Disaster of the Month Club: The Secret Society?

For back story, see Emergency Room Camping.  (in which we discover hospitals have disaster calendars: every month has a huge, full color picture of an impending medical disaster. Photo proof!)

I thought Disaster of the Month Club calendars must be limited to hospitals.  Makes sense.  The Medivac helicopter is advertising their services, and well, it’s a calendar. Graphic depictions of dire situations just on the verge of implosion, with Medivac helicopter  hovering helpfully in the background, will definitely advertise how much the hospital needs them.

That their presence could cause the accident waiting to happen seems not to have crossed anyone’s mind.  Clearly not put together by people familiar with horses.

I took Shaun and her expertly bandaged  hand to the orthopedic surgeon on Friday. It’s easy to determine his usual clientele.  Let’s just say my general practitioner has battered copies of geriatric Ladies Home Journal’s lying around, not glossy editions of Forbes, travel magazines on exotic destinations, and a current copy of The New York Times.

We waited.  Shaun read the NYT. I glanced at the real artwork on the walls, the live plants, huge waiting room, glass atrium, and alcove housing water, tea, coffee and china cups, thinking: “Why didn’t I listen to my mother? I could be a doctor now. Or a Vet.”

The receptionists wore scrubs that were tailored to fit. Is it just me, or does this defeat the purpose of wearing pajamas to work?

I prepared myself for a) homophobia (No idea why? Random paranoia?) and b) dismissively cool doctor with the warmth of a guppy.

Luckily, I was wrong on all counts.

An actual nurse walked Shaun into the exam room, chatting and being quite friendly.  She said, “I’ll need to cut that off”, nodding to the bandage, and then did a double take.

(Yes, I am going to brag.)

“Wow. We don’t usually see a bandage of this caliber from the ER. This is the best wrap job I’ve ever seen, and I’m good. I’ve never seen one better than mine.” She adds: “The ones from the ER are always a complete mess, twisted and uneven. The last one had Scotch Tape holding it on!”

I immediately wanted to slide the bandage, intact, off Shaun’s arm, frame it, and hang it in the living room. Jane’s artistic legacy.

It was hard not to cry when she brought out the scissors.

“This is excellent!  You don’t happen to remember the name of the nurse, do you?”, she says, cutting carefully.

I’m SO idiotically proud.  Maybe I could have a second career as a bandage wrapper in Emergency Rooms?  Daydreams begin. Jane: the most esteemed professional bandage wrapper. If the President sprained an ankle, I would be quietly flown in on Air Force One. I begin giving paid lectures in my head.

Shaun tilts her head at me. “My wife wrapped it.”

“You did a nice job”, the nurse says to me, smiling, unknowingly puncturing my $100,000-a-pop daydream of the bandaging-lecture circuit. “The doctor will be right with you”, she adds, tossing my expert bandage in the trash, on her way out the door.  I sit on my hands, so I won’t snatch my work of genius out of the trash. It’s ruined!

Shaun and I look around. The exam room is huge.  You could host a small dinner party. There’s a medical-quality laminated drawing of a deconstructed foot. Something the doc can point to when explaining what’s wrong.

Shaun says, “Look! On that wall!”

There’s a framed art photo of a bare foot running across a desert. The foot is mid-stride, having just touched down.

“It’s just about to break!”, Shaun adds, cocking her head at the foot’s angle, and the rocks it will soon trip over. She’s right.  That foot is going down.

We. Lose. It.

“Oh. Oh. Oh”, I gasp, choking with laughter, “Next to it, LOOK!”

We look at each other.  They really have them. Doctors and hospitals belong to Disasters of the Month Clubs!


I couldn’t let the chance slip through my fingers. I needed to see what was scheduled for July.  I owed it to the readers of TLH, heck I owed it to the entire sector of unknowing lay people, who might inadvertently show up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I get up.

Shaun furiously whisperes: SIT THE HECK DOWN, as I slide past the open exam door, and lift the page. Ta Da.


All of you!  Back away from the glacier. Something is about to go wrong with your ice axe, or your crampons. For heaven’s sake, do not LEAD the expedition! This guy falls, there’s no one to dally him. Carabiners are for keys or hair-elastic storage, not life or death attachment to a rope.

Unless you live near K2, you should be okay in July.

My apologies for the blur. I knew the second I lifted the page while holding a camera, the doctor would walk in. So I tried to do it quickly.

He walked in while the page was fluttering down. Frowned at my cell phone etiquette.  I should not be making calls!

