The knee of death put in another giant, freakish appearance on Saturday and I couldn't move or walk or do anything except scare children at the work St Nicolas party (of which MUCH more later) with my disturbingly elephantine limb. So the CFO dropped me off at the hospital in the manner of a gangland shooting victim on an episode of ER, stopping for just long enough to roll my body out of the car then screeching off again. I don't begrudge this at all. The only thing worse than sitting for seven hours in casualty would be sitting for seven hours in casualty with two fractious children using my leg as monkey bars and an increasingly irate and squinty eyed Frenchman.
I think the hospital must have known I was feeling a little homesick because it put on a five star British casualty experience. Hour in the hall in the dark; bemused intern poking, going off to "ask my superior" and never being seen again; eventually getting an x-ray, then being abandoned in the room they use to put casts on for three hours weeping on an ever more insistent note in pain while occasionally people would try to come in and use the room, look puzzled at me, and go away again, pointedly ignoring my whimpering. More poking, mystery blood tests (never explained) and a catheter (is this the right word - I mean one in my arm, not to make me wee. It's catheter in French but I'm never sure) inserted, an ice pack, sheepish delegation of three doctors coming to say they couldn't actually do anything about it today, but I could go to orthopedics on Monday. More weeping from me. Asked for catheter to be removed - nurse went to "ask my superior", never seen again. Another hour waiting for prescription and appointment. Wheeled to the front desk to wait in dark for a taxi. Realised still had catheter in and had to ask receptionist to take it out. More weeping.
I will say one thing for the Belgian version of British casualty - when you've been waiting four hours and cry, they give you a consolation MORPHINE shot. Mmmm. This almost made it worthwhile. There were a couple of almost pleasant hours in a fuzzy, semi-catatonic state listening to the gibbering woman next door rant on about how she had been poisoned and she was going to tell the media as soon as she got out. It was a bit muddled, something to do with cats and sponges, but it was mildly distracting. Sadly, however much I pleaded for more, they weren't having it and chucked me out with a prescription for, uh, paracetamol. I still can't move my right leg, or sleep, which is mildly inconvenient to say the least.
I don't know what the moral of this story is. Don't hurt your knee on a Saturday? Don't assume NaBloPoMoFo is a good idea just because you usually manage to post everday? Don't boast about the superiority of the Belgian health system on your weblog?
I do have proper post for today if the CFO ever gives me the camera back. It has pictures of Père Fouettard collecting old dummies in a giant Nutella pot and everything. But I'm not promising anything or I'll probably get electrocuted by the kettle or cut my fingers off with an axe. Clearly I've displeased the blogging gods. They demand a sacrifice! I'm not sure what it might be, but I'll get back to you when I find out.
Update: now with added pathetic picture
Boo hoo poor me.