I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Fran drives me to Denise's, my friend who let me stay with her for the five months between giving up my house and leaving for Florida, so that I can pick up my suitcases of winter clothing that I stored at her place, and then to the mall so I can buy Ashleigh's birthday present; some items from her good dish set that she didn't get for wedding presents. When I get to The Bay, I select a cream and sugar, a gravy boat and three serving bowls. The cashier rings them in and they are 40% off so I add a casserole dish and a meat platter to the pile and it still doesn't come to what I had planned to spend so I am really happy. I carry it all out to Fran's car as I don't want to lug it through the mall as I make one more stop to pay my cell phone bill.

Fran says she wants to stop in at Cobb's Bread and the vegetable store so I leave her there and go inside to head to the Fido store. I am walking at a brisk clip in my flip flops and suddenly my feet go out from under me. I realize right away that I stepped on something really slippy, it felt like a piece of fruit or something. I also realize that I cannot recover and I go down hard on my right elbow and hip. I fall right in front of the dentist office and there are two women at the counter talking to two receptionists.

The two women are at my side before I know what has happened. "Do you have any health problems?" the one on my right asks me. I am a bit dazed and don't answer right away. I am thinking, 'health problems? I fell down, I don't understand the question.' The woman on my left says, "She is a nurse. She can help you if you need it." The nurse asks me again, "Do you have any health problems?" "No. Just a bad knee." I say. "My head hurts." I add. "You must have hit your head, it certainly sounded like you did." she responds. I feel the back of my head but it doesn't hurt and there isn't a bump. "I don't think I did." I say. I try to get up but they won't let me, "Just stay there until someone comes." they tell me. I can hear one of the receptionists calling for security. I start to feel silly just sitting there as people go by, turning their heads to look at me. One nice man stops and asks if I am alright and the women explain. Two handsome young security men come up, one is holding a first aid kit and by now I am standing up. I insisted on getting on my feet.

They walk me over to one of the padded benches and sit me down. The nurse tells him I have a headache and he asks me if I know what day it is. "Tuesday." I reply and then realize I am wrong. "NO, Thursday." "Date?" he asks. I want to say, 'sure but don't you think you are a bit young for me ?' but instead I reply "The 18th." "Great." he says. I am rubbing my elbow because it really smarts and I notice it feels funny beneath my fingers. I check the other one to see if I have the same lump in it and I don't so I say, "My elbow feels funny to the touch." He takes a look at it and there is a lump forming already. He takes out an ice pack and has me hold it on my elbow. I look at the other fellow who is just standing there watching and say, "Would you do something for me?" "Sure." he responds. "I am here with a friend but she is outside at the bread or produce store. She is short with dark short hair and her name is Fran. Could you go tell her what is happening?" "Absolutely." he says and goes off. The remaining security fellow asks me a bunch of questions about how I fell and what I was carrying.

Before long the other guy is back with Fran and she asks me how I fell. I tell her. She asks the guy if he has checked my pupils. He hasn't but now he does and says they are fine. My head is killing me now and he says I most likely have a concussion. I tell him I have had one before. Fran tells him how I got it. It was about ten years ago. I was at her house sitting on her couch which had a loose pillow-back with a hard rail backing behind it. She said something funny and I threw my head back in laughter and my head went between the pillows and hit the rail, hard. I actually felt my brain hit the front of my skull and for the next two weeks I had virtually no short term memory. It wasn't until I asked my husband the same question three times in a span of a minute that I realized something was really wrong and went to the doctors. Now the young guy tells me that once you have had a concussion you are more susceptible to another. He wraps up his report and then sits with me until Fran goes to get the car.

Once in the car, I tell Fran that I have to pay my cell phone bill as it is 4 days past the due date so she drives me around to that part of the mall and we go inside and I pay it. She suggests that I should go to the mall administration office and tell them that I am going to go see a doctor for my head as it is really hurting. I decide to take her advice and we walk to a directory to find out where it is. We find it and see it is beside Ingledews, a shoe store. She asks me where that is from where we are and I look up and see The Body Shop at a junction in front of me. Now I know this mall like the back of my hand but, for a full 15 seconds, I have no idea which way is which. It's a really strange feeling and I don't like it. I cannot for the life of me come up with the direction I am facing or where to go from here. Suddenly it lifts and I point to where we need to go. As we walk I tell her what just happened and she says 'That's it. I am taking you to a walk-in clinic as soon as we are done letting them know." I don't argue. That was scary.

