The art of being a klutz

eternity

10/10/2016 I certainly do lead an interesting life, rainbows, coral and all things pretty. Although, it’s not always pretty things. A few weeks ago my knee with the replacement started hurting, not sure if diving had anything to do with it or not, you know, using different muscles and all. Age obviously not a factor. (HAH) I also had another alien in my ankle. After some digging and pulling I finally extricated the hard calloused knob out of the hole in my ankle bone. I have not yet had any doctor tell me what it is and why I have it, but this alien has been around since my ankle surgery in March of 2013. It’s gone from sore to very infected and oozing pus to now just a hard callous on my ankle that if it gets bumped the pain is intense. I’ve been told to let it alone and not dig the thing out but I have to because, well, I just do. This last one was hard to get off whatever it’s attached to so I used my nails and dug through it. I know, gross. The night I took it out I had really really bad pain in my ankle, bad enough that it woke me up. Then the next day my knee was killing me and I had pains in my leg, like muscular. Being the intelligent woman that I am, I chose to get in the pool and exercise. I guess I overdid it because the end result was I could hardly walk, my left leg muscles felt like they had atrophied. I laid low for a few days, no diving and stayed around the house. Once it started to feel better I ventured out.

Marilyn wanted me to cut Skipper’s toe nails so she and Carmen picked me up (by boat) one morning in Oak Ridge and we went to Marilyn’s house.

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The platform you see is the start of a new bar that my friends are building across the water from BJ’s.

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Yes, someone lives on this.

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The dock in this photo is at BJ’s. Marilyn picked me up next door at Jessie’s.

We got Skipper’s nails cut and caught up on island stuff. It was the first I had seen Carmen in 6 months, they were back in the states. So nice to have her and Brett back here.

Later in the afternoon Alex ran me back to my car because I promised my friends I would look at a house they were interested in. These are some new friends I met on FB who were here for 2 weeks on vacation, looking for a home to buy and checking out the island.

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The view from the home they were looking at. It’s right next door to my friend Marcia’s house. It’s the same bight we snorkeled with all the jellyfish on my birthday!

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Natalie, Tony and Louise, Nat’s Mother. They are from Florida.

I spent a day during their first week here showing them the east end of the island. Then we met up a couple times after that. Tony and I planned to go diving with my friend Caroline but I decided against it because I was still walking with a limp. The day they left I had an appointment to get my hair chopped off with Nadia so I stopped by Tranquil Seas where they were staying and said good-bye.

I realized that I wash my hair, comb it out, lose 319 hairs each time I untangle the mess after diving or swimming, and once it’s all tangle free, it goes in a clip. Never down, always ponytail or clip. What is the purpose of having long hair if it’s always in a clip? So Nadia chopped and chopped. It’s short and I don’t love it, but it will grow and it takes a minute to wash and comb out. Nadia uses product in my hair, I don’t. The day after she cut it I woke up looking like Barry Manilow after a hard night at the Copa. It was ugly.

Carmen and Brett were coming over Saturday for a pool day, they arrived around 11. We spent the majority of the day in the pool, floating and talking and drinking. We only got out to eat and then got back in. It was great to catch up with them.

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Carmen with her cute haircut and glass of wine.

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My favorite boat guy, Brett.

They left around 5 and we just hung out that evening, more than likely I went to bed early. I was supposed to go to the Reef House on Sunday but was having Barry Manilow issues with my hair and was grumpy and not in the mood, so I stayed home and crisped in the pool.

On Monday Bill and I ran over to Karen and Dwight’s house so Bill could look at something for Dwight. I got to see Bacall, the little pup we rescued a few weeks ago. Let me say that love goes a long way with these island dogs. Bacall has flourished, she is a different dog. She and Bogey are inseparable, she can’t let him alone. What a perfect pair. I’m so glad Karen got her, she has a great life now.

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Bacall

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– Bogey, he’s huge!!

I love being a part of happy endings. While we were at their house Barrio decided to destroy a roll of Kirkland paper towels. They WERE on a shelf in the pantry.

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Mutilated but salvageable

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I never know what he’s going to chew up next.

