12.30.2012

Valerie and mopeds don't mix

Deb gave this to me for Christmas--I love it!
So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I had an incident with a moped while on vacation over the week of Thanksgiving.

My family (20 of us) went on a cruise to the eastern Caribbean:  Nassau, The Bahamas; St. Thomas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Grand Turk.

We left out of Miami on Sunday, November 18th,  and arrived in Nassau on Monday.  My sister and I originally planned to just walk around the town a bit, but when we got off the ship, we saw a stand to rent mopeds.  We should have stuck with our original plan, but instead, we each did a test ride on a moped in a little alley way and then we were on our way to a beach the moped guy recommended.  After maybe 10 minutes, traffic was rushing by me, and I got nervous and tried to stay to the left as much as possible (they drive on the opposite of the road in Nassau), and then I crashed.  I think I just got too close the curb, but don't really know or remember exactly what happened.


What I do know is that I wound up on a sidewalk, with the bike 10 feet in front of me, and huge abrasions on my right arm and left knee/shin, and smaller ones on my right leg and right knee.

Deb was far ahead of me when it happened and had no idea I crashed.  She didn't know I wasn't with her until she arrived at our destination.  She sent me a text and I wrote her back telling her I crashed.   She asked why I didn't text her right away and told her I couldn't because I was shaking so badly.

Meanwhile, a VERY nice guy came to my aide.  He called for an ambulance, and after I gave him our receipt from the moped company, he called them too.  He stayed with me the whole time, but I never got his name. I 'm so grateful to him!

When the ambulance came, they helped me off the ground and realized I could walk, even though it was very painful, but it was a good indication that I hadn't broken any bones.  They sat me on the edge of the back of the ambulance and started to clean the wounds.  As that was happening, everything in my vision turned white.  I told them, "I'm going to pass out."  (When I've fainted in the past, my vision turns brown, so this was new.) So, they had me lay down for a while in the ambulance.  It was around that time that Debbie made her way back.  She thought that when she got my text back right away that things were okay.  She didn't realize how serious it was until she saw the ambulance.

I declined going to the hospital because it was noon and the ship was departing at 1:30.  The EMTs told me to go see the doctor on board the ship.  And, I noticed they didn't ask for any financial information--I didn't have to pay a dime.  Not sure what would've happened if this was the U.S.  Anyway, a police officer who had also stopped at the scene caught me a cab to get back to the dock, and the moped guys brought my bike back.  (Deb rode hers back.)

When I got to the ship, I did go to the doctor on board, who lectured me in front of the whole waiting room (8 people or so) about the dangers of mopeds and how they warn us not to rent those things.  I told him I didn't see the warnings, and "It's already happened, so there's nothing I can do about it now, is there?"  When he left, one of the guys in the waiting room said, "Well, was it at least fun while it lasted?"  I laughed and said, "Yeah, for all 10 minutes of it."  A nurse then took me back and rebandaged everything.  She gave me supplies so I could do it myself, but I found the next day that I was unable to do it myself so I went back.  The nurses were very nice.  (Incidentally,  that evening, back in our cabin, Debbie did find a warning about mopeds on the back of the daily schedule...not exactly in bright lights or anything.)


When we got back to Florida, we stayed a night in Fort Lauderdale.  By then, my leg was really swollen and very red.  My health insurance recommended I go to the emergency room--especially since I was supposed to be on a plane the next day--there was concern about blood clots.  Two cousins, my sister and mom came to the ER.  No blood clots, but I did have an infection.  They gave me a prescription for an oral antibiotic and redressed the wounds again.   The nurse said she had a friend who had the same accident & injuries while in Mexico.  She said he was really drunk when it happened and asked if I had been drinking.  I told her no!  I can't even imagine trying to drive one of those things while under the influence!

Flying home, my mom arranged for a wheelchair for me at the airport...that was nice.  My mom, dad and I all got to board the plane early, and I got a seat in front where I could stretch my leg.  They had a wheelchair waiting for me in Baltimore too...I was thankful.

So, that happened the first day of the cruise, and we still had 6 days to go.   I don't know how I made it through, but I did.  I just had to move slowly and was in pain for most of it, but I still enjoyed the time with my family and was so glad my injuries weren't any worse.  When I think about what could have happened, I get a little freaked out.

Some other scenes from the trip:

Cousins and Deb on the way to the ship in Miami

Our first towel creature.

Deb on her moped test run.

Leaving Nassau--the blues here were amazing.

The moped rental place.  Where it all began.

"Miami Vice" - relaxing after the accident.  Alcohol helped.

St. Thomas - U.S. Virgin Islands

St. Thomas

What an ass.  (I stole that from a friend of mine who just posted a photo of a donkey on FB.)

Sexy bunny.

Me and Deb at El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico.  Notice the bandaged arm.  My pants cover the mess that was my leg.

Looking over Puerto Rico

Lighthouse at Grand Turk (my favorite stop on the cruise.)

The Carnival Glory - that's our ship.

The beach at Grand Turk

Our final and favorite towel creature--hanging above my bed.

The rest of my photos can be found on Flickr.

And finally, watching these wounds heal has been fascinating.  When we got home, I started taking pictures every few days and created a little video.  I wish I'd taken pictures from the beginning.  When this video starts, it's 13 days after the accident, so some healing has already taken place.  If this kind of thing grosses you out, please, don't watch!





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