FAT MAN DOWN, I REPEAT, WE HAVE A FAT MAN DOWN!
Ok ok, maybe no one actually said that, but it was definitely the montage playing in my head as I lay dazed and confused in our cockpit. I stared up at the nice purple solar powered purple lights I recently installed and wondered “What in the hell just happened”. One second I was jumping between our cabin top and the rear seat in our cockpit with my fishing rod, the next second I was flat on my back. As shock was slowly replaced by lucidity I began to notice pain in multiple locations. Most notably was my left big toe, however my back also felt odd. I lay there a long time waiting for the lucidity to completely return so I could fully assess how bad it was. As I became more aware, It became apparent that I had probably broke my big toe. I slowly rolled to my side and gingerly began heaving my bulk off the anti-slip, shaking off the help offered by Rhonda and Quincy. Once on my feet, I quickly set about cutting our fishing line free from the reef it had fetched up on before doing a second assessment of my injuries. No question, I had injured my big toe. My back however, was oddly stiff, but I was able to walk and bend down. I assumed a slight bruise but counted myself lucky.
Oh man, how wrong I was. Sometime in the middle of the night I went to roll over but instead was greeted with a nasty surprise. A pain like nothing I have EVER felt in my life. It was like all the muscles in my back and ass had gone on a revolt and were letting me know with the most intense clenching spasms I could have imagined. A pain so intense that it took my breath away. The clenching was so intense that I immediately had bile rise up in my throat. Of course Rhonda was awakened by my pathetic whimpering (picture Wesley after he had 1 year of his life sucked away). The spasms would come in waves. 10 spasms 1 second apart, then 40 seconds of me whimpering, 10 more spasms, and repeat. As you can imagine, Rhonda was concerned, but what could she really do to help. In the 40 second interludes, we talked it over and agreed that maybe some Ibuprofen would help, at least until morning. I downed 400mg of ibuprofen and although it helped a little, I had a terrible night of pain, sweating and whimpering.
As the sweet pink kiss of dawn appeared over the horizon I awoke and carefully planned a roll over to gain access to my laptop. After a pathetic scream filled maneuver I was able to pull my laptop close enough for use. I quickly logged in, and did the exact thing EVERY doctor will tell you NOT TO DO. I turned to Google for answers. I knew enough to know that severe pain doesn’t always indicate a severe injury. So in between gut wrenching spasms I calmly read about lower back soft tissue injuries. Although you never really know what you get on the Internet, I tried hard to pick websites from real sources. I was heartbroken to learn that although my injury wasn’t immediately serious, it could take weeks to fully heal. Furthermore there was a chance it could have a lasting impact that I may never recover from. Once learning this, I focused on recovery studies. Over the next few hours I learned that the first few days are crucial for recovery of this type of injury. People that followed one simple rule were many times more likely to recover in a couple of weeks than others. That simple rule, “Limited Bed Rest”. People who got up and even walked a short distance within a day of the injury were many times more likely to heal MUCH quicker.… GREAT… I had the answer.. I just needed to get up and walk around a bit. LETS DO IT….. WAIT, I was barely able to roll over and pull my laptop close without pissing myself from the pain.. How in the hell would I get up and walk?
DRUGS… GLORIOUS DRUGS..
DISCLAIMER… I have never had to put a disclaimer in our posts before, but I think its appropriate here. Please understand, that not only am I NOT a Doctor, but I have ZERO medical training. We live in a unique situation where access to a Doctor is difficult and self reliance if often required. In no way does this mean people should follow our example. GO TO THE DOCTOR.
Before Party of Five left, we made sure we had a good stock of medications aboard. Not only had I done a ton of research, but we had consulted 2 doctors for suggestions on medications to carry. This means we have a good variety of drugs on board for all eventualities. Of course this instance required painkillers and we had multiple aboard to choose from. For most, the obvious choice would be an opiate based painkiller like Oxy or Percocet. Yes we do have a very limited supply (just a few pills each) of both of those drugs aboard, and yes I’m sure they would have got me on my feet. However, my Googlefoo had revealed I would be much better off with an NSAID based medication as it favored higher in a speedy recovery in this type of injury. Since I already knew Ibuprofen (an NSAID) had a limited effect, it had to be something stronger. Once Rhonda awoke, I shared my research with her and she offered 2 medications we had aboard.
It only took a few minutes for me to pick the Toradol as I felt it would do the job with the least amount of side effects (shhhh. the real reason is the Diclofenac we have is in suppository form and I was afraid it probably exit my orifice at 9mm speed if I had a spasm during administration). Another quick Google for dosage and I was swallowing 10mg of Toradol with a planned second dose in 6 hours. Now let me tell you, there is a reason that the NFL players call Toradol “The magic potion”, “T Bomb”, “Vitamin T” or “Pain No More”. It just works, and within an hour of taking the first pill I was able to very slowly work my way up to the settee and sit down for 20 minutes or so. After taking the second dose in the afternoon, I was even able to walk around on deck for 5 minutes every 40 minutes. Seriously, think about that, before the drugs all I could do was try to refrain from crying (no I’m not kidding). Its now over 24 hours since the injury and I can walk around mostly unaided. I even made it to a potluck on the beach this afternoon. Sure, the drugs are now masking the pain, but I’m %100 convinced that using the drugs to get me up and mobile was the right choice. As long as I take it easy and slow it will help me recovery faster. YAY DRUGS..
P.S. For those wondering what really did happen, here is the story.
We have moved close to the reef here in St. Anne so we can fish more. However, being closer to the reef means the seafloor is much more rocky and rough. Since we caught a nice little grouper earlier in the day, I was very keen on fishing and getting the hook close to the rocks. I foolishly let too much line out and got our hook caught on a rock. Since it was after dark, I had increased the drag on our reel (way too much) to ensure a big fish didn’t screw off and we didn’t hear it. This is pretty ordinary for us as we run 80lb test and would need to catch a monster to break our line (we have caught 4ft sharks that didn’t break that 80 pound test).
Anyway, I digress.. I had grabbed the rod and instead of dialing back the drag, I started running around the rear of the boat trying to free the hook from the seafloor (I didn’t want to loose my hook, spinner and weight). I was jumping around, pulling the rod this way and that way hoping the hook would pop free. Unfortunately when I went to jump from one seat to the other there was a “boogy board” on the spot I leapt from. It slid from underneath me and dropped me the 2 feet to the deck( 2 feet elevated, plus the distance of my legs to my back). Of course I had a fishing rod in my hands and couldn’t even grab anything. 200 and some (don’t ask) pounds of sweaty white boy fell about 4 feet to the cockpit floor. Crazy.. I have no idea how I my toe got broke in the fall!