|Dolphins at the bow|
|Carl replacing the port navigation light|
March 22 Wednesday, Marsh Harbor. Yours truly spent the afternoon on her hands and knees scrubbing away dirt and mildew from the cockpit cushions and shade panels as they lay spread out over the docks. Sometimes rather than kneeling, I did a sideways half-crouch, with left knee, foot and hand on the ground supporting my body weight, while my right leg was extended to the side and my right arm wielded the scrub brush. It was an awkward position and I knew it, but I'll admit to a degree of stubbornness that surfaces within me in situations like this; it was a vigorous, sweaty job that needed to be done and I was not about to let it go undone.
|These shade panels were unzipped and spread across the dock for cleaning.|
I noticed a bit of discomfort ("muscle strain" I called it) in the area inside my left buttock afterward. (It was a discomfort similar to what I experienced after doing "extreme" landscaping. When I lived on land, my gardening involved a lot of heavy labor--excavating hillsides, building stone walls, turning over large areas of sod, laying down river rock and so on. It was my passion and I did endure hip pain from time to time for it.)
|Northern Star free of shore power at last!|
April 2 Sunday. We leave the marina for the first time in 59 days. Northern Star is mobile again! Waking up with left hip pain in the night.
April 4 Tuesday. Sadly, I have to forego snorkeling with our guests due to increased left hip pain. It would feel good to be weightless in the water, but I can't figure out a way to get into and out of the water. I can't bend at the hip on my left.
|The Green Emerald hummingbird|
|How painful the dinghy has become.|
|Back at the dock once again.|
Carl moves the boat back into a marina slip with the help of two cruising friends. Being at a dock allows me to get on and off the boat without using the dinghy which is torturous.
|My comfy bed became impossible to use.|
April 13 Thursday I'm unable to sleep in our bed anymore because I can't get in and out without screaming in pain. I fret about flying out for help because I would have to sit upright on the plane. I told Carl I was a little bit better and would hold out through the weekend.
|No problem finding someone to take care of Jax|
|Marsh Harbor anchorage|
Unfortunately, I was in no condition to receive visitors and Carl explained our situation and his task at hand--to get me to Florida. Gary said, "I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but I am a cranio/sacral therapist. I'd be glad to come over and see if I can provide some pain relief for Ardys. And Jan is an RN."
|Lily pads in fresh water, Lake Superior|
'Unbelievable', I thought, What are the chances of someone sailing into the anchorage bringing just the sort of skill set that might be of help to me, right at this time? I was quite willing to have them come as therapists, rather than as visitors to our boat.
|Therapy provided some pain relief--like a rainbow after the storm. Lake Superior, Duluth, MN|
April 19 Wednesday morning. Marsh Harbor to Miami 0800 Taxi to the Marsh Harbor airport with me lying across the back seat, head in Carl's lap. DAN has arranged for Carl and I to fly First-Class to Miami to allow me a partial recline and for a wheelchair to meet me at the gate. On to the Aventura Hospital ER where X-rays rule out vertebral fractures and confirm there is no subluxation (dislocated bone). No MRI was done however. I was discharged from the ER by 1500 with pain meds and orders to see an Orthopedist on Friday.
<Major Decision Point>
|Northern Star heading west across the Gulf Stream|
|We sold this Duluth home before moving aboard Northern Star|
|Duluth Yacht Club Wednesday night races.|
We talked long and hard about that and made some important decisions and preparations that would now guide us in our decision-making. We both love Duluth, and we love all our friends there. Duluth feels like home, regardless of whether we own property there or not.
|West Lighthouse of Canal entrance, Duluth, MN|
Several of our friends have extended us generous invitations to stay with them, even for an extended period of time, if ever needed. One of them has an extra little house out back where we could stay; two of them have a lower-level living area that they have offered; another has an entire second home on a lake where we could stay! We could not be more fortunate to have those loyal friends who are so open and generous with their lives and willing to share their personal space with us. So, we would go to Duluth, right?
|Rock of Ages Light, Isle Royale, Lake Superior|
But the rest of our "what if" discussion went something like this. Between us, we have only one living parent, Carl's mom who lives in Memphis. We want to be able to spend as much time with her as possible even though we are living on the water. If some life event required a period of recuperation for one of us and we spent that time in Duluth, we would be missing out on time that could have been spent near her.
|Carl with him mom, Karen on Lake Superior. 2005|
Because we know that we will always want to spend time in Memphis with Carl's mom and sisters, we made the decision to move our medical care from Duluth to Memphis. In fact, just last October was when we accomplished the transition so that now we both have a primary care physician in Memphis, along with our specialists: a dermatologist, ophthalmologist, cardiologist, internal medicine doctor and nephrologist.
There were further discussions with Carl's sisters, too, for example, about maintaining a safe deposit box in Memphis with our most important documents to reside there. Keeping these in Memphis as opposed to storing them with the rest of the things in our Duluth storage unit would make them available should any crises occur.
|Jax and Carl, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas|
April 19 Wednesday late afternoon, Miami to Memphis
|Carl's cousin, Dean|
|Carl and our friend Justin|
|Ardys. "I prefer the floor".|