The Saga Continues…

April 2, 2017

 

After the trauma of breaking my ankle the day before (see the previous episode: “An April Fools Day Whoops”)  I sleep well, despite the usual noise of a hospital.  I’m glad my surgery is first thing on Sunday morning because I’m hungry! (But of course!) Isn’t it amazing that the surgeon works on Sunday morning?!  The surgeon soon arrives and describes that he is going to put a metal plate and screws on each side of my ankle, because the ankle bones on each side of my foot are broken from the tibia and fibula. I don’t quite catch what is to happen with the third break-something regarding the “distal” position…

 

OK, fine…let’s get this over with.

 

Several hours later…

 

I wake up alert some time later, having no memory of ever leaving my room, or even being groggy waking up.  I’m ready for lunch, folks!  Again I am surprised at how little pain there is, and am informed that I had been given a nerve block, and not to worry—I would feel pain when it wore off.  Yup, I did feel pain and it was a rough night, but the first night was the worst.

 

I am to ring the alarm when I need a pain pill, but it usually takes quite a while to actually get the medication.  If you’ve had pretty bad pain, you know that you need to take the medication early on, because it is difficult to knock the pain back down after the situation has worsened.  Granted, the pain level isn’t, “OK, just kill me now,” but only “I NEED DRUGS!!” It feels like someone has unleashed a herd of hamsters, each one with a tiny sword, and they are all running around inside my leg and foot, looking for places to jab:  Zing!  Zap! ZingZing!  Finally the nurses decide to give me the medication every 4 hours rather than my having to call for it as needed!  Whew!  Big help!

 

After that the pain is pretty much down to “Just an hour longer until I get another pill.”  The nurses and staff are incredibly caring, and the food is even good.  Keep in mind I am always starving, so who knows—it might have been cardboard!

 

What to do about my motorhome and car?

 

Before dealing with that, my first issue is that my cell phone is almost dead.  Whenever anyone comes into my room, I don’t give them a chance to ask me how I am doing.  Instead I anxiously blurt out, “Do you have a Samsung phone?”  The response is a confused look, a pause and “No, I don’t.”  I have no luck for quite a while.  Finally a very nice woman in street clothes checks on me and, YES!  She has a Samsung phone and will take my phone and charge it!  I later found out that she was one of the top hospital administrators.  Just another case of the good will of most people.

 

Having nothing else to do, I settle into worrying about my RV and car.  How could I ever get the car back to my motorhome, and how am I going to get them both home?  Very perplexing indeed, and I don’t have an answer.  I can think of no one in Albuquerque that I could fly out to drive the motorhome home.

 

I remember that the motorhome association that I belong to (the Family Motor Coach Association) has an emergency evacuation plan, but I am sure that it is only to take your remains back home after you’ve died on the road!  I decide to call them anyway…at 11pm no less.  Amazingly they answer!  After explaining my situation, I hear the representative say the “Sure!  Not a problem!  We will fly you home and get a driver to take your motorhome back home too!”  You’re kidding!  REALLY?!  I absolutely can’t believe it!  However, they inform me that somehow I need to get my car back to the motorhome and have it hooked up, because the driver will not be allowed to do that.

 

Next: How to get the car to the motorhome?

 

So, another hurdle to overcome.  I recall the group that I had dry camped with at the Quartzsite, AZ rally in January, and that they have a Yahoo Group.  The group is used to communicate information between members.  So I send out a message explaining my situation, saying that I needed an angel.

 

No response.  I keep mulling the situation over in my mind, while I am helped out of bed and taught how to use a walker and waiting for my next pain pill.  The next day, I get a call!  A couple in the motorhome group say that they are camped about a half mile from my RV and they will go get my car from the fire station in Julian and get it hooked up to the RV.  WOW!  Fabulous!  It is hard to feel sorry for myself when so many wonderful people kept appearing at the moment when I most needed help.  How fortunate I am!  Once again I’m overcome with gratitude!

 

Resolution

 

Later that afternoon the couple call from where my motorhome is parked, saying the car is hooked up, and they have stuffed away everything that is loose in the motorhome, and brought the slide outs and awning in.  Oh dear, my motorhome is a mess—my laptop and external monitor were out, as well as all the necessities of living being strewn around.  (You have to secure everything inside such that nothing can move during transit, which means that nothing can be left out that has any possibility of falling.) Not to worry, they say—it is ready to roll!

 

Then to add to the magic, they say that in two days, they are going to visit a friend in our group who lives about an hour north of San Diego in a residential motorhome home park.  Georgia Dale Griffiths—I knew her!  If I need anything from the motorhome, they will pack it up and take it to her, and she will bring it down to me!!!  DID I NEED ANYTHING?  I have been wearing my same clothes for three days, I haven’t brushed my teeth, (I could have asked the hospital staff for a toothbrush, but I was unaware of that at the time), and I was desperate for my laptop!!!  Oh yes, and makeup, hairdryer, underwear, yada yada. So they pillaged through all my drawers, putting together a large goody bag of essentials.  How I wish that I had brand new underwear and not my dingy old stretched out, pathetic….never mind—don’t think of that picture in your mind.

