Chamber Made Column
July 8, 2017
You Did What To Your Foot?!
For those of you out there who are faithful readers of my column, you may have noticed I did not have my usual piece in last week’s Saturday paper. At the time I was supposed to be writing it, I was in excruciating pain from a silly vacation injury. Leave it to me to be hurt on vacation in Minnesota with my in-laws, on what can only be described as a freak accident.
One day before I was supposed to return home, I was in a Minneapolis store at the checkout counter when the clerk dropped a heavy bag of caribiners on my right foot. What is a caribiner, you ask? It is one of those clasps that mountain climbers clip onto eye bolts that are anchored into rocks. What I can tell you is when a bagful of caribiners are dropped on your foot from counter level, it hurts quite a bit… not as much as falling from a cliff but still.
Being the person that I am, I didn’t want the nice woman to know what she did, so I did what most self-respecting Vermonters would do. I stifled a scream and stealthily limped out of the store, saving my reaction until I hit the sidewalk outside.
Fast forward to a few days later and I got to the point where I couldn’t walk. My foot was extremely swollen, red, with no black and blue though, with red streaks starting to spread in all directions, like a firecracker in the sky. I was mystified as to the cause, so right before the holiday weekend, I bit the bullet and limped into the emergency room of the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, looking for relief.
Having been at the ER just a week before with another foot injury, requiring stitches for my son, the first reaction I got from my attending nurse was a smile and, “You again!?” As I relayed my tale of the caribiners to him, the doctor and x-ray specialist, I must say the story started to sound more absurd with each telling. Who else would have a caribiner injury but me?
As with my son, within two hours of our arrival, we were back in the parking lot, heading home, still limping but having received wonderful medical treatment from our local hospital. My own diagnosis was cellulitis, a worrisome infection that has required me taking a healthy dose of antibiotics this past week to rid me of the swelling, redness and pain.
Come to find out, it appears my foot was cut during the Caribiner Injury of 2017 and bacteria had seeped into the wound, causing the infection. I learned that if I had waited the weekend to seek assistance, I would have been one hurting unit. I remain grateful they treated my case so quickly and professionally.
A week later, I may be still sporting a walk that makes me look more like a cowboy than a chamber director, but I am extremely grateful to the medical crew at NVRH who attended to my injury on a very busy night and never made me feel like my injury was as ridiculous as it was.
Having a local hospital that provides exemplary care during the highs and lows of your life is something that can be easily taken for granted, but I can’t say I do with the wonderful treatment I have received there for myself and my family and friends these past few years. Many thanks, again, to a hospital that truly treats you like family, right down to the comment I received upon my arrival.
(Darcie McCann is the executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber.)