I already told you I don't remember anything about the ambulance ride. I also don't even really know what hospital I went to. I think it was Memorial in Charlotte, but it might have been that one in Huntersville. All I know is they put me on a surfboard. I hated that surfboard.
I'm still not sure what the surfboard does. To this day, you could explain to me exactly how that surfboard thing is designed to keep you from further injuring your spine while you wait to see the doctor, and I still won't believe you. That thing I was strapped to was horrible. The ER people imprisoned me on that thing for 9 or 10 hours. I didn't mind having to piss in a cup... which for once I couldn't do because I was so dehydrated. I just minded the surfboard itself. It hurt my back so bad.
And what made me the maddest was that I could not talk the nurses or doctors into letting me get off of it. They would just keep walking and sometimes they might acknowledge me and coldly say, "Just stay there, we can't let you off of that. Please stop asking us that."
This was pissing me off. I could talk my way in or out of anything and these people didn't give a shit. I would say, "Look, this surfboard is hurting me so bad. I just need to lay in a bed. Will you people please just move me into a soft bed?! I promise not to move. I'll lay still on my back just like I am now. I'll do whatever you want. Just let me off of this hard board! It is the most painful thing I've ever felt."
These people were stone cold stones. I still think they could have put me in a bed.
Besides the 9 to 10 hours stuck alone on the surfboard pleading to be let off the surfboard, I don't remember much at the hospital.
I know my mom and dad were there at first. But after an hour or two, just my Mom was there.
She would later tell me that he left because he "Had to work the next day and needed a good night's sleep." She said she argued with him that he "owned the damn company and could call in to work for one day to be with his injured son at the hospital." He left anyway. Sounds like him. Sounds like her. She's right, and he gets his way.
I also know that my mom pleaded with Kira's parents at the ER. She had never met them, but she offered them this advice: "Look, I've been through stuff like this many times. Ginger's insurance company, no doubt, has somebody on the way here this minute to offer you what seems like a great amount of money, while you're here. They want you to sign away your daughter's right to sue them in the future. Don't sign a thing. She may seem fine now, but if you find something wrong with her later, you're screwed. You're name should be signed on nothing tonight. Trust me, I know how this goes."
They didn't trust her. And you will later find out how it goes. The magical insurance guy showed up just like my Mom "amazingly" knew he would. I guess Kira's parents just thought my Mom got lucky? I don't know. If she was right about Step 1 (him showing up), why would she be wrong about Step 2? (You shouldn't sign shit.") Oh well, these people signed a piece of paper for a few thousand dollars and I guess they thought they had hit the jackpot. I shouldn't speculate, I don't know what they were thinking. I'm still not sure even if they were thinking.
After 9 or 10 hours on the surfboard, they took some X-Rays of me and all this other stuff and then they dumped me in a wheel chair. They wheeled me into a room with my Mom and the young doctor came in and saw me in person for what I think was the first time that night.
He handed my Mom a written prescription in my name for a bottle of Hydrocodone. The only phrase I remember him saying was that I was going to be "pretty sore for a couple of days."
There was no mention of a concussion, and not even close to a mention of my back being broken. Even though I HAD JUST HAD A MAJOR CONCUSSION AND MY BACK WAS VERY BROKEN!
In fact, the doctor said that the X-Rays showed "no problems at all." I was diagnosed with a muscle sprain. Just a muscle sprain. NOT A MAJOR FRACTURE OF MY THIRD LUMBAR!
A nurse wheeled me out to the entrance/exit of the ER as my Mom pulled up in her Wood-Paneled Buick Electra Station Wagon 2.25. (Some black people in my town referred to the model as a "Deuce-and-a-Quata.")
After ten or fifteen minutes of trying to get me into the car, they finally succeeded. You would think that would have been a sign, but nobody thought anything. And my mom drove me home to let me rest my sore back for a couple days. It wasn't her fault. She's no doctor. I'm thinking maybe the doctor should have paid attention in X-Ray class when he was in medical school. Oh well, at least I had codeine.
On the way home, my Mom told me how she had spent the day in nearby Long Creek the same time I was in the car wreck. She was sitting outside in the backyard eating with family at her dad's house when they heard the emergency workers driving by. She said when the sirens went off, she said to them, "That's not good. Roth is in this Huntersville today. I think those sirens are for him."
She said she went and sat by the phone and waited for the call to reach her so she would know where to find me. She was right. Then she found me.