Monday, June 9, 2014

wrap it and go home.

so there's a machine at work called a baler.

it's really cool.


when the cardboard cart back in the produce section gets too full, we throw our cardboard into a baler, press a button, and the door closes and this big pump goes VROOOOOOM and it crushes all the cardboard into a bale. if we have a bunch of cardboard, we have to crush like, five or six loads.

it takes up a bunch of time and it's super destructive and i love it.

on thursday while i was whiling away my shift, i spent some time with the baler. i had an eight hour shift and needed to do something with my time besides stocking salads.

i noticed that there was a strawberry carton stuck in the top of the crushy thing. i went to yank it out.

what resulted was my full body weight being thrown into my elbow, which then rammed directly into the lip of the baler door.

you know your elbow is like one big knob? but right below it on the inside is a teeny little knob?

yeah, my full body weight went straight onto that.

this picture has alerted me that the little knob is called the medial epicondyle.

thanks, picture.

anyway, i wanted to scream. then i wanted to vomit. then i wanted to pass out. so i barricaded myself in the bathroom for half an hour until i could function a little bit.

then i totally ignored it because I AM A SMART HUMAN BEING.

proper kroger procedure:

1. tell someone.
2. cry.
3. file an incident report.
4. leave work.
5. have kroger pay for medical bills.

proper emily procedure:

1. hide out in the bathroom
2. wince a bunch
3. keep loading forty-five pound boxes of bananas
4. keep pulling heavy carts
5. tell no one

it wasn't until friday when megan was like, yo what's wrong with your elbow that i realised i could've told someone and like, reported a work injury.

i keep forgetting i'm in a union and like, have rights as a human being. more rights than the tea party republicans give women, anyway.

i worked thursday, friday, saturday, and sunday. long shifts. no time to go to redi-med to get it checked out.

(michigan people, redi-med is urgent care. same exact thing.)

so today, after running some errands, i was like, RED-IMED TIME!


i went in. told the receptionist i think i had fractured my elbow. she stared at me like really and i was like, i am a real adult and you don't scare me but she did scare me because my anxiety was hella high.

i hate it when receptionists are mean. like, with my anxiety disorder, i am using all of my emotional resolve to make it to your office and to approach you and to talk to you and to not mess up my words and to appear like a competent human being. and you're being mean to me? nah, man, that's not cool. i hate mean receptions.

so then i filled out some paperwork and decided to see what was on TV.

something on USA. two kids were making out in a car at an overly glorified overlook.

they died. go figure.

i checked a bunch of boxes because i'm more physically messed up than i realise. can't remember the last day of my period. such is life.

like, do people actually keep track of their periods? nobody has time for that.

i started reading my new book, room, by emma donoghue.


they called me to give me back my ID and my insurance card and these two tween girls were sitting across from me, watching me, obviously trying to figure out what was wrong with me. i was trying to figure out what was wrong with them. i surreptitiously watched them over my book as they took redi-med selfies together.

i love selfies. and i have taken a hospital selfie before.

but like, redi-med lobby?

don't get me wrong. i totally snapchatted from the lobby.

they called me back to exam room one and i got nice and comfy on an exam table. and by comfy i mean not comfy at all because i usually need a chair with back support and this was like, nahhhh. the nurse wasn't very nice and she was overlooking my little patient paperwork i'd filled out.

do you have anxiety/depression: checkmark yes.

do you take any medications: zoloft, 25mg.

nurse: so what do you take antidepressants for?

let's think.

she didn't seem genuinely impressed by my blood pressure, which was new, because most doctors are like, SUCH BLOOD PRESSURE! WOW! which always amazes me because since i stopped competitively swimming, i've become pretty much the unhealthiest thin person ever.

she slammed the door when she left.

i snapchatted hannah all like EXAM ROOM ONE AHHHH and she was like I'M AT WERK and i was like, STILL IN EXAM ROOM ONE

then i read a bunch of room. it's a great book but it takes forever to read because it's in first person perspective of a five year old.

it's intense. he has no idea what kind of predicament he's actually in and it's beginning to shape itself around me and i'm like, OH MY GOD KID YOU NEED SOCIAL SERVICES LIKE DUDE TAKE YOUR MOM AND RUN.

then a nicer doctor than the nurse came in and complimented me on my bow. she seemed displeased that i hadn't reported my little work injury to kroger and i was like, i didn't know! it's not my fault! and my anxiety went way up and she was like, jeez your elbow is swollen and i was like, totally

then she GRABBED IT

any tingling in your hand?

well now there is after you grabbed it.

she ordered an x-ray, yada yada. then she called me sweet pea and i smiled.

the best parts about x-rays are the x-ray aprons. most people think they're heavy and awful, but i think they're wonderful. they're super weighted and make my anxiety practically disappear. when i tore my meniscus they gave me a full body one and i wanted to lie underneath it forever.

this one was just a little skirt but it was still super comforting.

the x-ray tech was an old guy that kept apologising every time he moved my arm and seemed to think that i'd never had an x-ray before. he then led me back to the wrong room.

at this point i'd already been at redi-med for two hours and i was like, yooooo i got things to do.

the nice doctor came back and called me sweet pea again. then she told me that there was too much fluid around my joint to really see if i fractured it.

i don't know about you, but that's like, really gross.

she gave me an ace wrap, which reminded me of when the ER was like "your knee is just sprained, here's a bandage" when my meniscus was actually torn. and she wrapped it up nice and tight, which was nice of her. she called me sweet pea for the third time and told me not to have too much fun stocking salads.

i've always been really curious about fluid building up in things. as much as i hate needles, i kind of want to poke at my elbow and see what drains out of it.

euw, writing that down made me realise how absolutely disgusting this thought is. EUW EUW EUW NOPE.

three hours in redi-med tired me out. my elbow is still wrapped and it's still terribly painful. and i have another six hours of stocking bananas boxes tomorrow, woo!

maybe one day i'll stop being so accident prone. maybe there's hope for me.

until then, i can always wrap up my joints and go home.


  1. Em, if you like the radiation apron-things, you should look into getting a weighted blanket. I learned about them working with the service dogs' families. They make all different weights and I think the rule of thumb is 10% of your body weight. That weight and pressure having a calming affect? Totally normal for lots of kids with Autism or FASD or anxiety or similar struggles. It helps me too :)
    They can be kind of expensive, but lots of people have put together tutorials on how to make your own for a lot less $$. Google it.

  2. i've looked for them online and they're always really expensive. my friend made her own and filled it with bulk rice and i'm going to try that.