Since I've returned, The Reader has repeatedly pressured your loyal blogger for an explanation of the sling I am seen sporting in the last week of the Morpheus Atlantic passage. Frankly, I thought I'd given an adequate explanation in the blog, spelling it out in the May 17 log post:
"Bob was on watch, Kim was sleeping, Jim was watching "Boardwalk Empire" on his iPad, I was making coffee. Big wave, bad angle, water over the bow smashing into the dodger, big starboard heel. Kim woke up, Jim put down the ipad, I gave up on the coffee. A few inconsequential items took flight."
Now, I can almost hear The Reader saying "Wait a minute Mike.... I've seen movies like Mission Impossible and James Bond where Tom Cruise and Daniel Craig brace themselves horizontally above a doorway with their hands and feet while the bad guys walk underneath them unaware of their presence. You only had to hold yourself like that for a few seconds. WTF?" True enough, but you overlooked one detail dear reader.I am holding a teakettle. I can assure you that neither Tom Cruise nor Daniel Craig could have maintained that posture if they were holding a teakettle in one hand. But I digress.
|Photo taken shortly after the crash - I am demanding Bob show me his medical credentials
We sacrificed a tee shirt for a makeshift sling and I returned to duty for my watch.
Not that I doubted his diagnosis, but I only wore the sling to keep myself from doing any more damage until I could get a real doctor to take a look at it. The first opportunity for that was four days later in Cascais.
Portugal has a two track medical system. If I was willing to wait for five hours in a public hospital I could have availed myself of the free socialized medical system. Instead I went to a private clinic that charged for their services. Bob accompanied me, presumably in an attempt to avoid a malpractice suit.
It was a very efficient operation. You take a number upon entering the urgent care waiting room, much like a deli in Chicago. Screens throughout the clinic guide you to your next stop. Long short - I saw two doctors including an orthopedic surgeon, had shoulder and ribs x-rayed, was fitted with a real sling and was out in about three hours. Total cost - 230 euros.
Diagnosis: nothing broken - no dislocation or separation. The orthopedic surgeon was certain it was a torn rotator cuff and was prepared to schedule more tests and surgery. I considered it. If the surgery was significantly less than my insurance deductible in the U.S, Sigrid could fly over on the difference and we might get a free Portugal holiday out of it. I even had the doc send me a bid for the surgery.
Common sense prevailed. I decided to return to EssEff for any additional treatment, and was remanded back into the care of Doctor Bob. He prescribed cheese and wine at a sidewalk cafe.
* There is an important liability question implied here. Exactly who's idea was it to move the filtered water from the faucet in the galley to the sink in the head?