Change of Plans

“I have a job for you,” my husband says in a casual tone as we walk into the house, returning from dinner out.

My mind is thinking, Oh no, what do I have to sort through or clean up now? But that is not the job.

“I think I have a thorn or splinter on the bottom of my foot. I can’t see it to get it out. So I thought you could,” he says.

“This is my opportunity to inflict pain?” I joke as he gets  tweezers and I get a magnifying glass. “What were you doing to get this in your foot?” (I have been working out of town for the past three days, so I don’t know what he’s been doing.)

“Yesterday I did some yard work in the backyard, but I was barefoot. I never felt anything until this morning the bottom of my foot was a little sore, but I couldn’t see anything in there, so I thought I’d wait until you got home and you could get it out.”

He puts his foot in my lap and I look. I can see there is infection but there are  also red lines radiating out from the infection and beginning to crawl up the side of his foot. I’m no doctor, but I do know that red streaks are not a good thing.

“You have an infection and red streaks coming out of it. I’m not messing with this. Let’s go see what Pam says,” I tell him. (Pam is our neighbor and she is a nurse.)

Pam takes one look and says, “You had better get to urgent care as soon as possible. You have an infection in your blood and if you wait it will be up to your knee by the morning.” These are not the words we wanted to hear.

We have no idea where an urgent care center is with our insurance. However, after a phone call to nurse on call we know where to go. They are open until 9 and it is only 7 so we should be good. Hopefully this won’t take too long.

That was a hope in vain. After waiting nearly two hours, he is called to the back. The staff at the center begin the closing process as I sit and wait. I am watching a young father juggle a baby, who wants to get down and crawl, and a three year old daughter as they wait for mom to return. I am thankful I don’t have to entertain anyone.

Within fifteen minutes, my husband returns. He is not limping and there is no enormous bandage wrapped around his foot. “So, what happened? What did the doctor say?” I pepper him with questions.

“He said it was a good thing I came in, but he couldn’t find a splinter or thorn in my foot. And we have to stop to pick up an antibiotic prescription before we get home.”

At 9:30 we drag into the house. I am tired but relieved. I hope we don’t have anymore changes in plans like this in our future.

P.S. – Three days after the evening in urgent care, we get a phone call from urgent care. The doctor had taken a culture of the infection and the lab report listed some bacteria that was causing concern. So, an additional antibiotic prescription was called in to the pharmacy. I am happy to report the wound is healing.

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11 thoughts on “Change of Plans

  1. Great balance of dialogue and description! I hate going to emergency rooms or urgent care centers. That extra step of having to locate an urgent care covered by your insurance adds to the stress! Glad he showed you his foot when he did!

  2. jen says:

    Yikes! Blood infections are so scary. I am glad your case was quickly resolved! I love the way you captured it moment-by-moment. Great use of dialogue – not too much, not too little… is there a way to make kids write it so simply?!? 🙂

  3. OMG, those men can be so tough at times. I can only imagine how tender and sore his foot must have been while he waited for you. I’m so glad to hear the antibiotics are working and that your hubby is on the mend. I think some slip-on yard shoes are in order. 🙂

  4. the other ruth says:

    The conversation makes this! Of course, I’m sorry to hear about hubby’s foot, but gosh, it made for a great story. 🙂

  5. That was a scary evening, I’m sure. I enjoyed reading your slice, and as a reader, really appreciated the details that tell so much about the setting, the way you and your husband relate (the joking, etc.). When my daughter was about 2 years old, she had a similar infection, something she got at the beach, so I could anticipate what your neighbour was going to suggest. I’m so glad you went to the clinic.

  6. Yes, you held my attention through to the end. And I can say, “Thanks to wives, our husbands are in a better place!” So good to hear that he is on the mend. You certainly made us think of our trips to the emergency room and the tiime and frustration that it entails.

  7. Glad that your hubby’s healing well thanks to antibiotics. I have a feeling he won’t be doing barefoot yard work anymore!

    I really like the way you unfolded this story. You had me with you every step of the way. I especially enjoyed the way you included other people in the description of the waiting room (the father juggling the baby and the three year-old). It made everything seem real.

  8. Spending time waiting for care is such a challenge, but it’s good you went, & that they followed up is great. I’m happy things are better for your husband. It’s interesting how life takes us up & grabs us even when we don’t want it to.

  9. So good that he had you look at it! That is just not something to fool around with. I’m glad he is on the mend and that you caught it in time. It’s interesting how little twists and turns happen in a moment to change our days and lives.

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