Monday, May 23, 2005

After the Fall

Eva's great-great grandchildren loved the balloons.If you're in the habit of skipping over my Saturday night fiction entries, you may be unaware that I've injured myself yet again.  What has to be at least my thirtieth sprained ankle (but who's counting?) was accompanied this time by a sprained finger, of all things. 

All this happened as my friend Kevin and I arrived at Eva's hundredth birthday party, a mostly family-reunion-type gathering that also included a few friends.  Eva actually turned 100 on Wednesday, May 18th, but the party was held on Saturday the 21st to make it easier for out-of-town relatives to attend.  Eva tells me that her surviving children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great granchildren came in from five states, including Washington and Idaho.

Nobody heard the doorbell when Kevin and I got there, fashionably late due to my poor map-reading skills.  There was a side door, though, which clearly led to a room full of chatting people.  We were approaching this kitchen door when I managed to trip over a concrete step and fall down.  I sprained my left ankle (no surprise there), and somehow hurt my right middle finger while I was at it.

Eva's great-great grandchildren loved the balloons.Kevin and I only stayed an hour, due to the sprained ankle and the fact that we didn't know anyone there except Eva, her daughter Harriet and Eva's best friend Carmen.  But I did get some fun pictures of a couple of the great-greats and the herd of balloons in the living room.  At one point Eva herself turned up in a balloon picture, but she was coming to get us, not to join in the balloon-a-thon.  Unfortunately, the picture is out of focus.

There was a third reason for our not staying too long, and it wasn't the 107 degree weather.  Injured or not, I was a woman on a mission.  In arranging with Father Smith to honor Eva at Coffee Hour after today's 10:00 Mass, I had learned in conversation with Eva that she didn't like cake very much.  On the other hand, she did enjoy gingerbread, which unfortunately isn't readily available any more.

So of course, I was determined to get real gingerbread--not gingerbread men cookies, but real gingerbread--for the May 22nd coffee hour honoring Eva.  A bakery called Beyond Bread didn't have it, so after leaving the party we went to the one place that I know serves gingerbread: Souper Salad.  The kid at the register went back to ask whether the stuff could be purchased in quantity to go.  He returned with a plain white bag full of gingerbread mix, which I happily bought.  We rounded out our shopping expedition with the purchase of white icing to write Eva's name, oil for the gingerbread recipe, and three candles: a 1, a 0, and another 0.  The only other ingredient the directions called for was water, and the bag said to bake the two dishes' worth of mix for 18-22 minutes.  So I set the alarm to get up an hour early for baking.  I figured I was all set to do this fun thing for Eva.

First problem: right after I set the oven to preheat, Eva called.  She wanted to bail out on church, because she was worried about relatives stopping in to say goodbye before leaving town.  I had to admit that Father Smith and I had plans to honor her at and after church before she decided to come to church after all.

Eva gets her gingerbreadSecond problem:  When I tried to pull the glass baking pans from the oven after twenty minutes (and I was running a little late by this point), they turned out to still be mostly liquid.  John, bless him, told me to leave without the gingerbread.  He would look after the rest of the baking, and I could pick up the gingerbread after Mass.  Since I only live five minutes from St. Michael's, this seemed like the best solution.  I accepted John's offer with gratitude.  (It turned out that the gingerbread directions were for a convection oven, whatever that is.  In our gas oven, it took an hour and a quarter.)

Third problem:  I totally failed to get the white icing tube to write much of anything.  I only made a mess.  One of the Coffee Hour ladies strongly advised me to forget the icing and just serve the thing, because "people are leaving."  So I rubbed out my poor attempt at the word Happy, showed Eva the icing-marred gingerbread, and started cutting.  It tasted good, though!  And I think Eva was truly pleased.  She took home some of the leftover gingerbread, along with the three (unburned) candles.

This afternoon, I set out to show my two sprains to Urgent Care, before my health insurance runs out due to the job change.  I headed out to TMC for the first time in several years.  Last time I was there, Urgent Care and Emergency were essentially in the same place, but with different entrances. Triage determined which direction you actually went once you got there.  But today I noticed that there was no Urgent Care sign at all, just Emergency.  I knew my finger and ankle weren't emergencies, and besides, I didn't want to pay the $100 ER copay.  So I stopped for lunch and then headed home to look up Urgent Care providers online. 

The nearest one was on Pima, and the map and directions on the HealthNet web site directed me to the corner of Pima and Rosemont, one light south of TMC.  There was no sign of NextCare--not at or anywhere near that corner.  Having set out to go to an Urgent Care around 1:30 PM, I'd already wasted a lot of time, but I decided to try farther east than the map had indicated.  Sure enough, I found the place near Pima and Wilmot, well east of Rosemont and just a couple of lights north of St. Michael's.  It was just after 4 PM by then, and despite the patients still waiting, um, patiently inside, the staff told me they were closed for the day.  When I mentioned that I'd been looking for an Urgent Care for over two hours, they directed me to another one that was open until 6 PM on Sundays. 

And when I got to the other one, my HealthNet card was gone from my pocket.  Could it be that I was not meant to see a doctor today?

the fingerBut no, I found the card on the floor of the Eagle with very little trouble.  Everyone at this final stop before home on my Urgent Care odyssey was very nice.  The doctor and I agreed that I already knew what to do with my ankle (I bought a new brace for it last night, on the grounds that the older ones are worn out or missing), but he ordered a splint for the finger, and told me to come back tomorrow for an x-ray.

So now I'm sitting here with the tape coming loose off my palm at the base of the finger splint, typing with two fingers as usual.  On the floor is the ankle brace. I took that off because the ankle's already a bit better, and I don't intend to do much walking the rest of the day.  I'll probably wear it tomorrow for my trek from the employee parking lot into the company building. 

But I think when I get inside, just for tomorrow, I'll take the elevator.



ondinemonet said...

Karen :)

OMG honey...I was going to wait and read this entry tomorrow, but I just had to get up and read about the drama. OUCH! You sure took it all well, kudos for that. Little known Carly fact: When I was a little one, I broke all my fingers, excluding thumbs, twice before I finished school. I'ma klutz! LOL. Oh, my goodness what a special event, reaching 100, good for her. She looks very sweet. Take care darlin.

Always, Carly :)

rap4143 said...

Be careful!!!! Please extend our birthday wishes!!!!

ryanagi said...

You are such a sweetie for going through all that to get Eva some gingerbread! And ouch! You are exactly right that I missed the bit about your injury. I haven't totally caught up on my Mall readings yet. Hope you are able to get around ok today!