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The problems of injuring yourself

Column/H. Todd Fujinaka

Last weekend, with my infinite luck, I twisted my left ankle at a picnic with my entry in the Blue Hills. Just as we were about to leave, I stepped on a tree root and ungracefully fell down. Fortunately, I was close to the cars we drove up in. I hobbled into one and sat down.

At the end of the ride home I noticed that my ankle had swollen to the size of my head. I couldn't put any weight on it. A friend made a quick call to the emergency line. Soon I had a ride from the Campus Police to the infirmary. They taped up my ankle and gave me crutches. Since it was Sunday, I had to wait until the following morning to have x-rays taken. I made an early appointment for the next morning.

Later that night I was in so much pain that I didn't think I would be able to sleep. I called the Medical Department for help. They cheerfully told me, "It's gonna hurt. It's a bad sprain." The call was a great help. It was just like the time I was thrown into the Charles River. My feet were scraped up pretty badly but it was 11 pm. They told me, "Uh, can you call back tomorrow?"

The Medical Department was right, I was able to sleep. Monday morning I got up for my 8:30 appointment after a miserable 5 hours of pseudo-rest. I called the CPs for a ride from MacGregor to the Medical Department. Officer Friendly answered the phone and asked me, "Do you have crutches?" Well, yes I did. "Okay then, walk. These are police cruisers we have here. We're not a taxi service." I had just two words for him after the night I had just spent.

I walked from MacGregor to the infirmary and found out that using crutches is harder than it looks. The same nurse as I had the night before (while pretending to be shocked about the insensitivity of the Campus Police) checked my ankle. She gave me a prescription for tylenol with codeine. It was a good thing, too, since my ankle didn't hurt nearly as much as it did the night before.

I went to the infirmary front desk and asked them to call the CPs so I could get a ride back to Mac. I was told that they couldn't call them. I had to get authorization from the "person I'd just seen."

The people at the Medical Department always wonder why we don't come in until we are really ill. They wonder why we don't come back for follow-up appointments after having pneumonia. I wonder why they think we're whining when we complain at night, only to be friendly and helpful during the day.

This episode has taught me several things. If you want a ride from the CPs, lie and tell them you have broken every one of your limbs. Always make sure your mother (or some suitable mother substitute) is near. And never, ever get hurt between 5 pm and 9 am.