draw out the offending liquid that was causing my knee to swell and hurt. He slid away saying he’d be back after seeing X-rays and blood work. A technician wheeled in an X-ray machine and took shots of my knee. Then Emily drew blood and I was alone again for an hour. I looked around at the clean, newly painted white wall, gray floor and tan curtain, which was draw to close off my room from the hallway.

Ann joined me to await the procedure

PS: Dr. Rooke needled 140ccs of blood out of the knee and sent us home.

Monday 4/8 -Went back to the ER. Ann and I waited six hours for Dr. McDermott to needle another bit more out of my knee.
Tuesday 4/9 Going to Orthopedist Dr. Cox at 10 AM.
Result; No amputation. It'll heal by itself from now on. Take two aspirin and come back in two weeks, he said.




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