“Jennifer, how are you feeling? The pain medication knocked you out. Sorry about your shirt, we had to cut it off you. You have quite a bit of road burn.” A nurse hovered with a clipboard. “We really to need take some x-rays if you are feeling up to it.”
“I need a trashcan.” The morphine had made me sick to my stomach. My back felt like jelly as I threw up. I had no muscle strength left to support the hurling motion. I felt as if someone had taken a sledgehammer to my spine. This was the first time I became aware of the bandages all over my back and my right arm.
After emptying my stomach, I was finally aware enough to desire some answers. “What about the car? Is the car okay?”
The nurse told me it was fine. “Sounds like a case of faulty gears.” There wasn’t even a scratch on it. Apparently the gear had been found in reverse but because the gas was not pushed down, the vacuum stand had been enough to stop the motion of the car.
“Your grandparents are on their way. We really need to get an x-ray of your back, though. Come on, let’s stand you up.”
The next few minutes were filled with pushing, prodding, and wheelchairing to the x-ray room. I could barely stand on my own. Even with the pain medication, the pressure on my back was too much to handle. I was told the x-ray did not show enough information, so I would need a CAT scan.
“Great, this requires more physical movement.” A million thoughts swirled around my mind. “Can’t they tell it's killing me to stand up?” It took everything in my power to make it through the CAT scan process before I was wheeled back to my temporary hospital room. I prayed that the nurse wouldn’t return with news that my insides were ripped in half.
An unsympathetic doctor entered the room. In the simplest translation, I learned that I had a minor “sprain” to my lower back. “That’s it?” I wondered. “All of this pain for nothing but a tiny sprain?” I was given the wimpiest excuse for a back brace and released home. “Oh well, I guess this is good news. I need to pack and get ready to fly home to Oklahoma tomorrow.”
The pain medicine must have made me loopy enough to actually believe I would be able to move in the following 24 hours. This optimistic thought was nothing more than a delusion. The next 24 hours were filled with so much pain that making it to the bathroom was a feat. Not to mention I was still battling the sporadic hurling that continued as the remaining morphine wore off.