“My trip to the hospital” or “Kevin goes on an adventure”


Kevin Doonan

Last weekend I was being real cool goofing around in some shallow creek when I slammed my shins into a protruding rock submerged beneath the the murky water. Now my left leg fared fairly well, but my right shin was demolished. I had a gash from about here to China.
It didn’t really hurt – really I promise it didn’t … not in the least –, however I was mighty concerned about it getting infected. I guess I have just watched too many documentaries about the Civil War or something like that. Still I told myself I didn’t need to get it checked out, that I would be fine with enough hydrogen peroxide. Subsequently I did not consult any sort of medical authority, instead I relied on my innate manly sense to do what is right – meaning absolutely nothing.
And things were peachy … for a time. I made sure to pour ample amounts of over the counter disinfectants and smear my wound with liberal amounts of Bacitracin. Lo and behold, with me tender nursing it began to scab up nicely. My short attention span started to get the best of me though and my enthusiasm for dumping bucket loads of hydrogen peroxide on my leg began to wane.
A couple of days later after going for a run I noticed that my ankle was looking a little odd. On a slightly closer inspection I realized it had swollen to almost twice its normal seize. Putting pressure on the upper portion of my Tibialis anterior it came to my attention that it too was swollen and after a few more pokes it also dawned on me that I had lost feeling in it.
So I got an ice pack.
The next day I went into work. Joking around with the intern I mentioned my horrific war wound and felt complied to show it off to in an effort to illustrate my epic tale. She starting cracking up and suggested I get it looked at. I brushed her off comment, making sure to strike a heroic pose before walking away. But when I got back to my cubical I checked it out again for myself. Things had really changed and for the better. Not only was my ankle swollen but a halo of enflamed scarlet flesh now encircled the gash which spontaneously began to ache in a disconcerting manner while I examined it. Now I was starting to get a tad bit concerned, though still not enough to actually do anything about it. After all I know I’ve read some place that if the immune system isn’t challenged frequently enough it starts to weaken.
I let a few more days pass without taking action, all the while the intern gleefully informing me the delight she was going to take when it came time to tell me she told me so. She also pointedly made sure I understood the time for her to tell me “I told you so” would be right after the amputation.
It all finally got to me.
So I headed over to the ole’ UHS Memorial walk-in clinic – not the ER mind you, panic hadn’t completely robbed me of my pride … yet – to get a fix on the situation with my now throbbing shin. Surprisingly, not long thereafter a doctor was examining my discolored leg. I winced as he pressed all around the red ring of deathly looking skin and braced myself for the inevitable words, “we’re going to have to take it.” Instead though he said, “see how it’s not oozing or there is any pus? That means there is no infection.”
Ah.
I asked to prescript me some antibiotics anyway.
“If it will make you feel better,” he shrugged.
It did. I may not have needed them but some how leaving with that prescription made me feel as though going to the hospital had been the right thing to do.