Friday, March 7, 2014

Year of the Horse(pital)...see what I did there? ;)


2014 has been here going on three months already and Pae and I have been to the hospital more than probably in the past five years combined. We make it for minor illnesses every now and then, but nothing like this first three months of the year. Okay, it's not that bad, but it just seems like we've been to the hospital a lot!!

January started with me busting my ankle at a run in Pattaya, which has been previously documented. I've been putting off going back to see the doctor for either a second opinion or follow up because I don't want to be wearing a soft cast around school. So many stairs to go up and down, just annoying. So, as summer vacation starts this month, I plan to go to have the ankle reassessed this weekend. The pain is the same as the first week of the injury, although I can walk no problem, just going down stairs or scuffing my heel on anything just kills inside the ankle joint. I know, it didn't help that I ran a 50 kilometer trail run in this condition.
Enough about me! Unfortunately, this is the space where I have to tell you about Pae's 2014 bad luck. Right now she is suffering from some pain in her esophagus, not a sore throat, but something lower near the area that would be painful if you had acid reflux or something like that. It's just entering the peak of the infection and even with antibiotics she's in a lot of discomfort.
Before this, she was cleaning our upstairs. She decided to go and sweep in an area that we never go into as there is a shrine to the relatives of the landlord in that area. We just never go in there. It was dusty and dirty so she figured a good sweeping was in order. First step onto the area that is above our staircase and she fell through the ceiling!! Not all the way through though. Her whole left leg went through the wood and the ceiling and was dangling out of the ceiling below. I'm sure Bungy was wondering that the heck was going on.
So, this floor ended up being eaten out and weakened by termites. Luckily, the 2x4s framing the area were so eaten up that they were very weak. I say "luckily" because all of the rusty nails were sticking out of the frame right were Pae's leg went through. There were three of them that were pointing straight up and two that I saw that had broken off with the pieces of wood that they were nailed into. Had the wood been strong, these would have acted as fillet knives and splayed her calf and thigh and she'd have had a life altering injury. We were pretty lucky I think.
After the initial shock of suddenly going through the floor wore off, she had to try to figure out how to get her leg out. The wood and panel board of the floor and ceiling went down but then sprung back up into place and taking her leg out was challenging. Like a "pair" of Chinese handcuffs...remember those? Except add splintered wood and nails to the mix!
She didn't have her phone with her, I was at school, Bunbun does not have opposable thumbs ;) so she had to manage everything by herself. Eventually she was able to free herself from the ceiling (her thigh was fully through the floor, upper thigh) and call me at school. I work about 200-300 meters from home, so I was home immediately and found Pae sitting near the door waiting for me with a bloody and scraped leg. I looked to the right and the debris from termite damage and the shattered ceiling was at the bottom of the staircase.
After I saw that her injuries weren't causing any massive loss of blood and that she was not suffering in shock or anything, I checked out the floor and ceiling where she fell. I was mostly looking for rusty nails and such, which I found many...so the hospital was a must, not just for basic first aid and to prevent infection, but for a tetanus shot.
We got to the hospital emergency room and after being triaged as a less immediate concern compared to the lady with a busted collar bone (moped accident?), the lady who chopped off half of her thumb (watched the doctor sew it up), and the man who just walked it, "What happened to you?", "I got beat up.", Pae was eventually seen by the doctor who jammed his finger into the knee that was swollen. Pae's face was like "What the!!!!???" and he sent her for an x-ray.
She had scrapes from her toes to her thigh. Her knuckles had lost skin and were bleeding too, but her knee took the brunt of the force. When I recreate the fall in my mind, I see her stepping on the weak floor and immediately her leg just goes right through. Reflex probably caused her to bend her knee, she held on to the rail of the stairs and her knee took out a good portion of the paneling that the floor was made of. Her knee hit one of the framing 2x4s and the rest of the leg scraped its way straight through, ouch.
Sucks but again, I think we're lucky that the rest of the framing in the floor was strong and she didn't fall all the way to the first floor...So bug eaten wood with nails were weak and prevented her from ripping the muscle to the bone and not so eaten wood was stronger and prevented her whole body from falling through the ceiling to the first floor.
She got her tetanus shot and after three+ hours in the emergency room, we were on our way home. We've been for checkups and such, been to pharmacies, been to do this and that...so it seems like we've been at the hospital all year already! One more visit for me in the next few days and possibly one more visit for Pae before she goes back to work. She's been on sick leave for over a week now.
Through it all we've been mostly healthy and trying to look at the positives rather than obvious negatives. We try ;) After building such a habit of running 4-5 times a week and having some important races on the horizon this year, running only once in the past two months has been torture, but I just try to forget about it otherwise I'll go mad.

Pae is missing work but not "missing" work ;) She hurts in different ways and different body parts. Just as the leg is starting to heal, the esophagitis kicks in and has become something that keeps her up at night and has her on a soft diet and a pharmaceutical cocktail, which is no fun for her and hard for me to see her suffering.

Otherwise, we're both great! Be kind to us 2014 ;) Wishing you all good health throughout the rest of 2014.

1 comment:

mardenheyjude said...

Ouch!!! Lucky for both of you that your limbs were not broken. Hopefully you both are taking it easy and healing quickly. Hope Pae's esophagus infection clears up. That is such a painfull thing to go through. Wishing you both good health for the future. Love always, Auntie

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