Gulf Coast Road Trip


Right about now I was supposed to be landing at Houston Hobby to begin a two week exploration of the southeast coast, with 2 baseball games and 36 cathedrals included on the itinerary. I was quite excited to complete Louisiana and Georgia, and to add Alabama and Mississippi to my "obsessions" list. Texas would see more, as would Florida.

Best laid plans, they say. As I was packing Sunday midday, pulling my vitamins and supplements, I slipped and fell on my tile floor. It hurt like heck, and even with ice the pain was severe. I called my neighbor Barbara and we headed to the Emergency Room at Venice Regional Hospital. Initial triage was quick, a slight delay to take x-rays, and then a wait for the doctor, and then an ER bed.




Those are x-rays of my right elbow joint. I managed to break the heads of both the ulna and radius bones in the forearm, as well as drive the humerus head into the socket. The ER doctor told us surgery is needed. And in order to be released, the arm needed immobilization with a sleeve wrap. A long wait, as the ER beds were in demand. Finally, this big white gauze and tape monstrosity encased my arm, a black mini sling was slipped over it. Discharge paperwork with instructions and the all too important surgeon's name and phone number followed.



Off with Barbara to Publix for a Percoset+acetaminophen prescription, and food, since my larder was near empty due to the planned trip. Back home, I began calling to cancel my reservations, and my neighbor Maggie arrived with pot roast dinner. Various texts and phone calls, I was up until 1 slightly wired. Wrapping my arm in a garbage bag, I took a quick seated shower (rinse-off, really) before crawling into the freshly-made bed Lorraine and Del had prepared, as it had been laundry day.

A thunderstorm at 4:20 roused me for my next pill. Back on my back and slept until 8. Called the surgeon's office, and they called back with a 10am opening. Lorraine drove, we met Dr Cuff, and I am scheduled for a replacement radius head, ulnar repair, and fixing the ligament damage early Tuesday afternoon. After an overnight stay, I go home, with OT and PT to begin next week.

My wonderful neighbors are all rallying around me, getting a few essentials (SueAnn & Alan), tackling those little things being suddenly left-handed and one-armed finds impossible. Dee, a private medic, is aiding me with medical and therapy counseling, and will accompany me to the follow-up visit next week to the surgeon.

And my road trip is on hold. If the tropical storm (to be named Bill?) happens, it would have coincided with my stay in New Orleans. So it may all be for the best. I can revisit it earlier next year, and continue planning the road trips - to the "flat lands" in August and the Mexican central highlands in October. Right now, I can't even hold the camera, but I will get better soon.



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