Monday, May 14: Well, well, well.  I managed to do another klutzy thing today.  I’m always running into things with my awkward feet, but today, while my students were giving their presentations about endangered animals, I was running back and forth quickly from the back of the class, where I was sitting to observe, to the front to take pictures of their posters.  On one of my hurried trips back to my seat after taking a picture, I ran full force with my left foot into a bulky wooden desk, the heavy kind that doesn’t budge when you hit it.  I immediately yelled in pain and felt shoots of pain going up my leg.

The pain got progressively worse as I sat there, and when I had to walk back to my office after class, I was hobbling like an old woman (which I am NOT, by the way!!).  Mario, who was observing my class with me, looked at my foot, which was slowly swelling and turning purple, and said I better go to the clinic because it appeared to be fractured.

Badr Al Samaa Polyclinic in Firq/Nizwa

So after work, I stopped at the Badr Al Samaa Clinic to have a doctor look at it.  They sent me to the “emergency room,” but as it was 4:30, earlier than the 5:00 opening time, they had to phone the doctor and ask him to come in!! Wow, heaven forbid you should get in a serious accident between 1:00 and 5:00, when doctors are absent from the clinic for their afternoon naps!!

inside the emergency room

I give the Indian nurses credit for at least making me comfortable.  They asked me to lie down and wait a half hour, which I did.  The doctor came in and then ordered an IV with saline solution and then some injections for the pain.  He told me I’d need to wait another half hour or so for the X-ray technicians to come in.

my left foot is swelling and purplish

I almost fell asleep waiting, and finally they came in and told me to go back to the front desk to pay, then come back for the X-ray.  Luckily it was just my toe, so I hobbled up the steps to the front desk, paid my 2 rials, then hobbled back down to wait.  Hmmm, what if my LEG had been broken?  Would they have made me walk up to pay then?

They took the X-ray.  The technician told me to wait outside the room for the X-ray to print.  Several times she came out and said there seemed to be something wrong with the printer, so it was taking some time.  Finally, she came out and said, “I’m sorry.  The printer does not seem to be working today.  I’m really sorry.  I can’t help you.”

WHAT???  I said, “What do you mean you can’t help me!? I am not leaving here until I get some help.  I want to see the doctor again!”

So, what?  If the clinic’s X-ray machine is not working properly, then they can’t help a patient??? I absolutely refused to leave the clinic, after waiting over 1 hour already, until I got some pain-killer and anti-inflammatory!! Or had my foot taped.  Something!! That was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of!!

the X-ray machine finally printed my X-ray!!

So, I waited some more and finally saw the doctor; he prescribed a pain-killer and anti-inflammatory and some topical cream.  He had the nurses tape my little toe to the next toe, and told me to keep it like that for 2 weeks. Finally, the X-ray printed, miracle of miracles, and the doctor looked at it and said there was a hairline fracture on the little toe.  But it should be fine, he said. I could go.

Hmmm.  I sure as heck hope I never have a serious accident around the Nizwa area.  I really have never seen any ambulances in Oman, and with the clinic hours, it could be a frightening experience.  I just hope if anything ever happens to me in Oman, that I happen to be near Muscat!! And not between 1:00 and 5:00!! 🙂