My leg was starting to feel better, I could once again bend my left knee, something that many of you may take for granted. Don’t, it’s a big deal. I decided it was time to go diving again so Caroline and I made plans to meet at Blue Island Divers at 11:30 on Thursday. I got to BID and was happy to see Sully was going with us also. Cole was going to be our DM. I told him about my situation when I get to 1000# so he carried some extra weights on him in case I needed them. (I did.)

There were some people from Colombia going snorkeling with John who were also on the boat. We got them in the water first and then the four of us went to Rocky’s and fell overboard into the deep blue sea. I have to say the ocean was calmer than I’ve ever seen it, both sides of the island were the same. Smooth as glass, not a ripple and not another dive boat in sight. What a fabulous day to be in the water.

We descended to about 60′ and then started swimming around looking at stuff. We went a little deeper at one point in the dive, it was so pretty down there and looking up at the huge towering reef above us was amazing.

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Sea fans and some sea rods

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Caroline with the yellow fins and Sully

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Club finger coral

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My favorite place to be

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Corals and fish galore

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Barrel Sponge

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And another

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I totally respect the “look but don’t touch” divers creed but I sure as hell would love to see what this feels like.

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Barrel sponge with sea rods of some type

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Flower coral

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Bubbles

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No clue what this is called but it looks like a Pomegranate

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Grooved fungus coral, I believe.

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Some Christmas tree worms

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Looking up

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More Christmas Tree worms

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Brain Coral

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Lots of Goby

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More brain coral

It was a fabulous dive. I felt more confident, still working on my buoyancy and air consumption though. I usually end with 600, this day I ended with almost 1100, and Cole only added 2# to me towards the end of the dive.

We all came up out of the water and bobbed on the surface while Elton picked up the snorkelers. He then came over to get us. I got my fins and BC off and handed them and my camera to the guys on the boat and as I was crawling up the ladder I caught my left foot between the rungs AND FELL INTO THE DAMN BOAT. Talk about being mortified. (I have to say I’m not the only person I know who fell into a dive boat, my friend Liza did also with Bananarama, thanks girlfriend for feeling my pain) I totally blame it on myself, well, my knee and the inability to get it to do what I think it’s doing. It’s not the first time it has messed me up and probably won’t be the last. I could tell right away that I had hurt my foot and was praying that it wasn’t broken. I already had 2 knee surgeries and a knee replacement and a broken tibia, fibula and dislocated ankle on the same leg. Fake knee, metal plates and screws in my ankle, there is nothing good about my left leg.

We got back to the dock and I tried not to limp down the dock back to the dive shop, but it hurt like hell. Instead of hanging out there afterwards and chatting, I paid for my dive and told Caroline I was heading home. So thankful it was not my right foot because I wouldn’t have been able to drive the 40 minutes to get home.

I came home, got my camera, dive boots and bag and water thermos out of the car and somehow made it upstairs. Our steps are concrete and are winding, not conducive to climbing with 2 good feet. I set my stuff down in the house and hobbled out to the porch, used my arms to hoist myself down to the pool. Got the gate open and hopped to a chaise, then lowered myself into the pool. I think I was trying to determine how bad my ankle was and if I needed to see a Doctor. By the time I did a lap or two I realized it was bad and I needed to go to the hospital. I got myself out of the pool, used my arms to help me hop back up the steps, sat down on the porch and yelled for Bill. He had no clue I was hurt.

Luckily for us a nice new hospital opened about 10 minutes west of us. I got dressed and Bill and Alexi took me down to the hospital. They came out with a wheelchair and took me upstairs in the elevator. It was the first time Alexi had ever ridden in an elevator, 17 years old!!

I was taken to X-ray immediately, the guy there took 2 X-rays and then the girl came and got me and took me back to my room in the ER. The X-rays were sent to an orthopedic specialist. Then the nurse hooked up an IV (and she got my vein the first try. In the US it takes several tries, usually involving several people, because they can’t find a good vein.) She said the bag of stuff was for swelling and pain, then they injected something else into the bag for pain.

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Ugly swollen foot but my pedi got a lot of attention. 4 blue, 1 green toenail, my mermaid pedi. You can see the white spot on my ankle in the middle of the scar, that’s where the alien resides.

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Then they did a half cast on it by forming an L shape behind my foot, from the back of my knee to the base of my toes and wrapped it with gauze tape then an ACE bandage.

