Day 45 continued
I get a call from Joe Dirt a little after 11pm. Actually, two calls, both that I missed. When I called back I asked, “two missed calls- am I in trouble?”
“Can you uh, come down here? Matt’s um..a..a little faded and I could use your help.”
Honestly, I thought they were joking and just trying to find a way to get me out of bed to join them outside. I dragged my feet but went down…you know, just in case. Big Momma joined me and I told her, “part of me thinks this is a joke, and the other part thinks Matt is being a doofus in the bushes. I am NOT babysitting him!!”
Oh how I wish it were a joke or that Matt was being a doofus!
We found Matt sitting on the ground, blood dripping from his head and neck. Big Momma, an EMT, helped me do a quick check then ran inside to get some gauze to clean Matthew up. Thankfully the blood on his head was blood that had dripped from his chin, where we found a HUGE open gash.
Matthew was a little out of it and didn’t remember falling, but he was awake, alert, and answering questions appropriately. (He still now only remembers feeling dizzy then waking up to Joe Dirt calling me…)
Joe Dirt said that they had been standing there when all of the sudden Matt’s face changed and he fell forward, not even reaching his arms out to break the fall. Joe Dirt said that it took a moment for him to wake Matthew up, and I arrived shortly after.
Knowing that he definitely needed stitches and not having a car, we called 911.
Arc, Joe Dirt, and Big Momma helped collect everything we needed for the night (my puffy, our wallets, a phone charger, etc) and wished us luck. They were awesome- they checked in frequently and offered to pack up our bags for us so we didn’t need to worry about getting back before check-out. Matt and I had SO much shit all over that hotel room- they were probably so thankful when we ended up booking another night & didn’t have to worry about packing!! But it was amazing that they offered.
Matt and I took an ambulance ride to the hospital, where we spent a sleepless night- it was miserable! The best human we met all night was the paramedic who reponded to the call- wish she could have stayed all night! (Except I hated that she started the IV without changing her gloves that she was using her cellphone with… neurotic Ali? Maybe. But our cellphones are gross!!) She was extremely kind and before leaving she ran back into Matt’s room to give me her cellphone number, recognizing that we didn’t have any transportation and knowing that our hotel wasn’t close by. These Tehachapi people- SO NICE!
Unfortunately, the compassion and level of care drastically dropped after the paramedic left. I am so thankful that my amazing nurse friend Mckinleigh was working that night and was on Facebook messenger calming my anxieties and validating my concerns…
I was pissed when the MD ordered a CT scan of Matt’s face- I honestly thought they were just trying to make some $$ off of us! but it turns out Matt broke his jaw in TWO places!! (Oops…)
Since this is a “backwoods” hospital as one of the nurses said, they legit had no specialists to consult. The ED doc didn’t want to suture Matt’s face until he heard from an ENT, and the hospitals that they consulted didn’t want to call and wake their own ENTs. Meanwhile, Matt’s chin was open TO THE BONE with blood dripping down his face. Fun!
They finally heard from a doc at UCLA hospital, who suggested that Matt would need to get his jaw wired shut once the swelling went down….fuck. And yet, the ED MD thought it was absurd that I asked for a consult to a maxillofacial surgeon! Like, literally, that’s their job: facial surgeries.
The guy also got cranky when I asked him to wash his hands before suturing Matt’s chin! I watched as he opened the garbage can with his bare hands then went back to setting up his sterile field- when I asked him to wash his hands, he huffed and puffed over to the sink, drizzled a little water then huffed back to put on his sterile gloves. I was near tears with anger and frustration!
And our nurse wasn’t much better. I never saw her wash her hands either, and so I made the comment, “wow, I find it really weird that I have not seen ONE person wash their hands here!” Even if I scrubbed my damn hands raw outside of a patient’s room, if a patient ever questioned my hand-washing, I’d make it a point to lather up every time I entered that room(as I was trained to do anyways…) She didn’t. She was a cranky old retired nurse who came back to work part time…did she forget how to be a nurse?? And how did we get so lucky to have her as our nurse?!
At one point she said to Matt, “do we have a urine sample from you yet? No? Well if you don’t go we will need to stick a catheter in you to make you go.” Listen, bitch, you never asked for a sample. AND, he’s here with dehydration!!! Fuck you! Give him a minute! Grrrr
She also couldn’t figure out how to work the IV pump so she just didn’t use it- but then the tubing nearly ran dry before I clamped it. She also poured out a good portion of the antibiotic when she primed the secondary tubing into the sink. Slow down, bitch! And yes, you better believe that I’m breathing down your neck!
Ugh. We needed out, and we needed out ASAP! Just before 4am the ED doc told us that we could either leave now or wait to hear what the Bakersfield ENT doc said when he got in at 6am. While we wanted out, we had no transportation back to our hotel AND, we were lost…
I wanted a real(/good) doc to check Matthew out asap. We needed to find a specialist to check Matt’s CT and give us a second opinion- but how immediate did that need to be? Was time ticking? And if he needed surgery, where do we go?
Do we, A. Go to San Diego, where we last lived and have friends but no house or car. B. Go to LA where the docs operate on movie stars but we have no house or car and limited friends. C. Go to Arizona where we have a house, a car, some family, and some clothes stored! But getting there is an issue. D. Go to NJ/NY where we have our parents, a house, cars, etc- BUT, we would have to drive to LA then fly across country. Again, is time ticking? And is it even safe to travel? OR E. Go to Bakersfield, where we might be seen earlier than later, BUT, it ain’t no LA/NYC!
AND, how do we chose a doctor? Why dont any of those “5star” surgeons I found on Google accept Matt’s insurance!!?? Feck! There was SO much to figure out (hotels, flights, rental cars, appointments, etc)- but we were in limbo! We didn’t know what HAD to be done and when and how and by whom!
Who has answers for us??
With stress levels rising, we decided to wait until 6am for the Bakersfield doc to call back, just to see what a real doc had to say and figuring we would have a better chance of a quicker appointment. Matt ended up falling asleep, and I closed my eyes for about 15 minutes.
To. Be. Continued.