Tuesday, February 22, 2011
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
A couple of entries ago I documented the gifting of the lucky thong decorated with one of our wishbones to Bob for his birthday. Years ago I attached a wishbone to the mast belowdecks, and each Thanksgiving I replaced it. Two years ago I broke the new wishbone as I was inserting it into the bungee cords holding the old wishbone, an eagle’s feather, a never-used fishing rod, and two bike helmets, purchased after the unfortunate collision I had with the daughter of Annapolis’ most powerful lawyer. I convinced myself that I needed to leave the old wishbone, because it could be that a broken wishbone did not have the same protective powers. This year, while having Thanksgiving with Jay and Di, I dug the wishbone out of their turkey and claimed it as my own. But when attaching it to the mast under the bungee cords with all the other crap, I thought it also might not have protective powers for ME, since it was really Jay and Di’s wishbone. So, until the gifting, I had 3 wishbones assuring good luck to the crew of First Edition.
Since Bob’s birthday, I took a nasty fall on the razor rock on the Oceanside of Hog Cay where I was collecting sea glass. Every once in a while a piece of razor rock will come loose from its larger self, becoming unsuitable for walking upon. The fall resulted in a very large bruise to the copious fat located on the side of my left thigh, several small abrasions on leg, elbow, and hand, and a dramatic scrape on my left knee, where several inches of skin were removed to expose the second layer of the body’s largest organ, which remained white as snow for several long seconds until copious bleeding began. Being out on a walk, we had no first aid supplies on hand, so when we finally arrived back to the dinghy I was a bloody mess.
Yesterday, following a cocktail consensus reached the prior night, The Group decided to move to Raccoon to assist in the search for Danny, an elderly deaf dog who took off during a potluck ashore in chase of one of the several goat herds residing here in the Jumentos. Danny had been missing for two days, and as cruisers like to do, we figured we needed to rise to the occasion and help out. Danny’s owner suggested everyone wear long jeans and a long sleeved shirt, and eye protection, as the bramble was thick and hard to blaze. It was 90 degrees. This was not going to be easy. As one of our friends dinghied by us, I noted to them that they weren’t wearing protective clothing, to which I was informed they were covered by their righteousness.
This Good Samaritan act was a bitch. It felt like 120 degrees, with no breeze. The brush was so thick we had to hack our way through with our bodies, not having a machete or hedge clippers available for necessary pruning. We climbed (yes, Raccoon is steep) for over an hour when we decided to turn back for more water, as we were almost dry. We saw lots of goat poop and a small herd, but none of Danny’s hair which we had been told should be clinging to the underbrush if he had passed by. With only 300 yards or so to go until we hit the clearance, I took a spill. This one was a lot more serious than the last. While I did not lose consciousness, I did lose a bit of my recollective abilities, and I was unable to stand. Blood was everywhere, but I had no idea where most of it was coming from. I did know that I had a deep hole inside my mouth, thanks to the explorative inclination of my tongue and the vast quantity of blood I needed to expectorate at frequent intervals. Our handheld VHF’s batteries had gone dead, so we were unable to call for help.
I was unable to get up to move when Peter declared that he had cut a short distance ahead to reach the clearance. I became faint, my pulse raced to 160, and I started to hyperventilate. This was not a pretty sight. I lay on the razor rock for over a half hour until I announced I was ready to give it another try to get out. Fortunately, the last stretch took no more than another half hour, and we waved down friends who were speeding by in the dinghy to contact a doctor friend and take me directly to his boat.
I am so freaking lucky. Not only was the doctor in, two ER docs from Johns Hopkin were nearby and came on board as soon as I arrived. The medical team all agreed I needed stitches in my face, and my very expert friend quickly numbed me up and completed the surgery. I could have lost an eye (I hit my orbital bone) or chipped a tooth, or even worse, a veneered tooth. Instead, I will be eating soft foods and applying ice for several days. I guess I have no future in modeling.
I plan for this to be a delayed post until I am better and can show a photo documenting my recovery. No worries, mon. We still love this crazy, crazy vagabond life we have chosen.
Oh, I called my friend with the wishbone. It is back aboard First Edition. And Danny is still out chasing goats, on Raccoon Cay or in heaven.