That’s kinda what I heard behind me as we came down a hilly path at a bird sanctuary. Some of you know what happened and some have been asking so here’s the Coles notes version.
We were in a bird sanctuary in Ticuantepe, which is kind of a suburb of Managua.
All was going well on the way up. Saw some birds, coffee plants, gorgeous blue butterfly….vultures….I’ll get back to that.
Across the valley from the ridge we were on is the Masaya volcano. It is still active. We had planned to go see it later that day. You can still see the red glow when it gets dark. You can drive right up to the rim and walk around.
Well on the way down, we’re looking at more birds and such plus all these vultures circling. I joked I wonder if they knew something we didn’t…
And then it happened. Arlene slipped on some loose stones on the path, her foot hit a rut and turned over. I heard the snap. She went down hard. I tried helping her up when we both noticed her foot kinda dangly. She sat there and very matter of factly said, “Yup, it’s broken…” I didn’t want to believe it, but then I saw that the bone had broken skin. This was serious. I would’ve been screaming. She was amazingly calm. So here we were up on this high hill. Narrow path. What to do?
Our guide ran to get help and the next thing we here is the sound of chain saws as the workers are clearing a path so that a small truck can BACK all the way up the steep well treed hill.
We stabilized her ankle with a sign board along the path. Loaded in the back of the truck, they got her down the hill to the parking lot where we transferred to the Ford Explorer we came in.
I sat in the back holding her foot while our guide navigated the bumpy dirt roads. Finally got to some pavement and he booked it to the hospital.
Into emergency we went. X-ray taken. Surgeon called. Need surgery right away…not so fast says the hospital admin. We need money. Actually, a $2000 deposit got things started. Our big concern was how much more? We have travel insurance, but when you don’t have phone access or wifi and the need is now, you do what you have to.
We had all kinds of assurances from the resort and friends back home not to worry. Money would be available. Just get it done. It was a type B fracture with a dislocation for all you medical people out there. The Dr seemed to emphasize the dislocation part as being quite serious, along with the skin break and the risk of a bone infection. Truth be told I think he was a little frustrated with admin as well. However, he got Arlene in, cleaned and straight into surgery somewhere around 3-4pm.
Osman, our guide, stayed with me the whole time. Translating when necessary and just being an all around support. Hours went by. Finally, the Dr came out and let us know some plates and pins put it all back together again. But, it would be another 90 minutes before we could see her. They had put her under and I figured she’d need the sleep anyway, so I left a note for her and took off for the 2 hour ride back to the resort. She’d need a few things anyway.
When we got to the resort gate, we borrowed a phone from one of the guards to call the hospital. Osman insisted. I called the number they gave me and was connected to Arlene, who again surprised me by being quite alert. I asked if the Dr had mentioned the 5 day stay. Oops…he had not. Arlene not happy. Wanted to get out right away. “I have no pain.” she said. I said, “You will…”
Actually, she didn’t have much pain. All part of the reason she’s being allowed to get out early. The surgery is responding well so far.
I spent Friday morning working out logistics with our insurance company, answering as many well wishes as possible and trying to edit all the pix we took at the school Thursday morning.
The next hurdle will be to arrange a proper seat for her on the plane coming back. We have two connecting flights. Both in very large airports. That will be tricky.
Oh, I should mention that in addition to the well wishes from home, the people at the resort all heard about it and were very supportive as well. I can’t say enough about Patrick Hiebert and our guide Osman. Both have gone way above and beyond to make things as smooth as possible.
Tonight I’m staying at the hospital with Arlene. Her presence was missing in the room last night. Just didn’t feel right.