Saturday, February 05, 2005

Ooops! Man Down!

Two weeks ago today, we were part of a sailor work party helping to repaint the classrooms of a local Zihuatenejo school for indigenous Nihuatl children. We were part of "Trim Team 2". Our job was to paint the edges of all the walls and windows ahead of "Roller Crew 2".

We were within 15 minutes of finishing when Steve went up his ladder one last time to cut in the high part of the peaked ceiling. The ladder was an aluminum extension type that was a little too tall for the room so it set at shallow angle to the floor.

Steve no more than reached the top and was about to load his brush when the ladder suddenly slipped out from under him and went crashing to the cement floor. Steve did a "chest-flop" on the ladder. It knocked the breath out of him for half a minute and he was in intense pain.

The ride down the steep bumpy roads in a Chevy Blazer was almost as bad as the fall. Steve could only take tiny gasps of air.

He didn't leave the boat for nearly a week. One of the side benefits was that Kay finally got a chance to take a refresher course on dinghy outboard operation. She would go ashore and beach the dinghy on her own to get groceries and newspapers for Steve.

Very slowly, Steve is regaining his mobility. Apparently he didn't break any bones. However, he did quite a bit of damage to the soft tissues (muscle, cartilage and tendons) in his upper right chest and side. Sometimes those can take longer to heal than bones.

He's been well enough to enjoy some of the Zihuatenejo Sailfest events, the subject of the next blog entry.


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