Thursday, January 6, 2011

Falls and Rearrangements

File this in the "Bless Her Heart" Department. 

I was lying back in bed, ensconced in three pillows, as well as a "husband" (the stuffed, corduroy-covered kind), struggling to focus my eyes, when the phone rang.

Because I am waiting for an out-of-state business call, I picked up.  Normally, I let everything go to voice mail, as telephones and what I often find on their other end repulse me.

It turned out to be a relative of whom I am very fond, my Dad's sister.

What a tale she had to tell -- and so perfectly foreshadowed by Fred having taken a loud, vicious fall in the shower last night.  Well... actually, Fred managed to fall OUT of the shower, which is hard to picture but he swears to it.

My Aunt was all dressed up for an evening Christmas party at a friend's home.  She had never been there before, and not living in Tête de Hergé (très décédé, d'ailleurs), the area turned out not to be well lit and to be inadequately and unevenly paved. 

That's right, she wiped out.  Right on the curb.  More importantly, right on her [very lovely] face.

Because this is not a phrase one normally hears from the mouth of the Best-Bred of the Upper Crust, I can only imagine her horror to find that "[her] nose was on the wrong side of [her] head."

She lay in the street bleeding for a bit, yelling for help that did not come, then struggled to her feet and made it to her friend's door where she politely rang the bell. 

The mystery is why the intelligent crowd gathered within chose to take her to an urgent care center instead of calling 911 or transporting her to an Emergency Room.  The erudite doctor there declared her nose broken and her face lacerated, then advised her to see an ENT "next week."

She would, of course, go on to have headaches and jaw pain -- and now knows that she was likely concussed.

She has spent weeks visiting plastic surgeons, only to find that none were willing to accept the allotted payment from Medicare for the fairly extensive surgery required to repair her nose, jaw, and skin.  Medicare thinks this work merits about $9,000.  Yes, I *can* wait for you to stop giggling.

Luckily, she lives in a university-rich area with several med schools and just this morning, one of the academic luminaries has deigned to operate for that paltry sum.

She has to wait four months, though, all the while in terrible pain and sporting the aforementioned now-misplaced schnoz and multicolored insulted tissues. 

So she calls to apologize for not having contacted me over Christmas... and I so want to reassure her that, compared with one whole brood of my relations, she is promptness, largesse, and good-humor personified.

I neglected her extensive chronic medical woes, of which she rarely speaks, and the financial hardships that I know of, but that she has never mentioned. 

She reserved her one moment of agitation for one of her sons, by chance an orthopedic surgeon, and his overstated contention that she fell because of her age.


(Clearly, she fell precisely because she does not live here, in the well-maintained environs of Marlinspike Hall.  We are clearing out The Computer Turret in hopes that she will spend The Thaw with us, come Spring.  My boorish cousin is welcome, too, I suppose, provided he can keep his age-ist prejudices to himself.)

So, as I am fond of saying, but usually without such literal intent:  Bless her bones!

We wish Nancy a full and rapid recovery.

Fred is okay, by the way, although his tailbone is quite painful and he is walking funny.  Apparently, his acrobatics paid off and allowed him to land on his unsubstantial tush instead of on the base of his humongous skull, for which we give thanks.

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