|Fancy chalk graffiti on the exterior of a cafe.|
What can I say? Regardless of where we may be in the world, we are subject to the risks of injury. For all of you whether you’re in your home, backyard or out for a walk with the dog, no one is exempt from an occasional injury-inducing fall or stumble.
With my lousy spine, a hereditary condition for which a low inflammation diet manages to keep the pain under control, my stability is not the best, even with considerable exercise and walking. My spine is a fragile mess accounting for why we don’t zip line, bungee jump, scuba dive, and engage in similar activities.
|We often see pigeons walking on the ground or flying to crumbs left by humans, but seldom sitting in a tree.|
However, it hasn’t kept us from living life to the fullest as we’ve traveled the world. The only time I was unable to participate in some planned activities quickly was when we were on the Mekong River cruise after I’d injured my spine in the pool in Bali, taking five months to heal. We avoided participating in all of the other tours.
Gosh, I don’t like to “whine” here but Tom suggested we continue to “tell it like it is” as we’ve done over and over again in this past over 2000 posts. We try not to exclude realities of life that many can relate to as you read our daily journal.
Our reality, whether we like it or not, is that occasionally we’re sick or injured, and sharing how we handle it is of the utmost importance to our readers, significantly when we can’t jump into the car and run to “our doctor” (of which we have none) or a local urgent care center. (Of course, we’d go to a hospital if we felt a situation was dangerous or life-threatening).
|Tom doesn’t have a lollipop or cigarette in his mouth. It’s an optical illusion based on something in the background.|
We arrived in Buenos Aires on December 23rd. We’ve walked more here than we’ve walked in any country during our last over five years of world travel, except perhaps in Paris and London (two weeks each) in 2014. But, frequent walking in itself is no surefire means of preventing oneself from an obstacle-induced fall.
And that’s what happened to me last night. Wearing a different pair of shoes was my first mistake. Each time we walked in Buenos Aires, I’ve worn a couple of ultra-comfortable, good supporting water shoes that I purchased in Minnesota during the family visit last summer. I’ve never been so comfortable in a pair of shoes.
Last night, for a change of pace, I decided to wear a pair of white lace-up leather Keds. Big mistake. The thin soles simply didn’t provide the degree of stability I needed to walk the uneven streets here in Palermo, wrought with broken tiles, potholes, and massive inconsistent areas of rough pavement.
|Not so busy corner in Recoleta where we walked on Monday.|
My bad, I didn’t think of that when I wore the Keds last night for our walk to Diggs Restaurant (I guess we had Stefon Diggs, wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, on our minds). I didn’t notice an issue with the shoes, or I’d have been more careful.
Alas, I was looking around instead of down at the pavement, and my foot hit a stone tile that was about 4″ higher than my last step and…boom! I hit the ground, breaking the fall to my knees and elbows, particularly my left knee. I was wearing jeans, and the thick fabric prevented a break in the skin. But, oh…did it hurt.
And, yes, my elbows and right wrist got dinged as well but nowhere near as bad as my left knee. After composing myself with Tom lifting me off the ground, I was able to hobble along for the remainder of the few blocks to Diggs. Immediately, I remember R-I-C-E; rest, ice, compression, and elevate.
|Statue at Jardin Botanica: Los Primeros Frios, which translates to “first cold” in English.|
Once we entered Diggs to find our favorite waiter ready to fuss over us, he brought me a plastic bag filled with ice, a bucket to hold it when taking a break from the icing, while I elevated my leg on the bench in the booth where we were seated.
After dinner, which I struggled to eat, we slowly walked back the few blocks to the hotel since it made no sense to take a taxi for the short distance. Plus, I wanted to see how I’d do walking.
Once back in our room with a bucket of ice to make an ice pack using a ziplock bag, I raised my leg on pillows, covered with a few bath towels to keep the bed from getting wet while we proceeded to watch a few episodes of Shark Tank to get our minds off of it.
Tom was (is) devastated and worried. I was more concerned about him than I was about my injury. I can walk, albeit carefully, and the swelling is well under control with the rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Surprisingly, usually a side sleeper, I slept well on my back with my leg elevated, after taking a Tylenol PM which helped with the discomfort and made me sleep through the night. This morning, I found an Ace bandage in our medical supplies and wrapped the knee for the “compression” part of R-I-C-E, finding it quite comforting.
Now, as we sit in the hotel lobby, I’m situated on a lounge-type chair with the knee wrapped and elevated. Once an hour, I’d unwrap the Ace bandage to do another 20-minute round of ice which I’ll continue throughout the day and night, rewrapping it in between icing it, all the while keeping my leg elevated.
I think it will be OK. I have exactly five days to get better to be able to get off the ship to get on a Zodiak boat to the Falkland Islands (in Spanish, known as the Islas Malvinas).
In three days, we head to the airport around 3:15 am for the three-and-a-half-hour flight to Ushuaia. Hopefully, by then, I’ll have considerable improvement but wear the Ace bandage while frequently getting up to move around. Ice is only suitable for the first 48 to 72 hours, then heat is recommended. We’ll see how it goes.
Sure, I’m frustrated and angry with myself for my clumsiness. But, like all the trials and tribulations we all must bear from time to time, a positive attitude coupled with diligent care is all we can do.
|Perfume-smelling flowers are blooming from a tree.0|
We still have a lot to do to prepare to leave, although most of my packing is done. Our hotel room is jammed with odds and ends to handle over these next few days. Tom will pack today or tomorrow (he prefers to wait until the “end”) and we’ll weigh both of our bags to ensure we’re both within the baggage weight restrictions.
Tonight, we’ll walk to the closest restaurants in the area, a burger joint that had a decent chicken Caesar salad for me with a burger and fries for Tom. It will be fine. It all will be just fine.
Have a safe and healthy day, week, month, and year!
Photo from one year ago today, January 20, 2017:
|While at The Tench, the historical Penitentiary in Hobart, Tasmania, we stopped by this courtroom located on the grounds. The area was known as one of several penal colonies in Tasmania in the 1800s. For more photos of the Tench, please click here.|