English (United Kingdom)Danish(DK)
Yet another UPS !

This story is about what a dog show may lead to. Herning, November 2010. In many ways a nice show weekend, during which my endeavours to lead a cairn to the top fell into place on Saturday already. Thus, Sunday was very relaxing and ended up in the very best way, so that I was supposed to show the dog in question in the main ring. I was standing in the pre-judging ring, enjoying myself wonderfully. Then we entered the main ring, and I was selected for a place within the group. The Airedale won the 4th place, the Jack Russel Terrier the 3rd, leaving the Cairn Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier to be assessed. You bet this was getting exciting now!! Our turn now, and at the end of a perfect weekend we had an even more perfect result: a group winner! BUT! Let’s go back in time a bit: The Cairn Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are sent about in the ring, and we have almost completed our round, as the Cairn Terrier is proclaimed the winner. Without even thinking, rather as a result of an automatically triggered muscle twitch, I take off on my right leg for a – as I thought at the time – jump as high as right up to the ceiling (which, however, proved to have been merely a very modest skip), and at the same time I hear a tremendously loud crack. At that moment, I did not connect this crack to my own person, but merely recognized it as a strange sound coming from somewhere behind me. At the point where I touch the floor again after my “giant jump” I’m thinking, “Oh, oh – I think you missed your footing there, old pal”, I take another step and one more, and – again – get a feeling that I miss my footing and that my foot refuses to respond, let alone obey my orders. So I stop in my tracks and look down at my foot, and it feels as if my toes have fallen into some sort of hole in the ground. “Well, I must be getting on”, I think, and limp on to the podium to tell the judge that I’d probably ruptured my Achilles tendon. The judge answered, “It certainly sounded, as if …..”. I can’t be bothered about that, because the next thing to be done is the taking of photographs, which is, of course, totally impossible with me jumping about there on 1 ½ legs. So the normal lap of honour is called off, as I am, literally speaking, being dragged out of the ring.

Outside the ring I was placed on a chair with my leg propped up. Somewhat later the first-aid people (3 of the kind) got ready to get going, or rather, they tried to. One of the first aid men tried to take off my shoe, a task which caused him huge problems, until I suggested to him to untie the lace first. After that the shoe goes off without problems. It was established that my Achilles tendon was ruptured, and I was told that an ambulance will be arriving shortly – in abt. 5 minutes – to take me directly to the operating table. One of the first aid-men tried to fasten a bag of ice cubes to my ancle by applying of some sort of bandage to fix it there, but he  wasn’t very talented in that respect, so I hastened to do that myself while contemplating what more to get organized before the ambulance arrived. I’d got to be quick, because the dog was going into BIS, and who’s supposed to handle the dog?? Well, somebody else took care of that.

The first aid men asked me whether I was in pain, but apart from that fact that it felt as if something was biting my calf from behind, I felt quite ok. “Would you like a bit of oxygen?”, they asked me. After having enquired what good oxygen was supposed to do and having received the answer that oxygen would take the peak of the pain, I asked them to “bring it on”. So there I was, sitting on a chair with my ice cube bag-bandaged leg propped up high AND an oxygen mask across my face. AND, I of course had to find a solution as to how to get my dog and my car back to Funen, since my own way would lead directly to the operating table. It, fortunately, turned out that Michelle, one of my handling class students from Svendborg, and her boyfriend were also visiting Herning this weekend. Excellent! I filled her in as to where my car was parked and how my GPS was working, so that both dog and car could be returned to Funen. Done! Michelle repeatedly offered to come along to the hospital, but I politely turned her down. No need for that since I myself would be taken straight to the operating table.

In the meantime, the 5 minute’s wait had gone by several times, and there was still no sign of the ambulance appearing. The big double doors of the hall, however, had already been opened so that the ambulance could go straight up to get me. To put it mildly, the cold and stiff wind coming in through the double doors slowly got the best of me, and I felt cold and uncomfortable there on my chair. To be honest, I started to feel nauseous, my head felt drained of blood, I felt like being drifting away and sensed that I was about to lose control. Due to the terribly long wait and the stiff and steady breeze upon my back I felt an irresistible urge get to the “loo”, but the first aid-man judged that wish to be absolutely out of the question. Ok, my little pee would have to wait for a bit then ……

At long last a vehicle – NO, not an ambulance, but a huge taxi carrying a very narrow stretcher - arrives. The helpers ferry me onto the stretcher, cover me with a dog’s blanket, and off I go to the cab waiting outside. 4 people are following the stretcher to the taxi in order to help placing it - and me on it - on the back seat, a task which you – considering the number of helping hands – would think would be an easy one to deal with. But no! That one went all wrong. Nobody knew how to undo the lashes of the stretcher wheels, and the four of them had a hard time trying to simultaneously balance the stretcher and fold up the wheels, and by the time they succeeded, I myself had almost fallen off twice. After a number of attempts they gave in and somehow got me into the car. At THIS point of time I felt so goddamn cold and nauseous and convinced that “a little something” would be flowing out of my body from somewhere up OR down within the next 5 seconds at the latest. I leant back in the seat and tried to take deep breaths in order to avoid said situation. The distance from Herning Messecenter to the hospital is a drive of about 10 minutes, and surprisingly I recovered and got to feel a lot better within this short period of time. To be honest, I almost thought of myself as a hypocrite! How could that possibly be that I felt so miserable just a few moments ago and now my brain suddenly started functioning again?

Finally we arrived at the hospital and I took it for granted that somebody would come to help to get me out of the car. But no! Somebody has put a wheelchair on the pavement next to the taxi, and it’s up to me to somehow get out and over there. After that somebody takes the wheelchair into the building, and I hasten to tell everybody that there are certain things to consider, if I am about to be put on the operating table, but this information doesn’t seem of any interest to neither the nurse nor the doctor. I keep wondering about this wonderful brightness and clear-thinking brain of mine, I have a strong urge to inform that doctor about this, and so I did. His answer was: “God knows that’s no wonder!”, which, in return, totally baffled me. It turned out that an amount of oxygen of about 1 liter would have been the normal dose to give, and I had been given 10 litres – a dose which normally brings about a state of mind equivalent to that of a person either completely high, stoned or drunk. After having examined my leg and established the rupture of my Achilles tendon, the doctor called for a special kind of boot to be brought. They put my leg into the boot, whereupon the doctor – or was it the nurse?? – informed me that I might go home now. Go back home?? I was supposed to have a surgery, goddammit! Well, obviously I wasn’t. At this point of time, everything started going haywire. How was I supposed to get back home? Everybody, including my own car, had left Herning! I called several people to get the mobile number of Michelle who was on the road in my car on her way to Funen. In vain. I asked the staff whether it would be possible for me to stay the night at the hospital. No chance. So I started picturing myself sitting in a transport wheelchair outside the main entrance of the hospital in Herning, alone and miserable, until I’d come up with a solution to my transport problem myself. Finally, my husband and I agreed that he would start driving from Svendborg towards Herning in his car, and I would take a cab going in the direction of Svendborg, whilst we would both maintain a dedicated telephone line to agree upon a meeting point somewhere in between in Jutland. So I did get home in the end Smile

My trials and tribulations aren’t over yet, but at the time of writing I have dismissed the boot and can go for short walks of about 20 minutes’ time. Thus, though obviously too slow for my terrier’s temper, things ARE getting better.

Now, what's the news at your end???

(A big "thank you" to my sister in law, who did the translation from Danish to English)

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