Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Accident...

Driving in Antigua generally speaking is a real pain in a car or similar vehicle. Since our arrival almost two years ago I have enjoyed a simpler method of getting around. The motorcycle - sleak, economical, always room for parking...

The day was later than normal toward the end of a heavier than normal week. I was returning home 8:30pm my normal route is down the one way streets to the south end of town. As things would happen, another gentleman also on a motorcycle carrying a passenger also happened to travel one of the intersecting roads to my one way route. Unfortunately he failed to observe the stop sign that was meant for him. As he impeded my path I was given a choice - to hit the other motorcyclist's front forks so not to hit him or his passenger. From that point of impact the two bikes scissored together for a second point of impact (on my ankle). The machines bounced away from each other to land 5-7 feet from each other. This 5-10 second interchange included for me what seemed like a slow motion fall landing on my right shoulder - to find myself laying in between the machines. The other passengers were still in the riding position of their motorcycle laid horizontal with their machine. I estimate my speed was about 40km.

Shortly after landing, rolling, and realizing that I was in the middle of the street - I soon realized my leg hurt. About that time the three of us, myself and the two on the other cycle were swarmed by people that witnessed or heard the event. I realized that I needed help so I called Nancy. It was then that realized that our shared definition of "I will be home a little late" was different. She began to launch into a lecture of the error of my ways - "Where have you been!?!" - Not wanting to argue with her I simply shared "I don't need this right now! I have been in an accident!"

After that the fun began.
  • When asked if anything other than my leg hurt I answered - "My pride."
  • It required 6 gentleman to put me into the ambulance - even then I had to lift myself from the door to assist the front wheel of the gurney to clear the floor of the ambulance.
  • There were only four men at the door of the hospital to lower me down.
  • I was assuring Nancy it was either broken at least a very bad sprain. Then she saw the foot. The Doctor saw the foot. They both said "Your gonna' need surgery."
  • On the way to the operating room, as there is no elevator, three very polite Guatemalan nurses were pushing my gurney up a series of ramps. As we progressed I could hear them breathing heavier and heavier and commenting on how heavy I was.
  • On the operating table the Doctor make quick notice that I was taller than the space available.
  • After the surgery, I had a wierd dream that a friend that runs a local restaurant took part in the surgery. In actuality he and his wife came to support Nancy and I. As I am so big and the nursing staff is so small, he was in the right place to help move me from the gurney to my bed.
  • I had a couple of visitors later that night just as I was struggling to get to the bathroom. Times like this words do not describe the awkwardness and indignity for all parties concerned and the side of Pastor Mike that no one wants to see.
The hospital used was The Hermano Pedro Private Hospital. Nice digs. The staff was great. The care as fine as any in the states. Now that I am home, my motorcycle has a concave rim, and several smaller parts to be replaced. And I have some Frankenstien railroad tracks on both sides of my right ankle, 2 pins to hold it all together, a table full of cards and love and 3-4 months of recuperation. Updates will come as there is news.

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