Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Those of you who follow this blog are aware of the details surrounding my accident on 11/13/08. I am recovering well and we are laying low at our condominium in Melbourne Beach, FL.
There is one scenario I have to replay for you that will likely brighten your day.

After the initial treatment at Homestead Hospital Emergency Room, I was referred and transferred to the Miami Hand Center. This is a group of 5 hand specialists that seem to be the recipient of most of the hand related ER business in Southern Florida. As you can imagine, the term “busy” does not begin to describe this practice. Southern Florida is in actuality an extension of Cuba and other Caribbean countries. Spanish is spoken nearly exclusively and obviously staffed by folks that have moved here from other countries. Some of the people who worked on me were physicians in Cuba and are now working as technicians here. While my surgeon is an Anglo, I was a bit concerned about my ability to communicate with support staff.
I was in the recovery room post-surgery and had been asked at least 4x in 15” how I was feeling. In retrospect, the staff may have been checking my cognitive status as much as the physical. Now I’m usually a laid back guy…….(Yeah Right!) but after the repeated inquiries I just couldn’t help myself. “I haven’t eaten in 26 hours and had a total of 4 hours sleep last night, what do you think?” I asked. Oooooh! said the nurse who left the room and immediately returned with one of those miniature containers of juice. Well, that lasted all of 3 ½ seconds. Since I inhaled the juice, she disappeared again and this time returned with a piece of cake, from I assume the staff snack area. When I reached with my left hand for the cake, she responded with, “Na-Na, I do” and proceeded to feed me, one spoonful at a time. Talk about humble pie, (cake)! There may have been a language barrier because I only speak English, but the care I received was over the top. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been in for dressing changes and they have been incredibly gentle and kind. I guess the perceived language barrier isn’t so much of a barrier after all.

The Rose is resting safely at Sombrero Marina in Marathon while Connie and I enjoy Thanksgiving here at the condominium. Thanks again for your good wishes and encouragement, it has made this process a little easier to endure.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We have arrived at our winter home, Key Sombrero Resort and Marina. I know, this place changes names like some people change shoes. First it was just Sombrero Resort & Lighthouse Marina, then Resort & Marina and finally they added “Key” to the name. These are relatively new owners and they had to do some maneuvering to separate themselves from the previous management who had a shaky financial reputation. The good news is the Dockmaster and his staff has remained intact and we have the same slip as last year.

We had an enjoyable and uneventful trip from Telemar Bay Marina in Indian Harbour Beach to Marathon with one exception.

Thursday we were cruising down Biscayne Bay about 3 hours past Miami when the overheat alarm sounded for the starboard engine. I shut the engine down from the pilothouse and descended into the, “holy place” (aka the engine room) where I was presented with a shredded fan belt. I keep a spare belt easily accessible for occasions like this and had it installed in a few minutes. Unfortunately, and in an over abundance of caution I decided to check the condition of the belt on the port engine. A good idea, except that I neglected to take note that the engine was running.
Ooops!.......... There goes the manicure on my right hand. Connie wrapped my hand in a wet towel and we quickly decided to make for the nearest marina where we could get medical attention. Black Point Marina in Homestead was only 5 miles away and had deep enough water for us to get in. We set the course on autopilot and Dr. Connie went to work with our first aid kits. We called Black Point and they quickly offered to arrange for transportation and to find room for The Rose despite having no slips available. True to their promise there were 3 dockhands waiting to grab lines for us, along with a golf cart to shuttle us to a nearby parking lot where a cab was standing by. The closest facility of any size was Homestead Hospital, about a 15” ride from the marina. We walked into the ER at 3:00 and we were being treated by 3:25p.m.. After cleaning me up, starting an IV with some really good meds and taking x-rays, they decided to transfer my care to a hand specialist in Miami who agreed to see me in his office and clinic vs. the hospital. I cannot say enough good things about this hand group and their facility. We arrived at 8:15 p.m. via ambulance and were met by the doctor and his staff. After discussing a couple of treatment options we decided to stabilize and clean the fingers Thursday evening and then return on Monday for reconstructive surgery. I really wanted to avoid an inpatient stay and preferred local anesthesia vs. general. We were done by 10:30 p.m. and had another cab take us back to the marina after stopping enroute to have a couple of prescriptions filled. We were back onboard by 11:30 and the boat was fine.

Ultimately I’ll have two, maybe three, fingers that will be a bit shorter than they were, but I should have complete function with my right hand. All things considered, it could have been much worse.

We were underway the following morning on Friday, 11/14/08 heading for our winter slip in Marathon. We are now docked and plugged in and are pleased to be back at the Sombrero Resort & Marina and are looking forward to spending time with the folks we met last winter. The picture below is Sombrero Beach where we spend much of our winter.

The second is sunset from our berth in Marathon. The third isyours truly after the "incident". Next is Matecumbe Bight, our anchorage Friday evening, and the bottom is the Broad Causeway Bridge approaching Miami Harbor.

Paul & Connie

M/V The Rose, GH37