Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sacrifice to the Creative Gods: A Broken Hip.

I broke my hip. Can you believe it? I'm 62 and I broke my hip last Sunday. I was taking pictures at Mooloolaba Beach in Queensland, Australia, and I stepped in an indentation in the rocks in which moss was growing and DOWN! I went.

So, I spent the last week 200 km from my Brisbane home, in Nambour Hospital on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. That's where the giant pineapple is located, just in case you're interested.



I was a strange duck in the hospital: I was likely the only American there. I was firmly informed that for sure, I was the only person there with the name of Vineyard!

I'll have a lot to say about my experience in an Australian public hospital and my experience with a broken hip in the next few weeks. 

But for now: I am OK and I will be OK. I am pretty strong and the break wasn't too bad, everything considered. Here's what happened....

Sunday we decided to see some place new, so we decided to look at the beaches north of Bribie Island, a place we really love to go. My husband has a sore toe (That's a story....it started out over a year ago when he dropped a frozen turkey on it, back in Tulsa), so we were taking it easy.




We parked by a marina near Mooloolaba Beach and after admiring the boats, we meandered up the hill and across the road down to the beach. The beach was beautiful. A bunch of dogs and their owners were having the time of their lives. The water was so blue and the waves were crashing in. 



I took pictures and videos, and then offered to walk back to the car, because of Dan's toe. Then, the gallant gentleman that he is, he offered to walk a bit up or down the beach first. The direction was my choice. And that's when I made my fateful decision.

"Are those rocks up there? Let's go that direction."

So we did. And as we got closer, the rocks grew larger. They jutted way out into the Pacific Ocean at the point. Sailboats glided past and out of sight, and if you looked further out, cargo and container ships waited their turns to enter Brisbane down the coast.



The potential photographs and videos were unlimited and I was carried away. The waves crashed onto the rocks, exploding into the air or rushing and foaming up the crevices. I was in heaven. Then I was in hell.


I stepped into a small indentation in the rock lined with extremely slippery moss and went down in slow motion. I did somewhat catch myself with my elbow and probably saved myself from worse harm. 

 I was pretty sure I was hurt. A fantastic woman, out with her children, stopped to help. She and Dan got me on my feet, but I couldn't put weight on my leg. They got me to a rock where I could sit, then she called the paramedics and told them where we were.

The paramedics had to get the help of the local Life Saving Club.  Yes, that's right. I was carried off the beach by Australian life guards.

So these volunteer life-saving guys are my heroes....literally. They carried me off the rocks in a carrier, put me into their truck and hauled me back along the beach to where I could be transferred to an ambulance. Definitively my heroes.


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When I got the the hospital, I found that that, yes, I'd broken my hip. I could have transferred to a private hospital, but they got me into surgery early Monday and I just stayed because I wasn't planning or being there long. 

And  I wasn't. I was up on crutches on Tuesday and came home on Thursday. I plan to be at work at least one day next week and working from home the rest of the days. I am on my way back.


The journey was interesting, and, as I said earlier, I have a lot to say about it. So follow this blog and you'll hear a few interesting stories....About how this hospital experience compares to what I've experienced before in the U.S. About my treatment for my broken butt. About my progress back to health. About pain medication and about people I met. 

I know more about Australia than I did a week ago. It's been quite a week. and because of a stupid mistake, I've ensured that the future will be just a little bit harder, but it will still be interesting. Want to come along for the ride?








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