 

The next morning I am informed that I will be transferred to a rehabilitation center that is  across the street, until I am given the OK to travel and have time to make all the necessary arrangements to get home.

 

* * * * * * * *

 

Whew!  Let’s take a break!  I’ve carried on for quite a while now and I need to wrap this episode up.  I know you are tired of reading!  To bring this to a close, rest assured that I got my clothes and my laptop and my phone charger, and got settled into the rehabilitation center, which turned out to be a nursing home…

 

Sorry I don’t have any pictures from the hospital to break up my long-winded carrying on!  You know that all hospitals look the same!

 

Next:  A Day in the Life:  The Cripple Report

20 Comments

  1. Mandy
    Jun 7, 2017

    Thank you for this post. I had sooooo many questions about all of the things that you addressed–all the way down to the underwear. 🙂 I just couldn’t understand what was happening with your RV and how it was ok just to leave it somewhat abandoned. But the RVing community is like no other and they look out for each other. I am so thankful that you are so outgoing and have made so many friends along the way who are now able to help you in your time of need. And please know that they are all blessed to be able to help you. Please try to have your next emergency somewhere in the Philadelphia area. If you do, I’m your girl!! I’m sure you’re working hard in your PT and I hope you get back home safe and sound very soon. Keep the posts coming.

    • Rhonda
      Jun 7, 2017

      You are even more of a night owl than I am, Mandy! Or are you just up early?! I published this at 1 am, Mountain time, and at 1:15 am here is your reply! That’s 3:15 your time! By the way, I hope I’m done with emergencies! At least for quite a while!

  2. Jay Pierson
    Jun 7, 2017

    Rhonda– Jay Pierson here–my goodness, what an adventure and challenge!
    Hang in there, as i know you will.
    JP

    • Rhonda
      Jun 7, 2017

      Jay! So good to hear from you! Yes, I do hang in there! The only way!

  3. Barry
    Jun 7, 2017

    Rhonda, glad you got such great help. I hope you are going to have a book published at some point. Your story is told with warmth and great humor. Consider it please

    • Rhonda
      Jun 7, 2017

      Barry, I appreciate your encouragement, but I’m sure a book would have even less of an audience than a blog. Only my loyal friends would want to read about broken bones, hamster wars, and underwear! But thanks so much!

    • Rhonda
      Jun 7, 2017

      Barry, thanks so much for your encouragement, but I’m sure a book would have even less of an audience than a blog about an old lady, broken bones, hamster wars and underwear! Thanks though! Greatly appreciated!

  4. Helen M Johnson
    Jun 8, 2017

    Whatever you do, continue this wonderful blog! This is absolutely wonderful!!!!!! I look forward to each addition. Love your humor!!!

    • Rhonda
      Jun 8, 2017

      Gee Helen, Thanks so much! I had hoped it would be more about photography and my travel experiences, but this is where I am right now. I need to wrap up this series and get back to my road show! I appreciate your encouragement!

  5. Michelle Hairston
    Jun 8, 2017

    All I can say, Rhonda, is you are hilarious. I know this hasn’t been fun, but you certainly make it fun(ny) to read about. Thank you for your lighthearted account about a very serious matter. I hope you are recovering well and walking even better than before.
    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!
    Michelle
    P.S. You’ll be able to predict rain with extreme accuracy now!

    • Rhonda
      Jun 8, 2017

      Hi Michelle! Thanks so much–I figure if I don’t look at it from a humorous standpoint, I’ll be much less optimistic! So far it’s worked, and I’m feeling positive about my future as a person who walks!

  6. Gaelyn
    Jun 9, 2017

    Once again help came when needed.

    • Rhonda
      Jun 10, 2017

      So true! My entire attitude regarding this incident has gone from feeling sorry for myself to being grateful every day for the wonderful support and caring I have received.

    • Rhonda
      Jun 10, 2017

      Thanks, Gaelyn! So true. I could not have asked for more caring and support!

  7. nadine gaul
    Jun 9, 2017

    Thinking about you. Thanks for the pictures you sent. No offence, but I hope your foot/leg look better now than they did. 🙂
    Your friend,
    Nadine

  8. BOB SIMPSON
    Jun 11, 2017

    Rhonda, I’ve seen you at club meetings and have seen how you have the “wheelie” to get around. Soon you’ll be walking again. Great blog. Here’s hoping you get back on your feet, literally, real soon. Stay well.

    • Rhonda
      Jun 11, 2017

      Hi Bob! Thanks for your comment! I’m doing pretty well. Each day is a little better. Thanks for your concern.

  9. Mary
    Jun 12, 2017

    Egads, what wonderful people in your RV community. So glad to read this, and will pass on your information about the Family Motor Coach Association to some friends who are new to RV’ing!

    • Rhonda
      Jun 12, 2017

      How neat that you have several RV friends. The people who got my car, brought me clothing, etc. are members of the Escapees RV club, and the “Boomers” sub-group. Wonderful people! Thanks for coming by!

Leave a Reply to Gaelyn Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *