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.