Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When Vacations Attack

So I keep seeing previews for a show on Travel Channel called "When Vacations Attack", which is basically an overly-dramatic name for a show about bad stuff that happens to people while on vacation.  Looking back over the many years and many trips I've been on, I can say I've been pretty blessed with good vacation karma (except for the time my mom stepped on a sting ray and ended up having to go to the hospital...)  Two weeks ago, in a roundabout way, my anniversary vacation to St. Augustine attacked.  

Here's what happened:  After a wonderful weekend of ghost touring and beach lounging in sunny Florida, Brian and I embarked on an approximately 11 hour return trip to Nashville (which includes several hours of driving through what I've deemed "the I-75/Southern Georgia wasteland...unless you REALLY like pecans").  Long story short, we arrived home exhausted and I ended up dumping my suitcase in the middle of the living room floor rather than remove its contents and stow it in the attic.  The next morning, I wake up at 6:45 to the sound of my dad knocking on the door because he's bringing back our dogs after watching them all weekend.  I unhook the chain and suddenly I hear Brian call out, "Remember the alarm..."  So, I turn to unset the alarm, trip over my suitcase, and "OHGOD, OHGOD, OHGOD I'VE BROKEN MY WRIST!!!"  My dad busts through the front door and Brian runs out from the bedroom, look at my clearly broken and twisted wrist, and start running around like chickens with their heads cut off while I alternately bark orders and black out from my position on the floor.  "Take me to the hospital!"  "Get my flip flops!" 

I lay down in the back seat of Brian's car and start breathing like I'm going through labor (it really does help with the pain).  Walk into the ER and am the only patient there so I immediately get pumped with Dilaudid and eventually a morphine drip.  I get X-rays, and learn I'm scheduled for surgery at noon to reset my arm.  I wake up from surgery and "Holy Hell,  my right forearm and wrist is all wrapped up and I have two sets of pins sticking out from under my skin.  What is this contraption?"  I later learn this is called an external fixator and its basically pins screwed into the healthy part of the bone and held externally while my wrist heals.  It also elicits tons of sympathy and an equal amount of horrific stares in public.  Oh, and did I mention I'm right handed and the comp exams I'm required to take for graduation are scheduled in two days?  (Don't worry, I arranged to take them on the scheduled date by typing them out with my left hand using a computer in an empty office...and I passed!)

Surprise!  Hope you have a strong stomach...

Right now I'm in week three of the healing process, and have about three weeks left until the pins are removed and I start physical therapy.  For the most part, I've kept a positive attitude about it- afterall, it could be much worse, but I do get frustrated at things that I can't do on my own right bags of chips, twist off bottle caps, wear long-sleeves, hold up an umbrella, shower without covering my right arm with a Kroger bag and a rubber band, etc.....But it also means I have an excuse not to cook or do dishes (which comes in really handy considering tomorrow is Thanksgiving). 

In conclusion, I leave you with this one piece of advice when traveling:  Always put away your luggage immediately after returning home, no matter how exhausted you are. 

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