Noon till 8pm

That's how long it takes to get two X-rays (the second because in the first the view of the top vertebrae was obstructed) and one CT scan at the ER for George Washington University. This morning, about a halfway into her game, M collided when she kicked the ball at the same moment as an opposing player. The impact made her flip backwards and land on her neck and right shoulder. She felt a sharp pain from the fall, so a teammate who is a physician insisted that she remain immobile and take an ambulance to the ER. They called me and I quickly headed down with L. We caught up with M as she was being lifted from the gurney to the bed. What a long day followed. In the end there was nothing more than a slight stress to her shoulder, but we had to work with four MDs, two radiologists, and at least five nurses (on two different shifts) before the day was through and we learned she could go home. Poor M had to wear an elaborate neck and spinal brace that make her look like the Frankenstein monster (i.e. neck immobilized, bolts sticking out of each side). Sitting in the ER on a hot Saturday afternoon meant we got an eyeful of serious cases, including the trauma patients who had priority over everything else. The most interesting thing I saw was a gunshot wound to the chest, with the guy's thick blood trailing down the corridor. While the surgeons worked to save him (and succeeded from what I saw), four cops stood guard outside--I imagine to question him after he awoke? After the bloodspill, which really was everywhere, an intercom called for "environmental" to come right away. I guess "environmental" is supposed to provoke less panic.

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