Injury 1: Amy’s broken finger. Originally appeared in Question and Answer Time, November 15, 2010.
Q: What is worse than having to do the dishes by hand three times a day?
A. Having to do the dishes by hand three times a day with a finger you can’t get wet.
It was a sunny morning. We’d gotten the anchor up with minimal annoyance (read: mud), and I was clearing up the deck and feeling rather good about life in general and this trip in particular. I opened the port deck box to put away a hose.
The spring holding the lid buckled. Down came the lid onto my right index finger. It hurt so much I didn’t make a sound; I just crumpled onto the deck. And just how bad did it look? Well, let me show you.
And that was back when it looked good. The nail is lifting off now, and the tip remains swollen enough a week later that I’m pretty sure I broke it.
Lucky for me, I married A Man of Many Talents. Behold, Erik’s excellent bandaging job:
Yes, I managed to break a finger one month into our cruising adventure. Way to go, Amy! For a couple of years afterwards, I could feel the scar tissue when I pressed on the pad of that finger – it felt like ball bearings under my skin. I still have a thin white scar under my nail to remind me of the experience. I remain cautious of the deck boxes to this day.
Injury 2: Stylish’s chin. Originally appeared in State of the Children (December 8, 2011),and So Much Fun, We Had To Do It Again! (December 13, 2011)
When I was young, I was Wonder Woman. I don’t mean, “I liked Wonder Woman,” or “I often pretended I was Wonder Woman.” I mean I was, every minute of every day, Amazon princess and warrior Wonder Woman. I would only respond to the name Diana Prince (which drove my sister wild). I wore my costume year-round, contributing, I’m told, to a severe case of laryngitis one cold January. ( I suspect no one really minded.) And while I don’t often have a reason to don my golden bracelets of power these days, Wonder Woman I remain.
|The resemblance is uncanny.|
|Don’t be distracted by my excellent art – it was really quite a dramatic leap.|
|Landing is less fun than flying.|
|Tired and injured, but still smiling.|
|Chin injury, mark II|
Stylish has a small scar on her chin to mark the excitement. She is rather proud of it, and shows it off whenever she can. It may not be as exciting as her sealion bite, but it still rates.
Injury #3: Indy’s Eyebrow; June 2012. (100% new content!)
We’ve been to a lot of amazing places on our trip, but, I have to admit, the Galapagos were special. I try to get too excited in advance about our destinations – unreasonable expectations and all that – but we were all excited about the Galapagos, and it lived up to our dreams.
But before we could get there, we had to, well, get there. We spent a few days in the Las Perlas south of Panama, initially to visit the pretty islands, and later because I gave myself a very bad burn while making pasta. (Tip: always, always, always use a waterproof apron when dealing with hot liquids aboard. Always.) So the anticipation had time to build.
Once I was sufficiently healed, it was time to head out to my favourite place: the seasickness place. Four guaranteed days of feeling like someone was scraping holes through my skull with a spork in seventeen different places. And this time, I would have the bonus of a 8″x3″ tender spot across my abdomen. (To give you an idea of how bad it was, I used gel burn pads for weeks, and it took more than a month just to close up.)
Off we sailed. A couple of days in, just as the sun set, Indy was doing what Indy does best: tiggering. She was leaping around the cockpit like a mountain goat, like she had a thousand times before, while Erik and I asked her to stop, like we had a thousand times before. Then Papillon shifted one way while she jumped another way, and bang! Indy had whacked her eyebrow against the cockpit combing, and there was blood everywhere. The briefest survey showed that she needed at least three stitches.
The troops sprang into action: Erik gathered the suturing supplies, Stylish disappeared to find a book. And I held Indy, whispering to her softly, and trying to keep her calm, while at the same time trying to keep from losing my dinner. Blood doesn’t bother me; I’ve seen a lot in my day, although that was mostly in eppendorf tubes as opposed to fountaining out of my child’s scalp. And there is something comfortingly familiar about that sharp, iron smell that always takes me back to working in the lab on a too-hot summer’s day. But being coated in blood and facing the prospect of helping Erik stitch Indy up didn’t do my seasickness any good, and I was whispering to keep myself together as much as to reassure her.
As night fell, we patched Indy up, while keeping as best a watch as we could. Erik stitched, I assisted and held the patient, and Stylish read to us from Junie B Jones. It was our biggest medical crisis aboard – an injury days from land – but we made it through. It was a family effort.
|Does it look bad?|
|Nah, I’m fine.|
Indy now has a scar curving down from her eyebrow. Like Stylish, it doesn’t bother her a bit. And she’ll happily tell the story of when Daddy stitched her up at sea.
We made it to the Galapagos a few days later. Sure, two of us were on antibiotics and had injuries to mind, but what is that in the face of swimming with giant, unafraid sea turtles? Priorities, people. Priorities.
*Oh, please. Like you didn’t recognise Horton Hatches the Egg.