COLUMN: Surely there are better ways to begin a week

“Thirty-five percent of all serious household accidents occur in the bathroom.”
– CBS News

“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”
– Richard and Karen Carpenter

I spent last Monday morning in the emergency room at North Mississippi Medical Center.
No, it was not for poison ivy.
Just before coming to work Monday, I stepped into the bathroom and my left foot hit a small bit of water. That, my friends, was all she wrote.
I’ll spare you the details. I don’t want you to think of this space as Leslie’s affliction of the week.
Quick thinking spared me a broken leg, I believe, but I sprained my foot.
Worst of all, I hit my head – hard – on the door frame as I went down. I was never unconscious, but a bit addled for a few seconds.
All I could think of was Natasha Richardson and I was afraid.
A call to my doctor extracted instructions to head to the ER.
So, that’s where my friend Cheryl took me.
Now, let me say this was not my first trip to an ER.
I spent one Saturday night in an emergency room in south Mississippi.
I had a kidney stone, but by the time I’d sat for several hours watching drama after drama unfold, I felt even worse.
One woman had shot her husband, then brought him to the hospital and was screaming at medical personnel to save his life.
There were other tragedies that made my kidney stone pale in comparison.
I decided that long-ago night the emergency room of a hospital was not a place I wanted to visit often, but especially not on a Saturday night.
But on Monday morning my thoughts were so much on poor Natasha Richardson and her fatal head injury, a trip to the ER didn’t seem so daunting.
In the years I’ve been at the Journal, nearly a decade now, I’ve read and heard many personal stories of folks’ ER experiences.
Now I have one of my own.
With only a minor exception, every single person I encountered at NMMC on Monday morning was caring, compassionate and capable. There were smiles aplenty and good humor, too.
One of the X-ray techs had to shoot film of my foot, then later my neck.
A glitch in her equipment caused a short wait for which she kept apologizing. She finally took part of the X-ray machine out into the hall and unwound and unwound and unwound the cord to see if that would fix the problem.
It did not. She finally had to wheel me to another area of the hospital.
I know how frustrated I get when my water hose gets kinked, but she never lost her cool and seemed concerned only for my convenience and care.
Please, buy that young woman a cordless machine.
The time between tests was not long at all. And Dr. Kirksey was reassuring and kind.
He delivered my CT scan results. I do have a brain.
And I now have proof what my parents have said for years is true: I am a hard-headed girl.
In my time in Tupelo, folks have often told me how fortunate I am to live where there’s such a fine hospital.
From personal experience, I’m a believer.

Contact Leslie Criss at or (662) 678-1584.

Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

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