2011 Trip to Cape Leveque - Day 16 - 21

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011 at 04:32

Member - DereelGirl

Day 16,17,18,19
Well where to start this day…. We were heading over the hill to join the others and found they were about to take a mid-morning walk along the beach, not all were in the group just the 6 of us. My sister suggested we take the track down to the beach as Chris’ mum was 82 and they were heading for the rocks. Mrs C. said “No it’s ok I’ve already been down here earlier this morning”. So off we all go. No sooner had we started and Mrs C. slipped on some sandy rocks and went for a tumble, she couldn’t move, was in a lot of pain. Something was wrong with her ankle, we managed to sit her up on a rock and I ran down to the water to wet the towel I was carrying so we could wrap her ankle and try to keep the swelling down. My sister went to the office and they returned with the troopy so they could take her to the One Arm Point Medical centre ½ hr away.
News comes back that it is a dislocated ankle and they are waiting for the RFDS to pick her up. It’s a somber afternoon & evening as we all gather in one location to wait for news. Unfortunately due to unforeseen priority accidents occurring, pickup by the RFDS kept on getting pushed back until after nearly 3 days the Nurses got on the phone and said that the patient had to be moved asap and she & husband were taken to Derby Hospital. In those 3 days not much was done apart from many visits to One Arm Point or waiting by the phone. Once we knew things were moving Jen & I booked a fishing trip for a couple of hrs. and we started to get back into holiday mode.
Mrs C. however required surgery and was flown to Perth for a 6 week stay for a fractured tibia along with the dislocated ankle and would require many months of rehabilitation. Bruce couldn’t go with her on the flight so bused it back to Broome where his daughters picked him up & returned to Cape Leveque.

Day 20
Up early and I have decided to cooked poached eggs on toast for breakfast then maybe a walk along the Western beach or maybe a drive down that way, we really haven’t seen much of that side of the point. I bend down to pull the box out from under the table to get to the poacher when I get a twinge in my back……… I stand up and stretch, hmm I won’t say anything just yet. I go and lie down on the bed and do some stretches but I can feel it stiffening up already. That’s put an end to breakfast. I now have to break the news to Jen and we agree not to say anything to the others as they have all been thru enough in the last 4 days. I try and go for a walk, just to keep things moving but I didn’t get to far and had to turn back. I spent the day resting and lying down.
That night Bruce decided to leave the following morning and his daughters agree to leave with him.

Day 21/22
Packed and ready to go, a refund for time not spent at the resort was agreed to by the management which was pretty good of them. They were wonderful & helpful the whole time & I don’t think there was much more they could have done for us. Around midday the other 3 waved Bruce & Co goodbye. I on the other hand was still in bed knocking back pain killers and anti inflammatory’s. I decided to trek to the showers and at least make myself presentable, funny the things you notice, a new group of campers had just pulled in and one of them was a Travelander. Now at the time I was convinced that was going to be my next investment so I was hoping to talk to them about it.Well I barely made it out of the shower block & had to lie down on the front decking in pain. I was lying there for a couple of mins. when I caught sight of the others coming back from fare welling our fellow travellers who had just left. I called out to them & informed them that I couldn’t move and that there was pain running down both my legs. Now at this point I know I’m in trouble because I’ve already had surgery on my back about 15yrs ago. Having dealt with an injured party only days before the 3 of them got organized very quickly, they were on first name basis with the local nurses and the management of the resort so they called for the ambulance from the Lombadina Medical Centre and got me comfortable with a pillow. I take my hat off to all involved, the nurses were great and so was the morphine they were pumping into me. By the time we got back to Lombadina I was having trouble feeling my feet but I didn’t panic, I think the morphine had something to do with that & I think the morphine was also responsible for me not being able to keep down the lovely roast dinner the Nurses had cooked. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to wait too long for the RFDS and around 11pm I was taken out to the airstrip and loaded onto the plane. There was already another patient onboard, a guy also from Victoria who I think had come off his bike somewhere. We were both flown to Broome Hospital, where I had a CT scan that I don’t remember much about and then admitted. I spent the next week in hospital & after about 3 days started having daily sessions of physio & traction. The first couple of days are a blur but I do remember having a loss of sensation in both legs from the knee down & I couldn’t move my left foot & toes.

This is what you DON’T want to have happen when on holidays.

I was allowed to fly home but only after I could show that I could walk with the aid of a stick and not the walking frame or wheelchair I had been using.
The remaining 3 out of the 8 that started the holiday stay the full 10 days without further incidents, which I’m sure pleased the management.

While in hospital I made arrangements for the car, camper & Jen to get home. Jen would drive back to Katherine with the other 2 and put the car & camper on the Ghan and train it back to Adelaide then drive home from there.

So the moral of this tale……. Don’t rush to your destination with the thought of visiting all those sites on the way home, because that may never happen. I feel bad that Jen never got to stop and see more of our wonderful back yard & I hope that we will eventually be able to get back out there and do it properly.

It has now been just over 10mths since I flew home from Broome, it took 4 mths before I could move my toes & left foot and 8 mths to finally get off all pain medication. I still have a loss of sensation from the knee down on my left leg but am able to walk without too much of a limp. Mrs C. is still participating in rehab & I’m sure the Staff & Management of Kooljaman Resort will never experience that much excitement again. Last Xmas I made a donation to the RFDS, it only seemed fitting.
Of course when Jen & I return to travelling north we will have to book under another name.

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