We find the office and talk to the receptionist and then Fran drives me to the walk-in. As I stand at the receptionist desk it is all I can do to keep my eyes open. I just want to lie my head down on the counter and sleep. I don't know if this is because of the fall or jet lag but I didn't feel this way before I fell.

I get in really quickly and as I am waiting for the doctor, I hear a mom and a little girl in an adjacent room. The girl has the cutest little voice and, although I can't see her, I figure she is about three years old. She is chattering away and asking questions. Her mom has had enough and says, "Ok now you need to be quiet. This is a doctors office and there are sick people here and you need to be quiet." "But I want to talk." the little girl says. "No. You need to stop talking." "What's that thing for on the wall?" "I said, stop talking." "Do you have new shoes on, mommy?" "STOP talking." "Mommy. I said, are those new shoes?" "Ok, you know what? If you don't stop talking, the lollipop goes back to Miss Jane." "No it doesn't." "Oh yes it does." "NO! You are not my teller." "Oh yes I am your teller." "NO YOU ARE NOT!" "Yes I am. Now this is your last warning. Stop talking or the lollipop goes back to Miss Jane tomorrow." "Where is my lollipop?" "In the truck." "Well I will get it before you can." "No, I will get it first." "No you won't. I will and you are not my teller." "Yes I am." "You are not my friend." "BE quiet. Or it goes back to miss Jane." "NO!" "Ok that's it. It goes back tomorrow." "No it doesn't. You are not my teller and you are not my friend." "Fine then, be quiet or it is going back." "I will take off my shoes and socks and walk outside barefoot." "Well then you might step on something and get hurt." "NO! I will be careful." "Put your shoe back on right now." "Nope." I hear a rustling as the mom, I am guessing, takes her on her lap and puts the shoe back on. The little girl starts to cry. It is all I can do not to go in there and say, "Listen, you can take this for what it is worth but I have raised three kids and I am telling you now, if you don't stick to your guns, follow through on your threats and nip this in the bud, you are in for hell when she is 11 or 14 or 16." Not that I had this problem because I was really firm with my kids for the first three years and after that they knew who was boss. I have seen the results, over and over, of not sticking to your guns with little tykes. But I don't go in there and the doctor shows up for them and closes the door.

Soon it is my turn and the doctor checks me over thoroughly. She tells me that I have a concussion, my elbow isn't broken, and to ice it and my hip and to watch for certain developing symptoms as far as my head is concerned. She makes a lot of notes because there may be a lawsuit, she says. She tells me to take some tylenol for my head, if I like, and to lie down for the rest of the day and no reading or anything else that requires concentration. TV is ok.

When we get back to Fran's she makes me lie down and brings me a glass of water. She asks if I want the TV on but my head aches too much for that. I doze in and out as I lie there. Shonah phones me about travelling to Kelowna on the weekend with her and after 10 minutes of conversation I have to hang up because it is making my head pound. I lie there thinking of everything I have to do before Sunday. I need to go through all of my clothes, both what I took to Florida and what was at Denise's and repack for Kelowna. I need to wrap Ashleigh's gifts, and a few gifts I brought the kids back from my trip. I need to find boxes to pack away all the things I don't want to take to Kelowna, like my books that I took to Florida, and anything that won't fit in my suitcases that I am leaving with Fran. Most of this will take a lot of bending over as I don't have a bed at Fran's, just a big fat comfy foamy on the floor. I can't bend over without extreme pain so I don't know how it will all get done.

The next day, Tom puts a long folding table up in my room and now I can work on my packing. I wrap the presents at the kitchen table and that works well. My head is not as painful but I have developed a stabbing pain behind my right shoulder blade that is pretty harsh. I must have jammed it when I fell on my elbow. The women at the mall said I made a loud crack when I fell, they thought it was my head but I am sure it was my elbow. I am getting quite the bruise on it.
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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