Ode To Emily

“Okay, first thing you need to do is call all the local hospitals and see how long the wait is for the emergency room. And, while you’re at it, check and see if they accept your insurance. I’ll be by around 9:30.” I love a woman who has a plan. Emily is that woman. She’s the person you want on your side in case of emergency.

So in the hour or so that I waited for Emily to arrive, I called the local Emergency Rooms. “Do you accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield?” All answered in the affirmative. “How long a wait do you have now?” Most of the people on the other line skipped a beat, cleared their throat, and offered no more than, “Busy. We’re really busy.” I understood what they were really saying – if you’re concerned about how long you have to wait, you don’t need to be in the Emergency Room.

But I did. The tears wouldn’t stop rolling down my cheeks. I sobbed uncontrollably. The pain, from such a small area of my body, was so incredibly large. It was my toe. My big toe on my left foot. I had slid uncontrollably (sort of) during our softball game, and at another point I’m pretty sure a guy rounding second stepped on me with his cleats. I think. I was too angry processing his slanderous “Quit blocking my way, bitch” comment to notice anything else. After the game I noticed a throbbing in my big toe and took off my cleat to investigate. My toe was swollen, and turning a little bit blue, but nothing to really worry about. Or so said all the other guys on the team. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I quietly held an ice pack to it, trying to numb it. Another player, trying to be helpful, wanted to inspect it. I simply shook my head no, not saying anything. He persevered, as did I. In between sobs, I finally mumbled, “I don’t want you to see my ugly toes. No, no, no…… I haven’t had a pedicure in months….” When I was younger, my father always teased me about my ugly monkey toes and it’s something I’ve never quite gotten over. But I digress.

Emily called. “I’m downstairs.” I hobbled down the steps, trying not to place any weight on my left foot. Just seeing her, parked in front of the building, laughing as I tried to reach the car without stumbling, caused me to break into a grin. There’s something about best friends that transcends pain.

She laughed as I got into the car. “Loriloo, what on earth have you done now?””I don’t know, but it huuuuuuuurrrrrrtttttts…. The guys on the team told me to suck it up, but I can’t. It hurts so baaaaaaaaaaaddddd….” I don’t remember what words of wisdom she imparted upon me, but I do remember laughing. A lot.

We pulled into the Emergency Room parking lot and she sternly said to me, “Don’t look so perky. They won’t believe you’re hurt.” I practiced a non-smile with some difficulty and she assisted me into the ER. When I explained what had happened to the admitting nurse, she was the one trying to contain a smirk when I admitted I had hurt my foot playing softball. I truly didn’t see what was so funny, but it was if a secret joke had been told each time I was passed from one hospital attendant to the next. “Yeah, softball, she hurt her foot playing softball…” (smirk, smirk)

An hour later, after I had been poked, and prodded, and x-rayed (and finished another two stripes on my scarf) it was deemed that I had broken my toes in several places. The doctor explained that there really was nothing to do except prop my foot up, ice it, and rest. And wear a silly looking orthopedic boot-type thing to prevent me from using my toes when walking.

Emily helped me back to the car and we immediately began laughing again. We lamented over how this just sucks. The week before I leave for vacation. Right before volleyball season begins. Right after buying new cute shoes which I won’t be able to wear for many weeks now.

That’s the thing about best friends. They make even the most painful situations something to laugh about. Everyone needs an Emily in their life.

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