Of course this would be in an orthopedic office.  Frostbite, ice axes (whoops…did I just miss and stab my leg?) limbs smashing in free fall…it’s…the Ortho version of Disaster of the Month Club calendar.

13 thoughts on “Disaster of the Month Club: The Secret Society?

  1. Hope Shaun heals quickly but how could she not with the expert bandaging. Love the story you had me smiling. I do find it odd that they have winter pictures in their summer months, did you look in the winter months to see if they had boating accidents?

    1. I’m tempted to make up a reason to go see my doctor, just so I can photograph her calender. I have no idea what she has up in her office. We weren’t alone in the exam room long enough for me to get a look at what disasters winter might hold (Lost in Death Valley?) but you totally cracked me up with the boating accidents. I’m picturing a rowboat on a frozen pond….

    1. Sigh
      I have so few real talents I wanted to snatch a grubby, sliced bandage out of the trash. That in itself is funny. 😉
      I can do more than wrap a bandage well, but the urge was there.
      “Oh no! One of my few abilities going to waste!” Yup. The Awful Little Voice strikes again.

  2. Snow pictures in summer, really?

    This is some sort of subliminal advertising, right?

    Sure now it’s all “OMG certain death” but in five months, with snow on the ground, you’re suddenly thinking “mmm… mountain climbing… fun” and can’t remember why.

    So what is December? A cyclist zooming around a curve with a flower-covered field in the background? ‘Cuz after falling off the mountain, no one is going to want to see their recent disaster on the wall, mocking them. A roller skater? Someone at a pool, about to dive into certain agony?

    This disaster of the month conspiracy goes deeper than it first appeared. More research is necessary. When is Shaun’s next checkup?

  3. Ahahahha, this is definitely one of your funniest best posts! Please tell Shaun I am deeply sorry for her pain but at least there’s a LOT of humor coming from it!

  4. My paint once got shoved back into an old-fashioned steel gate (horizontal square bars instead of round) and split her leg open right below the hock. Bad enough that the tendon was clearly exposed, yawning wound–bad news. The mobile vet dug around the tendon and said it was intact but he couldn’t stitch it. I remember nearly bawling in frustration the first couple of times I tried to wrap it (she was only about a year old, and naturally had a lot of trouble holding still). I finally started duct-taping the top and bottom of the wrap, and still she usually managed to get it to slip off. Now you can’t even see where it happened, but of course back then I was sure I was going to cripple her for life with my ineptitude. (And next time, save and frame the bandage! Primo conversation piece!)

  5. I need your bandaging skills. Beamer (the flea-bitten Arabian) got a long deep cut on the inside of his right hind leg. Just below the stifle. Absolutely now idea how as there is nothing in the pasture that would cause that kind of wound. It was bleeding so we took him into the barn, cleaned it up and bandaged it. Started with some gauze covered in antibiotic ointment, followed by some cotton wrapping all covered over with vet wrap. All wrapped snugly to keep the wrap in place and the wound clean and the medicine on. We stepped back to admire our bandage and he picked his leg up (there is something tight on me leg, get it off! get it off). That beautiful bandage shot down to his hock. The second attempt, which included some tape to keep things in place, did not fare any better. The third attempt was abandoned in favor of stall rest for a few days to let things heal over a bit.

    Our best to Shaun for a speedy and full recovery!

    1. How frustrating is that?! If it’s not deep enough for stitches, you’ve been able to get it spotlessly clean, and are positive it’s not a puncture wound that ended in a scrape (that’s a lot of things, I know!) a spray bandage can be a life saver. But you wouldn’t want to use it on a deep or puncture wound. If at all unclear, skip the spray bandage. 🙂 But you probably know all this anyway.

  6. Being from Alaska, I don’t recommend glacier hiking or climbing during the summer months. Contrary to popular belief, it can get quite hot in Alaska. Think 90s. Yeah, that’s about right. So, even if you’re on a mountain of ice, the hot sun is still beating down on you, melting ice into puddles that stand on ice. It would be a bit like walking on a wet ice cube to begin with. Now, what about those spots where melting is happening UNDER the surface? I suspect that the chance of falling in is much, much higher in the summer. Lord knows our snow berms the kids play on all winter aren’t safe to play on come spring, and they’re usually about 5′ high. My eldest didn’t listen, fell through and was plunged into waist deep, icy cold water at the age of 9.

  7. OMG. So very funny. Where I live in WNC it’s serious horse country — and the local hospital’s specialty is orthopaedics. I’m guessing the ortho guys here have calendars featuring equestrians doing X-country or grand prix jumping… Hope Shaun is healing nicely.

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