I had to lay there for awhile and wait for the IV bag to empty. While I was waiting the nurse gave me a shot of Tramadol in my shoulder. I instantly had a huge lump at the injection site, she said that was normal??

Once the bag was emptied they told me I could go home. I needed to see the Doc in 10 days and stay off of my foot. Once again, they wheel chaired me to the car, Alexi helped me get in because Bill was paying the hospital bill. Oh yeah, the bill; 2 X-rays were 914L, less than $50.00, medicines were 1176L, $51.00, the total bill for 2.5hrs, IV’s, clean private area, cast, shot, X-rays with Doctor consult, everything was 5981 L or $261.00. We still had to get the meds and the crutches, (which were less than $40.00 and brand new.) In total it was about $325.00. SWEET!!

This just makes me realize what a horrible rip-off medical care is in the US. People think we’re crazy that we don’t have medical here but what I think is crazy is people like our neighbors here who pay $600.00 a month for medical. Hell, you can get a knee replaced for the cost of your yearly insurance. I feel we are very lucky to have the new Cemesa hospital on the island. Everyone was super nice, many spoke English, the place is brand spanking new and really quite nice.

So, the last few days I have been laying around watching bootleg downloaded movies because it’s not illegal here to do that. Yesterday it was pretty warm out so I took the cast off and hopped down the steps to the pool, it felt so good having my leg soaking in there. I’m grateful the cast is removable, except that now, since I’ve removed it I don’t want it back on at all. I wore it to bed last night and took it off a few hours later. The swelling has gone down a lot but my toes are turning black and blue. I’m just waiting for it to go back to normal size so I can shove it in a fin and go diving. It’s called priorities.

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Need to re-do my nails, once I can reach them. The surgical scrub they used was like bug spray, it smudged the polish .

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Barrio doing his Zen thing when he gets out of the pool. Highway chilling on a chaise.

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Alexi painted the roof walls, it looks so much better.

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Love the views

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Still need to put lights up here and some sort of shade. It’s blindingly hot

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The dogs love it up there in the evening but they only stay there a few minutes in the heat of the day.

A little update on Alexi before I move to the couch with a bag of frozen peas on my foot. He is still going to school, he and his 2 sisters and his nephew plan to move into a new house (like new new, just being finished) in November and if things go right and he passes the test Alexi will join the Bomberos in November. {If he gets in he will still go to English school, he said he is not stopping that.} The Bomberos are the fire fighters on the east end of the island. We are hoping and praying this works out for him, it’s a big deal and he makes decent money doing it. His phone that we bought him over a year ago (we made him pay for it over a period of time) broke. It wouldn’t turn on. He had been without a phone for 2 weeks. I checked the money we have collected for him and we had plenty to help him get a new phone, we said we would pay for half with his $$. Bill took him to the store and he picked out a nice smart phone. He was floating three feet off the ground when he left here on Friday with his new gold phone. We told him he has to work off the other half of the cost of the phone and he said no problem. My first thoughts about this were, does he really NEED a phone? Yes, he does. Does he deserve a phone? Yes, he does. He doesn’t lie or steal, doesn’t drink or do drugs and doesn’t hang out with a bad crowd. He loves playing this one game on his phone and was ecstatic that he once again could play. So nice to see someone who has so little be so happy over something we all take for granted.

We still plan to get his cavities filled. We were going to do it last Friday but his school had a field day at West Bay beach and then went to Bojangles to eat. Hopefully this Friday. Still need to schedule an eye exam also.

I had Bill bring me my boot that I wore after my cast came off for my ankle surgery. I thought I could slip that thing on and walk with ease. My bad. Since my foot is still so swollen, this boot hurts like hell.

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These boots were made for walking

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Still swollen and bruised looking.

So I am back to the crutches. I hate them. You can’t carry anything when you’re on crutches. I have a shoulder bag over my head with my water cup and my tablet in it and carry them between the bedroom and the kitchen. I feel like a damn horse with a feed bag. My foot is getting better, I can wiggle my fat little toes now and it doesn’t hurt at all, well, maybe a little bit. I still can’t put any weight on it and wearing the boot allowed me to do that. Probably not a good idea right now.

I will impatiently wait until I see the Doc and stop diagnosing my symptoms and devising my own rehab times. At least I will try.

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